How to Back Up Your QuickBooks Data Tip

Configuring Backups in QuickBooks

Backing up your QuickBooks data is an incredibly important task and you should do it daily. And at least once a week, use removable media (flash drive, CD, DVD) as an additional backup. You can create a manual backup, an automatic backup, or you can schedule your daily backups. Using the scheduled or automatic backups of your company file is preferred—no excuses, no waiting around the office, no possibility that you will forget to do the back up.

An automated backup takes place either while working in QuickBooks you open a different company file or close your company file, or if you exit QuickBooks. Even if you set up the automated backup for every four or five times you close, this can becomes an annoying event. If you have created scheduled backups and you create a manual backup whenever you perform a major task on your file, it’s not necessary to use the automated backup feature.

If you decide to use the preferred QuickBooks scheduled backups feature, the best time to schedule a backup is at night, when nobody is using the software. However, that plan doesn’t work unless you remember to make sure your computer is running when you leave the office. If you’re on a network, schedule the backup from the QuickBooks software installed on the computer that holds the company file. Make sure that computer is running when you leave the office. Also, before you leave, make sure you close QuickBooks (or close all company files if you leave the software running) because open files can’t be backed up.

To configure your QuickBooks backups:

  1. Choose File | Create Backup from the QuickBooks menu bar.
  2. In the Create Backup dialog, select Local Backup.
  3. Click the Options button to set default options for the backup.
  4. Click the Browse button to select the location for your backups. [The optimum location is a USB drive, a CD/DVD, or a drive on another computer on your network (if you have a network). If you select a local drive, QuickBooks will issue a warning message when you click OK. QuickBooks does this because the whole purpose of a backup is to restore data when the computer dies.]
  5. Choose Add The Date And Time Of The Backup To The File Name if you want to be able to identify which backup was made when.
  6. Select the verification setting you want by choosing from the options listed in the Select An Option To Verify If Your Company Data Is OK When You Save.
  7. Click OK to save these settings and then click Next to continue, which will open the When Do You Want To Save Your Backup Copy page.
  8. To only do a manual back up, choose Save It Now. QuickBooks opens the Save Backup Copy dialog with your location selected, and the backup filename in the File Name field. Click Save.
  9. To set up automatic—not scheduled—backups, choose Only Schedule Future Backups. A dialog displays an option to back up your company data file ever X times that you close that file (where X is a frequency you select). Click Finish.
  10. To configure scheduled backups click New to open the Schedule Backup dialog. You can give the backup a descriptive name if you like.
    • Enter a location for the backup file by clicking Browse, choosing the location, and clicking OK.
    • If you don’t want to overwrite the last backup file every time a new backup file is created, select the option Number Of Backup Copies To Keep, and specify the number.
    • Create the schedule for backups by selecting a time and frequency and click OK to save these settings.
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