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Create and open portable company files in QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to create a portable version of your company file that's easy to move.

Need to share your accounting data or move it to another computer? Create a portable company file. This is a compact version of your company file that's small enough to send in an email or put on a USB. Some help articles also recommend creating a portable company file to fix minor data issues.

Here's how to create and open a portable company file to quickly move your data or fix issues.

Step 1: Update QuickBooks

Before you start, update QuickBooks so you have the latest version.

Step 2: Consider creating a backup

Portable company files are great for sharing or moving accounting data around when you don't need a full backup.

A portable company file isn't a replacement for a full backup. It doesn't include your message templates, logos, images, or templates. It also doesn't include your .tlg or .log files, Loan Manager, Statement Writer, or Fixed Asset Manager files.

To completely back up your company files, follow the steps to create a backup company file.

If you want to send your data to your accountant, consider sending them an accountant copy.

Step 3: Create a portable company file

  1. Open QuickBooks and log in as an admin.
  2. Go to the File menu and select Create Copy.
  3. Select Portable company file and then Next.
  4. Give your portable company file a unique name. This makes it easy to tell apart from your regular company file.
  5. Select a location to save your portable company file. Pick somewhere that's easy to find, like your Windows desktop.
  6. When you're ready, select Save and then OK.

You now have a portable company file you can send online or put on a USB. The file will look like this: [Unique company file name].qbm.

Note: If you give someone a portable copy, they can access everything in the file. It's password protected and they'll need the password to open the file.

Step 4: Open a portable company file

To open a portable version of your company file:

  1. Open QuickBooks and log in as an admin.
  2. Go to the File menu and select Open or Restore Company.
  3. Select Restore a portable file, then select Next.
  4. Select your portable company file. It should look like this: [Unique company file name].qbm. Then select Open.
    Important: Don't use the same name for your portable company file and regular company file. If you save them in the same folder, the portable file will overwrite the regular one.

    Either can either rename the portable company file, or save it to a different folder.

  5. Read the notes on the Where do you want to restore the file page, then select Next.
  6. When you're ready to open your file, select Save.

When you open your portable company file, QuickBooks automatically reindexes your data. This fixes many data issues.

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