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Manage your computers to fix QuickBooks Desktop performance issues

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

Optimize your server and workstations to minimize performance issues in QuickBooks Desktop.

This is Part 1 of a series that covers performance issues in QuickBooks Desktop and how to resolve them. If these steps don't resolve your issues, try the steps in Manage your data files to fix QuickBooks Desktop performance issues.

Enhance your computers

QuickBooks system requirements will support most QuickBooks users. If your computer system meets these specs and you still have performance issues, you may want to increase your available RAM. Remember, your goal is to increase the amount of RAM available to QuickBooks.

RAM Improvements

The amount of RAM you need for QuickBooks can be found by multiplying the size of your file in GB, by the number of users in the network. So, if your file size is 500 MB (0.5 GB) and you have 6 users, then you need 3 GB of RAM available on your server. If you have only 2 GB and you experience performance issues, you may want to upgrade your server to 3 GB of RAM.

  • Add memory chips. If your server has four sockets, and 2 sockets have 1 GB DRAM chips, install two 1 GB DRAM chips in the empty sockets.
  • Upgrade your memory chips (for example, replace 1 GB DRAM chips with 2 GB DRAM chips).
  • Increase workstation RAM.
  • Make sure you know your operating system's limits on the amount of RAM it can support.

Optimize Virtual Memory

  • Increase a computer's Virtual Memory (VM) to 2 GB plus 2 GB for each major app you run on the computer.
  • Make sure your VM runs on an internal hard drive.
  • If your server has multiple internal drives, store the data file on one drive and the VM on another drive.

Upgrade your operating system

If you upgrade the RAM on all your computers and it doesn't resolve the issue, you might want to upgrade your operating system. Older operating systems have lower limits on the amount of RAM they can support.

Upgrade computer hardware

If you decide to upgrade your server/workstations, consider the following:

  • Make sure the computer that will store the file is a physical computer ( not a service like Dropbox ).
  • Fill all of the RAM slots with the highest capacity chips.
  • A 64-bit computer and operating system.
  • A fast clock speed of 2.2 GHz or more.
  • A fast hard drive rotational speed (for example, 7,500 or 10,000 rpm, or a solid state drive).
  • A fast Network Interface. A 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) card on your server can increase bandwidth.

Upgrade RAM on a Terminal Server

Note: Intuit supports Terminal Services mode only for QuickBooks Enterprise.

If you run QuickBooks in a terminal server environment, you can estimate the amount of RAM on the server in two ways. The first is you need 0.5 GB of available RAM for each user. If you have five users, you need 2.5 GB of RAM. The second way is:

  • For 5 users, you need 2-3 GB of available RAM
  • For 10 users, you need 3-4 GB of available RAM
  • For 15 users, you need 4-6 GB of available RAM
  • For 20 users, you need 6-8 GB of available RAM

Competing Programs

A competing program is one that runs at the same time as QuickBooks. Each program requires RAM and processor capacity. You can see your programs in the Task Manager. Check out the Processes Tab.

  • Quit programs and processes not in use on your computer. The operating system will assign more RAM to QuickBooks.
  • If you can't quit a program, move either QuickBooks or the other program to another computer. A common example is the Exchange program that runs your email system.
  • In some systems, there are too many programs that run on the Domain Server for QuickBooks to run efficiently. You might want to move QuickBooks to another server.

Where to store your data file

Where you store your company data file can affect the performance of QuickBooks. QuickBooks uses this default location to store company files:

Windows 10 and newer: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files

You can set up a folder in your C: root directory to store your data file and ancillary files (for example, C:\QBData\filename.qbw). Remember to move the entire data folder when you need to move the data file.

Use a computer on a network

  • Store your company data file on an internal hard drive on a computer on your network.
  • Use an external hard drive or a flash drive only to back up your data file.
  • We don't recommend a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive. QuickBooks Desktop can store files on a Windows computer, or with a Windows compatible SAMBA share (Linux server with Enterprise only).
  • QuickBooks works with a server running a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID). We don't recommend them because they've been known to cause performance issues.

Non-Dedicated Server/Host

If you don't have a dedicated host or server, use this info to help decide which workstation to use to save your file. Save your data file on the workstation that:

  • Has the full QuickBooks program on it.
  • Store on the computer you use most. This will minimize data transfer over the network.
  • Runs the fewest programs.
  • Has the most RAM.
  • Has the fastest clock speed.
  • Has the least non-QuickBooks activity.

Optimize your network interface card (NIC) settings

View and Edit your NIC settings

If you have computers with different link speed and duplex settings for their NICs, the network can slow down. To avoid this, reset all of your NIC's Link Speed and Duplex settings to an automatic setting.

  1. Select Start then type Control Panel in the search. (In newer Windows versions, you need to select Settings, then type Control Panel.)
  2. Double-click System then select the Hardware tab.
  3. Select Device Manager.
  4. Select Network adapters to expand the list.
  5. Right-click the NIC and select Properties.
  6. Select the Advanced tab.
  7. Select Property then select the Link Speed & Duplex option (the option name might be different).
  8. Select the Value dropdown arrow, then select Auto (the option name might be different).
  9. Select OK and close the window.

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