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Resolve QuickBooks Desktop performance issues: Manage your computers

Optimize your server and workstations to minimize performance issues in QuickBooks Desktop.

This is Part 1 of a series covering performance issues in QuickBooks Desktop and how to resolve them. If the steps outlined here do not resolve your issues, try the steps in the other

Enhance your computers

QuickBooks system requirements will support most QuickBooks users. If your computer system meets these specifications and still experience performance issues, increasing your available RAM may improve the condition. Remember that your goal is to increase the amount of RAM available to QuickBooks.

To know the amount of RAM needed for QuickBooks operations, multiply the size of your file in GB, by the number of users in the network. So, if your file size is 500 MB (0.5 GB) and you have 6 users, then you need 3 GB of RAM in your server. If you have only 2 GB and you are experiencing performance issues then consider upgrading your server to 3 GB of RAM..

Virtual Memory

  1. Increase a computer's Virtual Memory (VM) to 2 GB plus 2 GB for each major application running on the computer.
  2. Be sure that VM is running on an internal hard drive.
  3. If your server has multiple internal drives, store the data file on one drive and the VM on another drive.

Competing Programs

A competing program is one that is running at the same time QuickBooks is running. Each competing program requires RAM and processor capacity. You can see the competing programs by opening the Task Manager and clicking the Processes Tab.

  1. Shutdown programs and processes running on a computer. This enables the operating system to assign more RAM to QuickBooks.
  2. If you cannot shut down a competing program, move either QuickBooks or the competing program to another computer. A common example is the Exchange program that runs your e-mail system.
  3. In some systems, there are too many programs running on the Domain Server for QuickBooks to run efficiently. You should consider moving QuickBooks to another server.

RAM Improvements

  1. Add memory chips. If your server has four sockets, and 2 sockets have 1 GB DRAM chips, install two 1 GB DRAM chips in the empty sockets.
  2. Upgrade the existing memory chips, e.g., replace 1 GB DRAM chips with 2 GB DRAM chips.
  3. Increase workstation RAM.
  4. Be aware of your operating system's limits on the amount of RAM it supports.

Upgrade your operating system

If upgrading the RAM on your workstations and server does not resolve the issue, you may want to consider upgrading your operating system. Older operating systems have lower limits on the amount of RAM that they can support.

Upgrading Computers

If you decide to upgrade your server and/or workstations, please consider the following:

  1. Make sure that the computer that will store the file is a true server ( not a service like Dropbox ).
  2. Fill all of the RAM slots with the highest capacity chips.
  3. A 64-bit computer & operating system.
  4. A fast clock speed of 2.2 GHz or more.
  5. A fast hard drive rotational speed, e.g., 7,500 or 10,000 rpm, or a solid state drive.
  6. A fast Network Interface. A 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) card on your server can increase bandwidth.

Terminal Server

If you are running QuickBooks in a terminal server environment, you can estimate the amount of RAM on the server in two ways. The first is that you need 0.5 GB of addressable RAM for each user. If you have five users, you need 2.5 GB of RAM. The second way is:

  • For 5 users, you need 2-3 GB addressable RAM
  • For 10 users, you need 3-4 GB addressable RAM
  • For 15 users, you need 4-6 GB addressable RAM
  • For 20 users, you need 6-8 GB addressable RAM

Note: Intuit supports Terminal Services mode only for QuickBooks Enterprise.

Where to store your data file

  • Where you store your company data file can have a noticeable effect on the performance of QuickBooks.
  • You can set up a folder in your C: root directory to store your data file and ancillary files: C:\QBData\filename.qbw.
  • Remember to move the entire data folder when you need to move the data file.

Use a networked computer

  1. Store your company data file on an internal hard drive in a computer on your network.
  2. Use an external hard drives or a flash drive only to back up your data file.
  3. We do not recommend using a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive. QuickBooks for Windows is designed to store files on a computer with a Windows Operating System, or with a Windows compatible SAMBA share (Enterprise only).
  4. QuickBooks works with a server running a RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). Intuit does not recommend them because they have been linked with performance issues.

Non-Dedicated Server/Host

If you do not have a dedicated host or serer, use these criteria to decide on which workstation to save the file. Save your data file on the workstation that:

  1. Has the full QuickBooks program installed on it.
  2. Is used by the person doing the most work in QuickBooks, to minimize data transfer over the network.
  3. Has the most RAM.
  4. Has the fastest clock speed.
  5. Has the least non-QuickBooks activity.

Your Data Folder

When creating or moving files, QuickBooks uses these default locations:

Windows 7, 8, 10: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files

Optimize your network interface card (NIC) settings

View and Edit your NIC settings

Network interface card (NIC) settings can slow the transfer rate if you have duplex mismatches. A duplex mismatch occurs when one NIC is set to a specific link speed and duplex and is connected to a NIC set to a different value. A mismatch can reduce your bandwidth to a few Megabits per second (Mb/s). To avoid this issue, reset all of your NIC's Link Speed and Duplex to an automatic setting.

  1. Click the Microsoft Windows Start button, select Control Panel. (In older Windows versions, you need to select Settings before selecting Control Panel.)
  2. Double-click System and select the Hardware tab.
  3. Click Device Manager.
  4. Click the + next to Network adapters to expand the list.
  5. Right-click the NIC and select Properties.
  6. Click the Advanced tab.
  7. Under Property, select the Link Speed & Duplex option (the option may be called something else similar).
  8. Click the Value drop-down arrow and select Auto (the option on your NIC could be named something else).
  9. Click OK and close the window.

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