Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Heights Woodworking
Level 2

Deleting a condensed transaction

I took over ownership of a company about 18 months ago. As I took over the quickbooks file, somehow I agreed to "condense" the transactions for very old files. These files are transactions made by the previous owner and in some cases almost 20 years old. When I try to remove them from my General Ledger, however, I get the message that "This transaction is the result of cleaning up past transactions. This type of transaction cannot be deleted." So, my balance sheet is all screwed up because I have decades old transactions and bank accounts etc. that I can't remove. Surely there is some way to fix this. Any ideas?

8 Comments 8
Not applicable

Deleting a condensed transaction

There's a way to remove these old transactions, Heights Woodworking.


To clean up old data, please follow the steps below on how remove transactions from the Condense Data utility. Please note that this isn't reversible. Therefore, please save a backup copy of your company file. 

  1. Click on the File menu.
  2. Choose Utilities.
  3. Select Condense Data.
  4. Choose Remove the transactions you select from your company file and click on Next.
  5. Choose what transactions do you want to remove and click on Next
  6. Choose how should transactions be summarized.
  7. Choose how should inventory be condensed.
  8. Choose the following transactions to be removed.
  9. Choose the following unused list entries to be removed.
  10. Click on Begin Condense.

Go back to your reports to see if the old transactions were deleted. 


Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks! 

Level 15

Deleting a condensed transaction

@Heights Woodworking


Condense only works accurately about 60% of the time in my experience.  After the condense the financial reports from before the condense and after should be compared and if not in agreement, either go back and use the original file or figure out how to correct them.

The theory is that condense looks at the transactions before the condense date and summarizes them into one entry.  As a result, QB sets that entry as permanent.  Basically the summary is an opening balance for that account for the accounting file going forward.

You do not say whether the balance sheet is in balance or not, and this is just cluttering issue

You say, I have decades old transactions and bank accounts

Having used condense there should not be old transactions present unless they were open as of the date of the condense.  and if so then subsequent entries would close them, pay the bill receive payment etc.

If the old bank accounts are zero balance, then set the report to not show zero balance accounts and/or make them inactive.  If as the result of the condense the old account now has a balance, and it did not before the condense,  I would look for a closing entry for that account, at some point the balance had to be zero, either all used or a balance transferred to a new bank account.

All that said, no one on the net is going to be able to say what to do, someone would need to sit down with the company file to figure that kind of thing out.

if it were me, since 18 months have gone by,  I would locate the back up of the original file, I hope you kept it.  Assuming the back up existed, I would buy the first two utilities on this page.  First use data transfer to move all current (the last 18 months worth) of transactions to the old file.  Check the financial statements in the old file, and once they are correct.  Follow the directions on that web site for those two utilities to make a new current file to use going forward.  Those two utilities do work accurately to get this done.
I am not affiliated.

Heights Woodworking
Level 2

Deleting a condensed transaction

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I do not have the old file. What I do have is perhaps not "Transactions" but entire accounts that do not belong to me. How do I get rid of them? I can make them inactive, but they still affect the balance sheet, which no is not anywhere close to balanced. 


Thank you for your help. I suspect I might need to create a new company file. 


Vaughan Scully/Heights Woodworking 

Heights Woodworking
Level 2

Deleting a condensed transaction

Hi. I already have these condensed files that I am trying to delete. How can I DELETE a condensed file. I don't want them. They are from a previous business that has no relation to mine. Do I need to create a new company file and if so, how do I exclude the condensed transactions?




Vaughan Scully/Heights Woodworking


Deleting a condensed transaction

Hi there, Heights Woodworking.


Thanks for coming back and providing us more details of your concern. I'm here to help you some more.


Since you don't have the old file, I suggest manually creating a new company file in QuickBooks Desktop.


Here's how:

  1. Go to the File menu.
  2. Click New Company.
  3. From the EasyStep Interview window, select Start Interview.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter the information for your new company file.

Here's an article to learn more about creating company file in QuickBooks Desktop: Create QuickBooks Desktop company file.


Once done, you can export and import your list from your old company file to the new one. For more details about this, please check out this link: Export or import files.


Feel free to get in touch with our QuickBooks Care Team if you need help as you go through these steps.


Here's  how you can reach them:

  1. Go to
  2. Select QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Choose your QuickBooks for Windows version.
  4. Click Search for something else and enter a topic.
  5. Click the Get Phone Number button to see the support number.

That's it. Please keep me posted if you have any additional questions, as I'm always here to help.

Level 15

Deleting a condensed transaction

@Heights Woodworking


You didn't tell us if the Purchase was the Entity. If you did not Buy the Entity, this was never your file; nothing in there is yours. A New FEIN needs a New file. You don't get the old Asset basis or deprecation. If you bought, for instance, the Shares to a corporation, then everything carries on, as only the Shareholder changed.


You should work with your own CPA to understand what matters, here.

Heights Woodworking
Level 2

Deleting a condensed transaction

Thank you very much for your response. It was a sale of assets. I may not have done a very good job bringing the customer list etc. over into a new quickbooks file. What I have now is almost all mine, but there are these nagging little shreds from many years ago that have nothing to do with me - long closed bank accounts/employees etc. - that have nothing to do with me but when I go to delete them I get an error message saying they cannot be edited. They show up on my balance sheet even though I made them inactive, and I just want to get rid of them. Maybe making a new company file is the way to go.



Level 15

Deleting a condensed transaction

"It was a sale of assets."


You cannot use that old file, that is not Yours. That isn't not your Entity, your History, your basis, and not even your payroll or Banking.


This Requires a new file.


"I may not have done a very good job bringing the customer list etc. over into a new quickbooks file."


From the old file: File menu > Utilities, Export, Lists, select Customers. In the new file: File menu > Utilities, Import, Lists.

Need to get in touch?

Contact us