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Use the Condense Data utility

by Intuit Updated 7 months ago

Learn how to use the Condense Data utility for QuickBooks Desktop.

The Condense Data utility helps streamline your company data file and improve its performance. Know more about condensing and how it’s done.

Condense your data

  1. Select File, then select Utilities.
  2. Select Condense Data.
  3. Select Keep all transactions, but remove audit trail info to date.
  4. Select Next.
  5. Let the process complete. Select Close.
  1. Select File, then select Utilities.
  2. Select Condense Data.
  3. Select Remove the transactions you select from your company file. Select Next.
  4. Select the transactions you’d like to remove, then select Next.
  5. Select how transactions would be summarized, then select Next.
  6. Select how inventory should be condensed, then select Next.
  7. Select recommended transactions you’d like to remove, then select Next.
  8. Select List entries you’d like to remove, then select Next.
  9. Select Begin Condense, then wait for the process to complete. Select Close.

Know more about the Condense Data utility

Once you condense your company file, it can’t be undone. Try other solutions first before you go through with it. Here are some valid reasons to do so:

  • You have a large data file.
  • You're nearing a list limit.
  • You’ve upgraded your hardware.
  • Your accountant and technical support have discussed other options and are willing to proceed with condensing.
  • It’ll reduce the size because it’ll remove transaction details and list entries.
  • Open transactions won’t be condensed and the file size won’t be affected.
  • Condense won’t be available if there’s no significant change to file size.

If the Condense Data utility is unsuccessful in repairing your damaged file, you can try the following:

Payroll transactionsIf the condense date is before 12/31/2018 or if an employee’s W2 isn’t reviewed.
Invoices, payments, credit memos, and refund checksIf they aren’t properly linked to each other.
Payments recorded to Undeposited FundsIf they haven’t been deposited to a bank account.
Bills, bill credits, and bill payment checksIf they aren’t properly linked to each other.
Estimates linked to invoicesEstimates are non-posting entries and can’t be condensed into journal entries, which are posting transactions.
Sales tax not paid in Pay Sales TaxPaying sales tax with checks leaves invoices open which are non-condensable.
Transactions linked to a non-condensable transactionExample: You entered an invoice on 12/15/2015 and the corresponding payment on 1/15/2016, then ran the Condense Data utility through 12/31/2015. Both won’t be condensed. This is because the invoice is linked to a payment made outside the period.

Account and item-based reports

Account-based reports will be accurate because entries on accounts aren’t affected.

  • Profit and Loss (accrual)
  • Balance Sheet (accrual)
  • Statement of Cash Flows (accrual)
  • Trial Balance (accrual)

Item-based reports will be blank because all of the item data is gone.

  • Sales and Purchase reports
  • Job Costing reports
  • Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable Aging repor

Cash Basis reports

Cash basis reports for the condense period will be inaccurate. There aren’t any links from cash in to income or from cash out to expenses.

Reports filtered by class

Any transactions summarized by the utility won’t have classes assigned. Running a Profit and Loss by Class report will show all amounts in the unclassified column.

Sales Tax Liability reports

Invoices with sales tax no longer exist. A condensed journal entry has an amount credited to income accounts. QuickBooks won’t detect what part of the income is taxable and which part is nontaxable. Also, Tax Collected comes from the invoices, which no longer exist, so it'll show zero.

Sales and Purchase Detail reports

These reports draw their data from items on invoices and bills. Since there are no more invoices and bills, there'll be no more items and the reports will be blank.

A/R Collections reports

The A/R Collection report will show the condensed journal entries under No Name. The journal entries have entries to A/R that aren’t linked to closing transactions and are considered as open. The total is zero because all of the invoices in this file are paid.

A/R Aging reports won’t show the condensed journal entries because they have a default filter of Names = All Customer: Jobs. Remove this filter and the A/R Aging reports will show the condensed journal entries.

Audit Trail reports

  • Only edited, voided, and deleted transactions are removed from the audit trail report when condensing.
  • Condense Data doesn't remove the audit trail report.
  • The Audit Trail report will still show all ‌transaction activity after condensing.
  • The Condense Audit Trail Info option will be available if a company file has a significant amount of edited, voided, or deleted transactions.


  • The opening balance for your next reconciliation will be correct because condensed journal entries are cleared transactions.
  • Your checks and deposits no longer exist, so your reconciliation reports may be incorrect or gone.
  • The statement date may be incorrect because the last reconciliation may be gone.

Note: Before condensing, reconcile all accounts, print all reconciliation and discrepancy reports, or save these reports in PDF format. Backup your company file.

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