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Troubleshoot portable file problems

Try this first

If you have difficulty creating or opening a portable file, check for the following:

  • Did you click Cancel instead of OK when creating the portable file? Before QuickBooks begins creating the portable file, it prompts you to click OK so that it can close the company file and build the portable file. If you click Cancel, QuickBooks stops trying to create the portable file so that you can continue working in the current company file.

  • Did you open the company file using the Open or Restore Company wizard? The wizard uncompresses the file and then rebuilds your company file—you cannot open the portable file directly or change its file extension (.qbm); the file must be uncompressed by QuickBooks using the wizard.

    1. Go to the File menu and click Open or Restore Company.

    2. Click Restore a portable file and then click Next.

    3. Click the Look in drop-down list and choose the location where your portable file is stored.

    4. Select the portable file (.qbm) and click Open.

    5. Continue restoring normally.

  • Are you using a removable storage device such as a CD or USB flash drive? Try copying the portable file (.qbm) to your hard disk first, and then use the Open or Restore Company wizard to restore the portable file from the file location on your hard disk.

    1. Go to the File menu and click Open or Restore Company.

    2. Click Restore a portable file and then click Next.

    3. Click the Look in drop-down list and choose the location where your portable file is stored.

    4. Select the portable file (.qbm) and click Open.

    5. Continue restoring normally.

    If the CD, USB flash drive, or other media is damaged and the file won't copy, or if you continue to experience other problems restoring the file, do not run SCAN DISK or any other disk-repair utility. The portable file is a compressed file, and while a repair utility may fix a damaged sector on the disk, it will cause further problems with the portable file, and the file still won't restore.

Common questions

  • What does a portable company file contain?

    A portable file contains only your company file financial data. Unlike a backup file, it doesn't contain related files such as letters, logos, images, and templates. It also doesn't contain a transaction log (.tlg file) which can be used to restore transaction data with the help of Intuit Technical Support, if damage or loss occurs.

  • When do I use a backup vs. a portable company file?

    Use backups to protect against accidental loss of data

    To safeguard your QuickBooks data against accidental loss, create regular backups of your QuickBooks company file. The backup contains everything you need to re-create your company file and QuickBooks environment, including all of the QuickBooks files (templates, letters, logos, images, and so on) related to your company file.

    In case of accidental loss or damage, you can use the backup file to restore your company data. A backup file also includes a transaction log (.tlg file) which Intuit Technical Support can use to recover transaction data if damage or loss occurs. Unlike a portable file, a backup file is very large and cannot be emailed. It is not recommended as a means of moving company data, unless you have a new computer and need to move all of your related files as well. The backup file is saved with a .qbb extension.

    Use a portable company file to email or move your data

    To email or move your company data, create a portable company file. A portable company file is a compact version of your company file, small enough to be sent by email or saved to portable media. Use a portable company file whenever you need to copy your company data to another location or send it to another person.

    Unlike a backup file, a portable file contains only a compressed version of the company file financial data—it doesn't contain related files such as letters, images, templates, and so on. It also doesn't contain a transaction log (.tlg file) and is not always the best option for a synced company file. The portable file is saved with a .qbm extension.

    See also

  • Why does it take so long to open the portable company file?

    When you restore the portable company file—which is a compressed version of your company file—QuickBooks must first uncompress the file and then rebuild your company file in order for you to use it.
  • Can I merge changes back into my company file?

    No. Be sure you don't need to work in the company file at the same time as the person you are sending it to. Changes made by the other person cannot be merged into your existing company file.

For additional help

Visit the Portable File forum on the Go online QuickBooks Community site. Many QuickBooks customers use the QuickBooks Community to ask and answer questions, share tips and advice, and act as peer support.

See also

KB ID# H_PORTFILE_TROUBLESHOOT
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