Basics of Backing Up the QuickBooks 2012 Data File - dummies

Basics of Backing Up the QuickBooks 2012 Data File

By Stephen L. Nelson

A critically important task that either you or some co-worker needs to complete is to back up the QuickBooks 2012 data file. Quite literally, the QuickBooks data file describes your business’s financial affairs. You absolutely don’t want to lose the data file.

Losing the data file, for example, might mean that you don’t know how much money you have, you don’t know whether you’re making or losing money, and you won’t be able to easily or accurately prepare your annual tax returns.

Fortunately, backing up the QuickBooks data file is rather straightforward. You need to complete only three steps:

  1. Choose the File→Create Copy command.

    QuickBooks displays the Save Copy or Backup dialog box, which provides three options: the option to save a backup copy of your QuickBooks file, the option to create a portable company file, and the option to create an accountant’s copy.

  2. You want to save a backup copy, so click the Backup Copy option button. Then click Next to continue.

    You can create either a full backup file or a portable company file when you copy the QuickBooks file. A portable company file is smaller than a backup file, so it’s more convenient to move around.

    For example, you can more easily e-mail a portable company file. The rub with portable company files is this: QuickBooks must work hard to scrunch the portable company file to a small size. QuickBooks also has to do more work to un-scrunch the file later on when you want to work with it.

    After you click Next, the Save Copy or Backup dialog box, shown in the illustration below, appears.

    You can just go directly to the Save Copy or Backup dialog box shown below by choosing the File→Create Backup command.


  3. Indicate whether you want to save your QuickBooks backup file onto your local company or QuickBooks offsite data center.

    Click Local Backup to indicate you want to store the backup copy of your file onto your computer’s hard disk.

  4. Click the Options button to choose a backup location.

    QuickBooks displays the Backup Options dialog box, as shown in the illustration below.


  5. Specify to which folder or disk location the company file should be backed up.

    You just enter a pathname directly into the box that tells where to save your backup copies.

  6. (Optional) Select your backup options.

    You can also use the Backup Options dialog box shown above to specify when QuickBooks should remind you to back up and how QuickBooks should back up:

    1. Timestamps: To add the date and time of the backup operation to the backup file’s name, select the Add the Date and Time of the Backup to the File Name checkbox.

    2. Limiting backup copies: To tell QuickBooks it should get rid of old backup copies, select the Limit the Number of Backup Copies in This Folder check box and then specify how many backup copies you want to keep by using the adjoining text box.

    3. Backup reminders: Select the Remind me to Back Up When I Close My Company File check box and the adjoining text box to specify that you want to be reminded to back up the QuickBooks file every time, every other time, every third time, and so forth, that you close QuickBooks.

    4. Data verification: Use the Verification buttons to tell QuickBooks that it should check for data integrity when it backs up your data. Mark the Complete Verification button for QuickBooks’ best and most comprehensive verification.

  7. Click OK when you finish specifying the backup location and options, and then click Next.

    QuickBooks displays a dialog box that asks when you want to back up.

  8. Decide when you want to back up.

    Typically, you want to back up when you choose the Save Copy or Backup command. You can, however, also tell QuickBooks to regularly schedule backups of the QuickBooks data file according to some clever scheme.

    If you tell QuickBooks that you want to schedule backups, QuickBooks displays a couple of dialog boxes you use to create the new schedule for backing up by naming the schedule and by telling the days and times that backups should be scheduled.

  9. Click Finish to close the Save Copy or Backup dialog box.

    After you’ve specified how the backup operation should work, click Finish. QuickBooks backs up (or creates a copy of) the current QuickBooks company file and stores that new file copy at the backup location.