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Database (DB) file fragments in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 2 weeks ago

Excessive DB file fragments can lower the performance of your computer. Find out more about when and how to defragment your computer to avoid performance issues in your QuickBooks Desktop.

What are DB file fragments?

DB file fragments are:

  • Discrete blocks of your hard drive in which Windows is storing your data file
  • A normal part of the operation of any program running under a Windows OS
  • A function of the hard drive on which your data file is stored

DB file fragments are not:

  • Created by QuickBooks Desktop or by the data manager
  • Corrupted blocks of your company data file
  • Causes or indications of damage in your data file
  • Related to QuickBooks Desktop users or how they log into the data file

Tip: Press F2 (or Ctrl + 1) in QuickBooks Desktop to see your DB file fragments count.

For more information, see the Microsoft Support Center.

How do DB file fragments affect QuickBooks Desktop operation?

  • Fragmentation is neither a cause of nor an indication of damage in your company data file.
  • Fragmentation is not a reason to reinstall QuickBooks Desktop or to reenter data.
  • Excessive fragmentation can compromise performance because QuickBooks Desktop (and other applications) must read multiple blocks on your hard drive to retrieve data from a single file. Some guidelines are:
    • DB fragments fewer than 100 usually do not affect QuickBooks performance.
    • If your DB fragments are more than 100, you should defragment your server/host hard drive.

Reduce DB file fragments

Caution: Do not use the procedures in this article if your server/host has a solid state drive (SSD). This type of drive should not be defragmented.

Check if your computer has a Solid State Drive (SSD)

Windows 10

  1. From your keyboard, press the Windows logo.
  2. Enter Optimize, then select Defragment and Optimize Drives.
  3. The Optimize Drives window opens.
  4. The Media type column tells you if your computer is running SSD or HDD.

Short term: Manually defragment your server/host hard drive

Important: Disk defragmenting can take a long time to complete, especially if the disk has not been defragged for a long time. It may be best to run it overnight or even over the weekend.

  1. In your company file, press F2 and record the number of DB file fragments.
  2. Follow the instructions at the Microsoft Support Center.
  3. Repeat Step 2 then note the difference in the number of DB file fragments.

Long term: Set your server/host to defragment automatically.

You can set most Windows computers to defrag automatically.

Create and restore a Portable Company File (PCF)

If you cannot defragment your server/host hard drive (the server is too busy or you do not have permissions) you can Create and restore a Portable Company File (PCF).

This technique can reduce DB file fragments because it creates a new copy of your company data file which Windows stores on the hard drive. Be aware that:

  1. If the new file is stored in a less-fragmented portion of your drive, the DB file fragments could decrease.
  2. If the new file is stored in a more-fragmented portion of your drive, the DB file fragments could increase.

You must create and restore the PCF on your server/host, which means that you must have the full QuickBooks program installed on your server/host, not just the QuickBooks data manager. If you copy your data file to a workstation, create and restore the PCF, then copy your file back to your server/host, then the DB file fragments may not change.

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