Saturday, March 5, 2011

2 Easy Steps to Maintain a Healthy, Lean, and Fast QuickBooks file

I recently worked with a client whose QuickBooks reports were running slow, the file had lost data integrity, and upgrading was dicey. Now, the date file is healthy and the reports are running fast again. If your QuickBooks reports are running slow don't ignore it! Your data file may be seriously unstable, damaged,or fragmented. The good news is that it is really easy to check your fileand that fixing it is usually easy too.
1. Check for file damage, go to File > Utilities > Verify Data. The utility will tell if you the data file is damaged and lead you to the Rebuild utility. Do this repeatedly until the Verify Data tells you that there are no problems with data file integrity. (Verify and rebuild your company file)
2. Check for file fragmentation, press F2. The Product Information window will tell you the "DB File Fragments".If the DB Fragments are higher than 10, create and restore a portable company file
(Replace your company file with a restored portable company file)
I followed Liz Fleming's advice in this Intuit "Friend to Friend" podcast, where she talks about keeping her client's data file fragments at less than 10.
How high can the BD File Fragments go before the file starts running slowly, or starts slowly losing data integrity? The answer depends on who you ask, in this Intuit online support article the author says "if the number of file fragments is greater than 100 it could indicate your hard drive is badly fragmented". (Defragment your Hardrive (these instructions are for Windows))
The solutions:
Verify and rebuild your company file
Replace your company file with a restored portable company file
Defragment your Hardrive (these instructions are for Windows)
Upgrading QuickBooks? Make sure your data file is healthy before you do it!


  1. Liz Fleming who authored DB File Fragments in the "Friend to Friend" podcast told me this today:
    "I read QB Support notes for “Create & Restore portable” and it’s a bit “scary”. They left out a huge, key step in my opinion! That is: use F2 and copy the File Location or write it down so you can be sure you RESTORE the file to the proper location whether you are creating a new file or covering up the original file. I don’t let my clients do this without me because if it's done wrong it can make a HUGE mess. Call me a control freak but . . .

  2. I had many hours of upgrade troubles to Quickbooks 2011, it would constantly freeze or lock up during my database upgrade. I backed up, verified data, and attempted several times with no avail. Lastly I opened the sample 2011 company file and then performed a quickbooks update, restarted, and then my database upgraded successfully :)

  3. Great article. This is what I do with my clients who experience problems and I will vouch it works.

    Clients tend to not defrag their computers also, and tend to just blame QuickBooks. Once all is done, they go back to loving their QB software.

    Diane Offutt, EA, MAcc
    Accounting Connections, LLC
    Woodstock, GA 30189

  4. Thanks,Great information. Don't know how I missed this but really needed to have it.

  5. Great tips - I hadn't heard about the "DB file fragments" before! I created a portable file and restored it as suggested, and it fixed my back up issue! Thank you!

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