Was this page helpful?
Thank you!

Comments or suggestions?

Enter Email Address (optional)

Error: QuickBooks cannot open this file because it is not a valid QuickBooks portable company file

When attempting to restore a Portable Company File (QBM), you may see the error:

QuickBooks cannot open this file because it is not a valid QuickBooks portable company file.

Why this is happening
  • The Portable Company file was created with newer version of QuickBooks and is being restored in an earlier version of QuickBooks Desktop (i.e. created in QB2016 and being restored in QB2015)
  • The Portable Company file is damaged or had not downloaded completely
  • The file is not a Portable Company file (.QBM).
  • You are restoring a Portable Company to a network drive
How to fix it
  1. Restore the portable file with the correct version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Return to the source of the portable file:
    • If the file was emailed to you, return to your email.
    • If the file was burned to a CD/DVD, open the CD/DVD on your computer.
    • If the file was put on a USB or zip drive, open the drive on your computer.
  3. View the portable company in its original source and ensure that the file extension shows as .QBM (NOTE: In an email, it is possible that the file extension won't show); proceed with the step 4.
    • If file extensions are not visible, they can be turned on:
      1. From the Start, select My Computer.
      2. From the Tools menu, select Folder Options.
      3. Select the View tab.
      4. Unmark Hide extensions for known file types.
    • If an extension other than .QBM is visible, this is not a portable company file; determine what type of file this is and proceed as appropriate.
  4. Move/save the portable company file to your Desktop:
  5. Rename it to something very simple, like ABC.QBM.
  6. Restore the portable file, and save the restored to your Desktop as well, again with a very simple name like ABC.QBW.
  7. If the error message persists, please obtain a new copy of the portable file and use a different media (e-mail, CD, drive) to transport it to your computer.


KB ID# SLN42207
3/30/2017 1:28:51 PM
QYPPRDQBKSWS05 9138 Pro 2017 683595