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Backing up to a USB flash drive, Zip disk, or network folder


You can back up a QuickBooks company data file to a disk drive, a local or shared drive, or online.

The QuickBooks backup process compresses data. Unless you rename it, the backup file will have the same filename as the company data file, but the file extension will be .qbb instead of .qbw. A backup file must be restored before it can be opened.

You need to be in single-user mode to use the backup feature. (This does not apply to the EasyStart products.)

Make sure that you have inserted any external backup media (for example, a 3.5-inch disk, a CD-R or CD-RW, or an Iomega Zip disk) into the appropriate drive.

Recommended: Backup files for QuickBooks 2008 or later may require more storage space than previous versions. We recommend that you use a CD-R or CD-RW, or an Iomega Zip disk to store these backup files.

It is essential that any 3.5-inch disks used for backup be free from damage. Because even new disks can have bad sectors, backing up to a damaged disk may prevent you from restoring that backup. For this reason, we recommend that you fully format all disks before the first use. For more information on formatting, please refer to Microsoft Windows Help.
Pro/Premier 2008 or later
  1. Go to the  File menu, and select Save Copy or Backup... This will open the backup wizard.

  2. Select Backup copy in the Save Copy or Backup window. Click Next.

  3. Select Local backup.

  4. If you haven't already done so, click Options to set your backup defaults and choose the location where you want to save your backups. Click OK.

  5. Click Next, click Save it now, and then click Next.

  6. Click Save to use this location and start the backup.

    QuickBooks verifies the integrity of your company file based on the backup defaults you set, temporarily closes your company file, and then creates the backup.

  7. When the backup is complete, QuickBooks displays a message showing the location of the backup file. Click OK.

If you are backing up to a disk that already contains a file with the same name, the following message will appear: The backup file you chose already exists. Do you want to replace it? Your options are Yes or No:

Intuit does not recommend writing over existing backups. It is best to keep multiple backups of the company file.

If additional disks are needed, QuickBooks will prompt you when it is time to insert the next disk.

Year-end backups

In addition to your regular backup routine, Intuit recommends that you make two separate year-end backup copies of your data using reliable backup media (for example, brand-new disks or CDs), and label them with the year. Keep these year-end backups separate from your daily backup media and protect them from heat, magnets, and other hazards (as with all backup media). Intuit recommends keeping one year-end backup copy at your place of business, and storing the other off-site.

Back up a company data file online

  1. Select the QuickBooks File menu, and select Save Copy or Backup... This will open the backup wizard.

  2. Select Backup copy in the Save Copy or Backup window. Click Next.

  3. Select Online backup.

  4. (Optional) Click Options to set your backup defaults, such as reminders and verification levels.

  5. Click Next. The company file closes and QuickBooks verifies the data before opening the Online Backup application.Use the Online Backup application to back up your company file.

If you schedule backups through this service, be sure to leave your computer on, close the company file, and check that your Internet connection is active.
EasyStart 2008 or later
  1. Go to the File menu, choose Maintenance, then Back Up and make sure the Back Up Company File tab is selected.

  2. (Optional) If you want to change the name or location that QuickBooks suggests for the backup file, type your changes in the Filename and Location fields. If necessary, click Browse to browse to the new location.

  3. (Optional) Set backup defaults. Click Set Defaults and specify the desired defaults for your manual backups.

  4. (Optional) Select backup options. Click Verify data integrity to verify your data before backing up. If you've selected to back up to floppy disks, select Format each floppy disk during backup to format the disks as you back up, instead of before.

    If the disk needs to be formatted prior to backup, do not choose Quick Format. Instead, we recommend that you fully format your disk. Even if the disk is labeled as preformatted, it's a good idea to fully format a new disk before using it. Sometimes new disks can be stripped of their formatting during shipping.

  5. Click OK.

    If you need more than one disk: QuickBooks asks you to insert an additional disk as each disk fills up. Be sure to label the disks so that you'll know which one was first, which was second, and so on. This will help you if you ever need to restore the data from the disks.


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