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:

  1. In the File menu, select Back Up Company, then Create Local Backup.
  2. Choose Local Backup. Click on the Options icon to open the Backup Options Window.
  3. 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.
  4. Click on the location you want to save the backup and select OK, then Next.
  5. 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:

  1. Insert the device -- such as a flash drive, external drive or CD -- that the backup is installed on.
  2. Launch QuickBooks. Under the File menu, select Open or Restore Company. QuickBooks will launch a restore wizard.
  3. Select Restore a Backup Copy and click Next. Under backup type, select Local Backup and click Next.
  4. 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.
  5. Select Save to convert and open the restored QuickBooks file.