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Intuit

Resolve QuickBooks Desktop performance issues: Manage your data file

If you have issues with the performance of your QuickBooks Desktop, your company file may be the root cause. You have options to resolve such issues.

QuickBooks' performance decreases as the size of the company file increases. There are no actual limits on the size of your company data file.  Performance issues can happen if your network can't hande large data files.

This is Part 2 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 the other articles:

Before you continue, make sure the QuickBooks installations and the Database Server Manager on the host or server, are up to date. To update QuickBooks, check out Update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release. To update the QuickBooks Database Server Manager, see Install, Update, and Set up the QuickBooks Database Server Manager.

Recommendations to resolve performance issues

Set company and personal preferences


Automatic pop-ups appear in QuickBooks and sometimes cause a slow response. To avoid this, you can turn off auto pop-ups in QuickBooks preferences. Here’s how.

Note: If you’re in Multi-user, make sure to switch to Single-user mode.

Company and Personal Preferences

As you change preference areas, save any modifications you’ve made before going to the next preference. Select Yes when you're prompt to save your preference changes.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼ dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Bills, then select Company Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck the Warn about duplicate bill numbers from the same vendor checkbox.
  5. Select OK.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Items and inventory, then select Company Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck the Warn about duplicate purchase order numbers checkbox.
  5. Select OK.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Sales & Customers, then select Company Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck the checkboxes for:
    • Warn about duplicate invoice numbers
    • Warn about duplicate Sales Order numbers
  5. Select OK.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼ dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Search, then select Company Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck the Update automatically checkbox.
  5. Select OK.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Desktop View, then select My Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck the Show homepage when opening a company file checkbox.
  5. Select OK.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Reminders, then My Preferences tab.
  4. Uncheck the Show Reminders List when opening a company file checkbox.
  5. Select OK.

  1. Sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to the Edit ▼ dropdown menu, then select Preferences.
  3. Select Reports & Graphs, then select My Preferences tab.
  4. In the Reports & Graph section, select Don’t Refresh.
  5. Select the Prompt me to modify report options before opening a report checkbox.
  6. Select OK.

  1. From the Help menu, choose Update QuickBooks.
  2. Select the Options tab.
  3. In the Automatic Updates section, select No.
  4. Select Close.
  5. Select OK.

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. All of these options are complex and require a lot of time and work. You can:

  • Truncate your company file. This capability is not built into QuickBooks, and we don't offer truncation as a service. You can remove transactions up to certain dates and then set up opening balances as of that date. You can send your company file to a third party vendor to truncate your data. Fees may apply. For US only, if you truncate your file in a previous calendar year, it shouldn't affect DIY with DD payroll. If you have Assisted Payroll, consult Payroll Support before you  truncate your file.
  • Start a new company file.
    • US only: When you start a new company file, it won't affect Desktop Payroll DIY with Direct Deposit. If you have Assisted Payroll, consult 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 option to delete all transactions. This leaves you with a shell that has only your lists. (applies to US only)
      2. Create a new file from scratch. This sounds simple, but can be a lot of work and will take time.
        1. In the old file, go to File, then select New Company. Follow the wizard that appears.
        2. In the old file, export your lists. Open the files and clean them up. Delete any inactive list or list entries you don't need. See Export or import IIF files for steps to export your lists.
        3. Import your clean files into the new file. See IIF Overview: import kit, sample files and headers.
        4. Set up the opening balances. Go to the QuickBooks App Store to find utilities that will do this for you. Fees may apply.

Optimize QuickBooks operations

  1. Reduce your DB File Fragments. Excessive DB File Fragments can degrade the performance of your computer. See Database (DB) file fragments for more info.
  2. Resort your Primary Name List (customers, vendors, employees and other names), your Chart of Accounts and your Item List. Do this to your lists weekly. Use steps from: Qbwin.log: Verify Account Balance failed.
  3. Verify your company file weekly. See Resolve data damage on your company file.
  4. Transaction log files (TLG ) keep track of changes to the file since the last backup. Large TLG files can cause performance issues. Don't delete the TLG file. Instead, make a manual backup with full verification to reset the TLG.
  5. Since QuickBooks Desktop re-indexes the data when it restores a portable company file, create and restore a portable company file. See Create or restore a QuickBooks portable company file for details.
  6. Don't enter zero lines on transactions. A zero line (with a zero price or quantity) adds another target to your data file and increases the size of your data file. Zero lines slow QuickBooks' performance and, if you run cash basis reports with inventory, your COGS could be wrong.
  7. Run accrual reports instead of cash: Many transactions, i.e. more than 50,000, tend to degrade the Sybase Sequel server. Cash basis reports take longer to run because QuickBooks must check transactions' links to determine what is paid and unpaid.
  8. If QuickBooks runs slowly when doing payroll, have other users log off and perform payroll tasks in single-user mode.
  9. Close QuickBooks windows that aren't in use.
  10. Clear the queues of forms you want to print or email.
  11. If you're the only user in the data file, switch to single-user mode.
  12. Reboot your workstations daily.
  13. Sign out of the data file when it's not in use and don't stay signed in to the company file overnight
  14. Perform long tasks in off-peak hours (e-mail or print batches of invoices or statements) in the off-hours (before normal hours, lunch time or overnight)so they don't take resources from other users.
  15. Optimize reports. When you run reports, it draws together a lot of data. If you optimize reports and print reports, it can save a lot of time and resources. The Sales Tax Liability Report and the General Ledger report tend to be long reports. 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.
  16. Turn off the built in search indexing in QuickBooks Desktop (Edit > Preferences > Search > Company Preferences > (Uncheck) Update Automatically) and rename the <Filename>.qbw.SearchIndex folder.
    IMPORTANT:
    • Quickbooks auto creates <Filename>.qbw.SearchIndex when QuickBooks Desktop search preference is set to automatic.  The program uses the contents of this folder to run a quick index search when you press F3 in a company file.
    • You can still search in your company file when you turn off the built in search index, but it will take longer. If your performance didn't improve when this is switch to off,  we recommend you turn it back ON.
    • You can find the .qbw.SearchIndex folder in the same location as your company file.
      Example: C:\Users\Public\PublicDocuments\Intuit\QuickBooks\CompanyFIles\CompanyFileName.qbw.SearchIndex

Maintain lists

Before you start:

  1. Create a backup of your data file.
  2. Know that once two entries are merged together, the merge can't be undone.
  3. Create an archive copy of your file. If you merge any list entries , open the archive copy to view the history.

List characteristics that can hinder performance

  • Your lists are approaching the list limits. Learn more about the maximum number of list entries (list limits and custom fields).
  • Your lists have a large number of inactive entries you don't use.
  • Your customer list has many jobs underneath customers.
  • Your account list has many sub-accounts.
  • Your item list has many sub-items.
  • The Customer, Vendor, and Employee centers have custom-sorted name lists. 

Custom Sorted Lists

  1. Open the Center (Customer Center, Vendor Center, etc.) that has performance issues.
  2. To the left of the Name column, ensure there is no diamond column.
  3. If there is a diamond column, click the diamond to remove it. You don't need to be in single-user mode to remove the diamond.
  4. Close the Center and reopen it.

Modify Lists

Chart of Accounts: If you use sub-accounts to track source of income or use of expenses, merge sub-accounts together or into the parent accounts and set up Classes to do tracking.

Item List: Merge together old and/or inactive items you don't sell. When you merge these items, they lose their identity. Be sure you have an archive copy with the history of each item.

Customer List: If your Customer:Job list have old jobs underneath Customers, merge them together. If you have old, inactive Customers merge them together. The merged customers and jobs lose their identity. Be sure you have an archive copy with the history of each customer.

Vendor List: If you have old, inactive Vendors, merge them together. The merged vendors lose their identity. Be sure you have an archive copy with the history of each vendor.

Employee List: If you have old, inactive Employees you no longer employ, merge them together. The merged employees lose their identity. Be sure you have an archive copy with the history of each employee.  This includes all of their tax forms up to date, printed and submitted to the appropriate tax agencies.

Are you using QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier?

Get even more advanced features by upgrading to QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. Give us a call at 888-566-4671 and see if it's right for you.

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