If your computer is damaged, data is corrupted or a natural disaster occurs, you could lose accounting information that's critical to your business. To prevent this from happening, back up your QuickBooks data on a regular basis and save it on a separate physical device or to the cloud. If you do lose data, you can restore the company file to the same computer or a different one.
Create a Backup File
A backup file contains all the elements you'll need to create your QuickBooks environment from scratch. To back up a file, complete the following steps:
- In the File menu, select Back Up Company, then Create Local Backup.
- Choose Local Backup. Click on the Options icon to open the Backup Options Window.
- Select Browse and determine where you want the backup saved. It's critical that you save the backup in a place you can access even if your physical computer is damaged. If you want to back up to a CD, insert a CD into the computer tray and select the CD drive in My Computer. If you want to save to a flash drive or external drive, plug in the drive and select External Drive under My Computer.
- Click on the location you want to save the backup and select OK, then Next.
- Select Save It Now, then Finish.
Don't leave the device with the backup file in the office. Instead, bring it home with you every night. That way, if a fire or other disaster occurs, the device will remain intact.
Restore a Backup File
In the event that you lose data, you can restore your QuickBooks backup file to any computer that has QuickBooks installed on it. To restore a backup file, follow these steps:
- Insert the device -- such as a flash drive, external drive or CD -- that the backup is installed on.
- Launch QuickBooks. Under the File menu, select Open or Restore Company. QuickBooks will launch a restore wizard.
- Select Restore a Backup Copy and click Next. Under backup type, select Local Backup and click Next.
- When the Open Backup Copy window opens, navigate to the device that holds the backup file. Click on the backup file and select Open, then Next.
- Select Save to convert and open the restored QuickBooks file.
Based in San Diego, Calif., Madison Garcia is a writer specializing in business topics. Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University.