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Experienced Member

Deleting transactions increases company file size?

i am baffled... i just deleted 169 transactions, 1215 targets and 104 names in QB. rather then going down, my file size increased by 5.1mb... wth?

any ideas?

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

when you delete that does not necessarily mean gone


make a current back and then from the file menu, create a portable file, save it

then open restore the portable file, sometimes that works for what you want


Established Community Backer ***

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

Deleting transactions marks them as deleted within the database, but the file does not get smaller (though that space within the file can be used again later for other data.)


It also adds the history to the audit trail, which can grow the file.

Experienced Member

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

thanks for the idea, it gave me hope which lasted until the portable restore was completed lol. the portable file size was about 15% of the original. but the restored company file is 500kb bigger then the original...

something is very wrong with this company file. we only have about 1300 names but the file size is 367mb. it doesnt make sense to me. 

i have to find a way to shrink it because i think its corrupt somehow. thus the deleting of stuff yesterday.

i will try today the condensing data option as a last resort to see if that helps. 

n.b.: after the deletions yesterday and file increase, i closed it. this morning i found the file size smaller then it was yesterday but exactly the same as it was before i started deleting. attached is a screenshot - top is before i started deleting yesterday, bottom is today.


Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

Hello there, @tilos1.


Thanks for reaching out to us here in the Community. Allow me to step in for a moment and share some information about deleting transactions in QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT).


Our Top Contributors @Rustler and @BRC are both correct. But if you want to reduce the size of your company file, you can condense your file using the Condense Data utility. Please note that this might be an option, but it is not recommended.


Before you start condensing the company file, you can run a report to see the logic of how and what the program uses to determine which transactions it will not condense.


To run the report:


1. Click the File menu at the top.
2. Select Utilities on the drop-down, then Condense Data.
3. In the first window of the wizard, select Transactions before a specific date then enter the appropriate date.
4. Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled: Optional: Create a report showing which transactions cannot be removed.
5. Choose Next, then Summarize inventory transactions (recommended).
6. Select how your inventory will be Condensed, then select Next.
7. Then click the transaction groups you wish to be removed, then Next.
8. Choose Begin Condense. QuickBooks does not start Condensing but only runs the report.


Now, here's how to Condense your company file:


1. Go back to the first and second step that I've provided above.
2. Go through the wizard and select the options you need. Select Help if assistance is required.
3. Select Begin Condense. Before Condensing starts, QuickBooks will create a backup and an archive copy.


For your reference, you can check out this article for further guidance through the process: Use the Condense Data utility.


That's it! Please let me know how it goes after performing the Condense Utility. Don't hesitate to leave a comment if you have additional questions or I can be of further assistance. Wishing your organization and yourself continued success.

Experienced Member

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

thank you. if it is not recommended to condense than how can i address the file size. does it make sense that the file with now 1313 names (the total of all items from the list information box-accounts, names, items, classes, etc- is 2776; well under the limit) is currently 373mb? doesnt that mean that the file is corrupt?

QuickBooks Team

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

Hey there, @tilos1.


Allow me to step in and offer some additional insight into this. Your company file, at 373mb, is well within a normal file size. When it comes to size, it is recommended that your file should not exceed 1.5gb. This is because of the Auto Data Recovery (.adr) file. Being a failsafe, this was put in place to automatically back your data up every twelve hours, holding two constant backups: one from 12 hours ago, and one from 24. In the event your actual working database has become too severely damaged, a .adr  file can be used to try and salvage data. So you're good to go as far as the database size is concerned. 


Note: for more information on the .adr file, take a look here: Understanding QuickBooks Auto Data Recovery.


However, if your file is corrupted, you have a few data damage troubleshooting tools at your disposal; the Rebuild and Verify Data utilities. What they do is comb through your company file, fix minor data damage, and notify you of anything that needs to be manually resolved. Here's how to run said utilities:


Run the Rebuild Data utility:


  • Go to File, then select Utilities Rebuild Data.
  • On the QuickBooks Information window, select OK. Follow the prompts to save a backup.
  • Select OK when you see Rebuild has completed.


Run the Verify Data utility:


  • Go to File, then select Utilities Verify Data.
  • If you see QuickBooks detected no problem with your data, select OK. You may continue using your company file.
  • Should the Verify find an issue with your data, you will be prompted to Rebuild Now or View Errors. Select Close, then perform the steps below.


For your reference, here is an article that can help you further with troubleshooting potential data corruption: Resolve data damage on your company file.


Once you're finished running the diagnostics, your company file should have a clean bill of health. In the event there are still errors in the file, feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about this or anything else QuickBooks. It's my goal to make sure you're completely taken care of and all of your concerns are addressed. I'll be here in the Community if you need anything else. 

Experienced Member

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

thank you for the information. i have seen before that after about 150mb for desktop pro company files start to deteriorate thus my concern. 

i have done both verify and rebuild data and no change.

another thing - i do see currently that there are 3997 DB File Fragments. there were 4 when I started deleting unused accounts, names, customer messages (someone in the past used that field completely wrong so we have 500+ of those) etc. last week. i understand that the increase in fragmentation is likely because the items i deleted but im not sure what to do about that. any advice?



QuickBooks Team

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

Hello again, @tilos1.


Thank you for getting back to me on this. To address your concern about the DB file fragments, @Rustler was on the right track with his recommendation of creating and restoring a portable copy of your file. When doing this, it copies and compresses the data, and when you restore the portable file, it re-indexes your file to remove the fragments. I see that you created and restored a portable file before, however, to make sure you're successful in resolving this, I've outlined steps for you down below:


  • First, prepare the file by performing a rebuild, followed by a verify once more to ensure there is no data damage to handle.
  • Next, create a portable copy of your company file and save it to your desktop. 
  • Go to File, in the upper left-hand corner and select Close Company File.
  • Once you're on the No Company Open screen, go to File again and select Exit (This will ensure your company file and program are closed properly).
  • Open the company file location on your computer using the Windows File Explorer.
    Note: you can find the file location on the No Company Open screen.
  • Once there, right-click the company file (the extension should be .qbw), select Rename, and add OLD to the end of the file name.
    Note: this will not have a negative effect on your data, but simply renames the file for later purposes.
  • Open QuickBooks again and restore the portable file saved earlier on your desktop.
  • When choosing where to save the restored file, choose the location of your original company data (This is why I recommended renaming the original, so you don't overwrite it).


After the data is restored, check the product information screen. You should see a stark reduction in the number of fragments. For your reference, I'm including the article on creating and restoring portable files and why it's beneficial: Create or restore a QuickBooks portable company file


I want to make sure you're successful in doing this, so please be sure to keep me updated with your progress. Should you have any questions about this, feel free to reach out to me again here in the Community. I look forward to hearing from you.

Experienced Member

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

thank you @ClayJ!

i did follow the instructions precisely and got a portable file (64mb).

after restoring the new company file, while still 373mb, at least it has only 2 file fragments now so it worked as you reccommended.

i am still interested in reducing the size. before i try anything else, is that at all possible? so far my experience is that even if delete the size goes up. that was explained by adding to the audit trail (does it have to? can the audit trail be disabled?).

if it is possible, is there a way to find out how the data is distributed so i know what (old estimates, invoices, vendors, etc) is worth spending the time to delete?



QuickBooks Team

Re: Deleting transactions increases company file size?

I'm glad to hear everything went well with my recommendation, @tilos1. In order to reduce the size of the file, you have the option of using the Condense Data Utility. Earlier my colleague @FritzF advised of this, but as they also mentioned, we do not recommend using it. The reason for this is that it can cause data damage within the file like transaction linking or missing names list errors.


In the event someone wants to reduce their file size, my go-to is to start a new company file. The good news is, if you decide to go down this route, you have a plethora of resources at your disposal for making the transition much easier on you, and I will be here every step of the way to help you. 


For your reference, here are some of those articles:



Should you decide to go through with either of these options or if you have additional questions you'd like to address, feel free to seek me out here in the Community. I'm always happy to help.