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Level 4

condense a file

I have a file with 11 years of data.  It is at 200 MB and getting sluggish.  There are companies online that advertise a "supercondense" service.  Is this any better than the build in condense function? (Which Intuit employees who post here say should not be used)

Community Champion

condense a file

I seriously doubt a real intuit employee would say do not use the intuit option.


The condense utility has supposedly been improved along with recent updates and intro of 2019 back in October. The biggest hog of space is usually the audit log and that has been addressed in the new condense process. I would not pay for something that is already  included but I would work from a duplicate backup, keeping an untouched copy in reserve.  The condense utility may include a step of backing up but an extra never hurts.

Community Champion

condense a file

What version of QBs?


QB2019 allows you to condense and split off data into two files.  So, in theory, you can go back and get the old data if you want.


But having said that, you can use the regular Condense in all the other versions of QBs and with some simple file management, always have the option to go back if you need to.  (How often have you had to go back for a specific entry from 11 years ago??)


I keep a Zipped copy of my QBs file with each years files anyway, but if you don't start now.


So in a couple of months after you've finished all your entries, have all the corrections from the Accountant, etc., etc. then make a Backup and close QBs.  Then COPY the QBs file (company_name.QBW) and the Backup File (company_name_date.QBB into an Archive folder and rename them to something like 2018 company_name.QBW and 2018 company_name_date.QBB (date is intentionally first for sorting). 


I wouldn't put the Archive folder in with your current QBs as the folders may change if you upgrade QBs.  I'd create a separate QuickBooks Archive. 


Once that's done, open QBs again and go to File; Utilities; Condense Data.  Pick a date, maybe before 01/01/12 (7 years ago) and let QBs condense the data.  (Since you'll have the other files to go back to if you really ever do need to, you could only save maybe 5 years back if you need a smaller file.)


Every year you'll do the same thing.  AND...  ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR COMPUTER AND THESE FILES.  Doesn't help to do this and then have the one hard drive all your data is on crash.


Community Champion

condense a file

An additional point to remember, if you condense including a just completed year that condensing will not be complete as open AR, AP and payroll and sales tax liabilities will not be condensed

Level 4

condense a file

Thank you for the replies.  This is good information.

I have 2016 so it sounds like I might need to consider upgrading to 2019.  (I don't use payroll or online banking so I usually just update every 4 years.)  Then I can get rid of the audit log and leave the last 5 - 7 years of info intact.

Level 15

condense a file

I don't know why Employees that post here would tell you not to use a tool that is provided in the program. There are some housekeeping tasks that are required for the Condense to work well, but I use it nearly every year, on customer files, and on one large file, we condense every 3 years or so, keeping the most recent 5 years every time for comparison and performance reporting. The tool is provided, so that you can use it.

Level 2

condense a file

Has anyone used the new condense feature in 2019 Enterprise? Any pros/cons or issues to be aware of? We are working with a 10 year old company file that hasn't been condensed in any way.

QuickBooks Team

condense a file

Hi there, @sevans.


Thanks for reaching us out today, I can provide some details about the condense feature of QuickBooks Enterprise 2019.


The Condense Data utility helps streamline your company data file. If you are having performance issues, the Condense Data utility should help you improve your QuickBooks performance. However, before condensing, make sure it's the best option for your company. Condensing cannot be undone at a later point. 


Here are some valid reasons to Condense:

  • You have a large data file.
  • You are nearing a list limit.
  • You have upgraded all your hardware.
  • Your accountant and your technical support have discussed other options and are willing to proceed with Condensing.

To learn more about this process, please check out this article for your reference: Use the Condense Data utility.


This should provide the information you need about the Condense feature of QuickBooks Enterprise, @sevans.


Please let me know if I can be of additional assistance. I'll be around to help you out. Have a great day!

Level 2

condense a file

@BettyJaneB, Thanks, I've skimmed that Help article, but find it a little confusing. The content is structured as follows:

  • Use the Condense Data Utility  (title)
    • Quickbooks 2019 New Option (section)
    • What you need to know about Condense Data utility (section)
    • How to use Condense Data utility (section)
      • For Quickbooks Desktop 2018 and earlier (sub-section)


To me, it reads as if someone dropped 2019 features teaser into an old article.


Is the "What you need to know..." section referring to 2018 feature set, or 2019 audit trail only, or both? 


In the "How to use..." section, there's no subsection for 2019. 


Hopefully someone who's used 2019's remove audit trail feature will add some useful perspective. 


QuickBooks Team

condense a file

I appreciate your prompt response, @sevans.


Allow me to provide clarifications with this Condense Data feature in QuickBooks Desktop.


The What you need to know section is a gentle reminder to all QuickBooks Desktop 2019 users before condensing a file. While, the How to use Condense Data utility refers to the instructions that the QuickBooks Desktop 2018 and earlier users should follow. 


On the other hand, the remove audit trail feature will further lower the size of your file.


Also, I'd encourage you to send any suggestions you may have to help us improve our product. This way our developers will be able to determine features that need to be added in future updates. 


In order for them to account your suggestions, please follow these steps on your QuickBooks Desktop account:

  1. Click the Help menu bar.
  2. Scroll down to Send Feedback Online.
  3. Select Product Suggestion.
  4. Choose Product Suggestion for the Type of Feedback.
  5. Product Area is optional.
  6. Enter your suggestion.
  7. Click Send Feedback.

Keep me posted if you have any other questions. I'll make sure to get back to you. Wishing you and your business continued success.

Level 2

condense a file

Hi I hope you can help my husband and I. We have been using qb since 1998.   

Original File size 106 MG After condensed, say's 72 MG (reduced by 32%)


After reading your above posts, when I downloaded the QB PRO 2019, it  popped up if we wanted  to condense. (think it said audit one, We said ok and it said it went successful)

Issues Found 4258 

Errors we fixed

error 136  (216)

error 165 (788)    

error 166 (24 

error 292 (76)

error 293 (3,154)

I took a screen shot of this and it did have a link to read the article, but I didn't click to look.  :(

Thanks for helping in advance. 


Below I posted somewhere else.  I have MS and not to familiar with this websight.


Bed this below this morning. 

I had QB pro 2016 and was informed that I had to update to qb pro 2019 by the end of March as Payroll would not work anymore using the qb pro 2016.  I purchased and downloaded 2019.  

1/13/19.  It suggested to condense and rebuild.   Shows   the condensed version was successful. Showed 4258 issues found 

error 136  216 errors

error 165 (788 errors

error 166 (24 errors)

error 292 (76 errors)

error 293 (3,154 errors)   

QB stated everything was up and running - However I went to print the balance sheet for the accountant and the INVENTORY was in the negative.  EVERY YEAR PRIOR INVENTORY CHANGED TOO! QB stated it backed up the company file prior to this.  Should I have to restore it back to that one?  OR I purchased the CD with the download just in case.  Should I install the qb pro 2019 CD, then restore my backup? 


My husband has been using the computer since Jan 13th, and all these current backups are not correct.  The inventory currently shows NEGATIVE -$20,000 I am in panic mode. We are a small business just my husband.  I have to give acct copy by 6 days..  


Most important ?BEFORE I do anything, I don't want to wipe out everything from 1/13-through today That mt husband has done.  Can I export invoices, bank recs etc before so we don't have to manually enter everything again. Thanks  


This glitch seems to be with the inventory account.  :( 

QuickBooks Team

condense a file

Hi there, @DarDar


I've seen that you've posted similar question in different threads, but i'd like to share some clarifications to get this concern sorted out. 


If you've tried performing the steps that were provided by my peers FritzF and Rasa-LilaM in these threads (1 and 2) and gets the same errors, I'd suggest running the QuickBooks Diagnostic tool. This can fix program-related issues like this. 


To do that:

  1. Download the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic tool.
  2. When prompted save the file on your Desktop.
  3. Close any open programs, then run the QBInstall tool.
  4. Restart your computer after running the QBInstall tool to ensure the components are properly updated.

To learn more about these process, please check out this article: QuickBooks Diagnostic Tool


If the issue persist after trying this procedure, I'd suggest reaching out to our Technical Care Team. They have the necessary tools to work with you to find out what exactly may be causing this issue.


To do that:

  1. In your browser, navigate to:
  2. Choose QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Select the issue or topic.
  4. Click the Green Phone button to get the support number.

Feel free to reach back out to me if you have any other questions about this concern. I'll make sure to get back to you as soon as I can. Have a lovely weekend!

Level 1

condense a file

Can you choose an effective date like 12/31/2017 so as not to lose 2018 or 2019 data if you run Condense file today?


condense a file

Thanks for joining the thread, jdavisSOWA,


Let me help share information about condensing QuickBooks company file.


In line with your question, yes you can choose an effective date that you stated as it will not lose your 2018 and 2019 data.


Before performing the said process, I'd also suggest that you'd create a backup file. This is to ensure that you'll have a backup copies of your files.


If you have further questions concerning your QuickBooks Desktop account, please let me know. I'm always here to answer it for you. Have a great day!

Level 1

condense a file

Thank you Mirriam,

I did not see a prompt to choose a date with the regular condense option (QuickBooks Premier 2019 Desktop). Do I have to select the custom option to do so?

Thank you,

Level 1

condense a file

Thank you, Mirriam.

I didn't see a prompt to choose a date with the condense option. Do I have to choose the custom option in order to do so?

I'm using QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit Edition 2019 for Windows (Desktop).

QuickBooks Team

condense a file

Hello there, @jdavisSOWA.


I appreciate you coming back to us for additional support. Allow me to join this thread and share how the Condense Utility Data works.


Please take note that condensing cannot be undone at a later point. If you wish to continue, follow the steps below:

  1. On the top menu, click File.
  2. Choose Utilities.
  3. Click Condense Data.
  4. Select the Remove the transactions you select from your company file radio-button and click Next.
  5. Choose Transactions before a specific date radio-button and enter 12/31/2017.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Continue the prompts on how you wish to condense and remove your data.
  8. Click Begin Condense.

For additional reference, you can refer to this link: Use the Condense Data utility.


That should guide you in condensing your data, @jdavisSOWA. Let me know how it goes or if you have any follow-up questions. I'm still here to help you further. Have a good one!

Level 1

condense a file

Hello, Does this condensing feature work for QB 2019 for Mac? Thanks in advance, Tracy

condense a file

Hi @TracyO,


As of the moment, you're unable to utilize the Condense Data utility for QuickBooks Desktop Mac with 2019 version.


But if you wish to proceed, you have the option to download a trial version of QuickBooks Desktop for Windows and convert your data from there.


To do so, you can visit our Downloads and Updates page for QuickBooks and then, you'll have to download a trial version of QuickBooks Desktop for Windows.


Once completed, you can follow the steps below so you can utilize the Condense Data utility for your company file:

  1. Got to File.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Click Condense Data.

In addition, here's an article you can read to learn more about condensing your company file's data: Use the Condense Data Utility.


Lastly, I'll be also adding an article for more information about your QuickBooks Desktop for Mac with 2019 version: Recent Changes, Improvements, and Fixes in QuickBooks Mac Desktop 2019.


As always, you can leave a comment below or start a new thread if you have any other concerns. I'll be keeping an eye for your response.

Level 4

condense a file

Is there an option to condense a QBO file?  Or somehow archive old transactions?  I'm trying to convert to desktop, but I think it keeps timing out in the middle of the file.  I get different trial balance numbers each time I try.


condense a file

Hello there, valprice1.


There are transactions that are not converted when switching from QuickBooks Online (QBO) to QuickBooks Desktop. This can be reason why you get a different trial balance numbers. To know more about this, refer to this article: What does and doesn't export from QBO to QBDT.


Once you're ready, you can follow the steps below to export you QBO data:

  1. Go to the Settings icon and select Export Data.
  2. Enter your reason for exporting and select Continue.
  3. In the Moving to QuickBooks Desktop section, select Learn more.
  4. From the Download company data section, select Learn more.
  5. Click Get started.
  6. Select Install ActiveX Control Now and follow the steps to install ActiveX.
  7. When it's finished, select Continue.
  8. Choose the data you want to export and then select Continue.
  9. Review the limitations and click Continue.
  10. Enter your contact info and then Continue.

For a complete guide on converting files from QBO to QBDT, check out this article: Export your QuickBooks Online data to QuickBooks Desktop.


If there's anything else that I can help you with, please let me know in the comment section down below. 

Level 4

condense a file

That isn't actually the problem.  I've done it 6 or 7 times now, often with QB support, and it fails.  Each time, it is different transactions that don't convert.  The first time, I didn't get ANY invoices from 2014-2017 and thousands of the 2018 invoices didn't convert.


As I noted in my original post, I get a different trial balance each time. 


I am aware that I can simply convert the lists and balances, but the client prefers not to do that.


Do you have an answer to the original question?  Is there a way to condense the file BEFORE exporting?


condense a file

Thanks for the update, valprice1.


Since none of the troubleshooting steps provided above resolve the issue, this time I'd recommend contacting our Customer Care Support Team. They can initiate a screen-sharing session in a secure environment, which we're unable to do so here in the Community for security reasons.


Here's how to contact support:

  1. On your QuickBooks Homepage, go to the Help menu.
  2. Choose QuickBooks Desktop Help.
  3. Tap the Contact us button.

Please come again to QuickBooks Community if you ever need assistance about your account. I'm here to keep helping. Take care.

Level 4

condense a file

As I said, I've already contacted Customer Support and I am waiting for the data support team to respond.


I appreciate that you are trying to help, but you still have not answered the question that I asked.  It is actually a pretty simple question.  

Is there a condense feature in QBO?  A simple yes or no response would be wonderful.  And if it is yes, pointing me to it would be great.


Sadly, it seems like the answer is no....


condense a file

Hi again, valprice1.


Right now, the condense feature is only available in QuickBooks Desktop. I understand how the workflow you're looking for is beneficial to your business. For the meantime, I'd recommend you contacting our Customer Care Support Team to help you converting your files. You can follow the steps I've provided above to reach them.


Though our Feedback Board has already closed, I can pass a request here on my end about this feature. For the time being, you can visit our blog and register to our Newsletter. This way, you’ll receive email updates about what new changes and features, and hopefully your suggestion would be one of them.


Touch base with me here and let me know how the call goes. Wishing you the best.

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