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Are You Getting Started or Having Trouble with Your QuickBooks Backup? These 4 Tips Will Help

By:Christine Fettinger

QuickBooks (QB) is a godsend for those of us who can’t make heads or tails out of complicated tax codes and regulations.

That said, there’s a lot that can go wrong with QB, or any piece of software for that matter. Neglect to properly back up your data and all it takes is one virus or hardware failure to erase hours of work.

Maybe you haven’t even started backing up your QB data yet, or maybe you have but you keep running into errors. Here are 4 tips that will help ensure you have a reliable QB backup solution in place:

Know your options

There’s more than one way to back up your QB data. Here are a few of your options, as well as a quick review of the advantages and disadvantages to each method:

  • USB stick: quick and convenient, but this is an incomplete method as not all files, including invoice templates, will be carried over
  • Nightly backup applications: programs that will automatically backup your data can often be found online for free… but it’s easy to configure such software incorrectly or reach your storage cap without realizing it and accidentally not get everything backed up (and you won’t know until you really need it). Also, they won’t protect you from on-site disaster (fire, flood, etc.)
  • The cloud: the monthly fees required to rent offsite storage space means this option will cost you more than a $10 USB stick or a free app, but the cloud offers the most complete protection from both web-based and on-site disasters

Schedule regular backups inside QB

We mentioned nightly backup applications as one of your backup options, but with the latest versions of QB, third-party backup apps aren’t really necessary.

Instead, you can just use the built-in feature of QB that lets you automatically backup your info to a drive on your network or a USB stick at regular intervals and/or every time you close a file. It’s a simple process: just open up the “Schedule Backup” window and select the options that best suit your needs.

Don’t give a backup file a name over 65 characters long

A lot of our clients complain about running into “QuickBooks was unable to back up the company file” error messages.

There are a few things that can result in this error, one of which being users trying to give backup files names that are over 65 characters long. You just can’t do it, so try to think up a shorter name.

Don’t try to back up a file larger than 3 GB

This is another common cause of the “QuickBooks was unable to back up the company file” error.

When you’re dealing with a file this big, see if it’s possible to break the file up into multiple smaller files, with each piece weighing in at under 3 GB.

Follow these tips and you can recover from disaster and avoid the bureaucratic nightmare of having to fill out all your QB information all over again.

Contact us at (425) 2_74-1121 or for more information about our QB-based, disaster recovery, and business continuity services.