How To Create a Portable Company File In Quickbooks

quickbooks-012-480x312Portable company files (.qbm) offer a fast and effective way for Quickbooks users to transfer or otherwise move their data. If you want to email your data to a business partner, for instance, you can save the information as a portable file and attach it to the email. There’s no need to worry about trying to run and save a full backup file, as portable files are easier to create and take far less time.

What Is a Portable Company File?

Think of a portable company file as a barebones version of your Quickbooks data. Unlike a full backup, portable company files do not contain elements like letters, images, logos, templates, etc. Instead, they contain only critical data that’s absolutely necessary. By stripping out unnecessary elements, portable company files are typically a fraction of the size of a full backup, making them the preferred method for emailing and transferring Quickbooks data.

Intuit also recommends the use of portable company files to troubleshoot errors when traditional methods, such as verify and build, are not enough. Each time you restore a portable company file, Quickbooks re-indexes the file, which in turn may identify and solve certain types of errors and bugs.

Whether you’re trying to email/transfer data, troubleshoot a problem, or if you simply want to protect your Quickbooks data in the event of a crash, you can follow the steps listed below to create a portable company file. It’s a quick and easy process that should only take a couple minutes to complete. With that said, portable company files should not serve as a substitute to full backup since they don’t contain all of the elements found in an account.

Steps To Creating a Portable Company File:

  1. Launch Quickbooks
  2. Choose File from the drop-down menu, followed by Copy.
  3. Click on the option titled Portable Company File and select Next.
  4. Choose the desired location for your portable company file (eg: hard drive, USB flash drive, CD, DVD, etc.)
  5. Double-check ensure the file format is correct (all portable company files save as .qbm extension).
  6. Click OK to save the file and close the window.
  7. Quickbooks will now close and re-open while simultaneously building your portable company file. It’s important for users to click OK, as selecting the Cancel prevents Quickbooks from closing; thus, stopping the creation of the portable company file.
  8. Once Quickbooks restarts, your portable company file should be complete.
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