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Manage your data files to fix QuickBooks Desktop performance issues

by QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2020 Updated 1 month ago

If you have issues with the performance of your QuickBooks Desktop, your company file may be the root cause.

QuickBooks' performance decreases as the size of the company file increases. There are aren't any limits on the size of your company data file.  Performance issues can happen if your network can't handle large data files.

This article is Part 2 of a series on performance issues in QuickBooks Desktop and how to fix them. If these steps don't fix your issues, try the steps in Manage your computers to fix QuickBooks Desktop performance issues.

Before you continue, update QuickBooks Desktop and Database Server Manager on your host or server.

Set up Company and Personal Preferences

Automatic pop-ups in QuickBooks can cause a slow response. To avoid this, you can turn off auto pop-ups in QuickBooks. We’ll show you how.

Note: If you’re in Multi-user mode, make sure to switch to Single-user mode. Also, make sure to select Yes to save your changes before you move to the next preference.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Bills, then select Company Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck Warn about duplicate bill numbers from the same vendor.
  5. Select OK.
  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Items and inventory, then select Company Preferences.
  4. Uncheck Warn about duplicate purchase order numbers.
  5. Select OK.
  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Sales & Customers, then select Company Preferences.
  4. Uncheck Warn about duplicate invoice numbers and Warn about duplicate Sales Order numbers
  5. Select OK.
  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Search, then select Company Preferences.
  4. Uncheck the Update automatically.
  5. Select OK.
  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Desktop View, then select My Preferences.
  4. Uncheck Show homepage when opening a company file.
  5. Select OK.
  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Reminders, then My Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck Show Reminders List when opening a company file.
  5. Select OK.
  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to Edit, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Reports & Graphs, then select My Preferences.
  4. In the Reports & Graph section, select Don’t Refresh.
  5. Select Prompt me to modify report options before opening a report.
  6. Select OK.
  1. Go to Help and select Update QuickBooks.
  2. Select Options.
  3. In the Automatic Updates section, select No.
  4. Select Close.
  5. Select OK.

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Reduce the size of the company file

If you have a large file and performance is slow, you can reduce the size of your company file. These options can take extra time and work.

You can run the Condense Data utility to reduce the size of your file or start a new company file.

Important: If you have Assi​​sted Payroll, check with Payroll Support before you start a new file.

If you decide to start a new company file, you have two options:

  1. Use the Condense Company Data utility to delete all transactions and create a copy that only has your lists.
  2. Create a new file from scratch. This option can take extra work and time.
    1. Go to File, then select New Company. Follow the wizard that appears.
    2. Open your original file and export your lists
    3. Open the exported Intuit Interchange files (IIF) and delete any list entries you don't need.
    4. Import your clean files into the new file. See IIF Overview: import kit, sample files, and headers.
    5. Set up the opening balances. 

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Improve QuickBooks performance

  • Reduce your Database (DB) file fragments. Too many DB File Fragments will slow down your computer.
  • Verify your company file weekly. See Resolve data damage on your company file.
  • Transaction log files (TLG ) keep track of changes to the file since the last backup. Large TLG files can cause performance issues. Make a manual backup with full verification to reset the TLG.
  • Zero lines slow down performance and if you run cash basis reports with inventory, your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) could be wrong. Remove any detail lines with a zero price or quantity.
  • Clear the queues of forms you want to print or email.
  • Turn off search indexing in QuickBooks Desktop:
    Important: You can still search in your company file when you turn off the automatic search index, but it'll take longer. We recommend turning the automatic search back on if performance didn’t improve. ​​
    1. Go to Edit and select Preferences.
    2. Select Search then select Company Preferences. 
    3. Uncheck Update Automatically and rename the .qbw.SearchIndex file.
    4. You can find the .qbw.SearchIndex file in the same location as your company file. (Example: C:\Users\Public\PublicDocuments\Intuit\QuickBooks\CompanyFIles\CompanyFileName.qbw.SearchIndex)
  • Run reports on an accrual basis instead of a cash basis. Cash basis reports take more time because QuickBooks needs to check every transaction for payment status.
  • If QuickBooks payroll runs slowly, have the other users sign out and run payroll in single-user mode.
  • Close QuickBooks windows that aren't in use.
  • If you're the only user in the data file, switch to single-user mode.
  • Reboot your workstations daily.
  • Sign out of the data file when it's not in use and don't stay signed in to the company file overnight
  • Do long tasks (like email or print batches of invoices or statements) outside normal hours (before normal hours, lunch time or overnight). This way, they won't use resources from other users.
  • When you run reports, QuickBooks pulls in a lot of data. If you optimize how you run reports and print reports, it can save a lot of time and resources. Here are some tips:
    • Run long reports in the off-hours, during lunch, overnight, over the weekend.
    • Customize and memorize long reports.
    • Copy your company file to an unused workstation, set the driver to print directly to the printer and print your report.

You use your lists every time data is entered in QuickBooks. Make sure your lists are updated and sorted. Here are some ways lists can slow down performance:

  • Your lists are approaching ‌list limits.
  • Your lists have many entries you don't use.
  • Your lists have many sub-entries (like jobs under customers, subaccounts under accounts, and sub-items under items).​​

One way to keep your lists running smoothly is to re-sort your lists weekly. You can also merge entries or sub-entries in your lists you don’t use.

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