How to Quickly Back Up QuickBooks 2016 - dummies

How to Quickly Back Up QuickBooks 2016

By Stephen L. Nelson

You’re busy. You don’t have time to fool around with QuickBooks. You just want to do a passable job of backing up, and you’ve decided how often you plan to do it. Sound like your situation? Then follow these steps:

1Insert a blank disk/disc into the appropriate drive.

You can back up to any removable disc, including flash memory devices, portable hard disks and writable CDs. However, note that Intuit (the maker of QuickBooks) recommends that you not use the QuickBooks backup command to move a backup file onto a CD.

Instead, Intuit recommends that you back up the file to your hard drive and then use the Windows File Copy command to burn the file onto the disc. This workaround approach tends to solve some of the CD-writing problems people experience when backing up directly to a CD from QuickBooks.

You can back up to any fixed disk, such as your hard drive or a network disk, but the advantage of a removable disc is that you can store it in some other location. As a compromise, you can also use a network disk. You typically don’t want to use your hard drive (although this is better than nothing) because one of the disasters that might befall your QuickBooks data is a hard drive failure.

You can also back up your QuickBooks files to an online storage area.

2If you store data for more than one company, make sure that the company whose data you want to back up is the active company.

To find out whether the correct company is active, just look at the QuickBooks application window title bar, which names the active company. (If you don’t remember setting up multiple files, don’t worry. You probably have only one file — the usual case.)

3Choose File → Backup Company → Create Local Backup to begin the backup operation.

QuickBooks displays the Create Backup dialog box.

If you use QuickBooks in multi-user mode, you need to switch to single-user mode before you back up your file. To do this, choose File → Switch to Single-User Mode.

4Tell QuickBooks where you want to back up the QuickBooks data file.

When QuickBooks displays the Create Backup dialog box, specify the location for the backup by selecting either the Online Backup or Local Backup radio button.

To back up your QuickBooks file locally, select the Local Backup option.

5Describe how QuickBooks should back up your data file.

With the first Create Backup dialog box still displayed, click the Options button. QuickBooks displays the Backup Options dialog box, from which you specify how and when QuickBooks backs up your data file:

Pick a default location. Specify where the backup file should be located. You can do this either by entering the pathname of the backup folder in the Tell Us Where to Save Your Backup Copies box (the hard way) or by clicking the Browse button and then using the Browse for Folder dialog box that Windows displays to pick a default backup location.

Fine-tune the backup operation. The Backup Options dialog box provides a few check boxes that you can use to fine-tune the old QuickBooks backup operation. The Add the Date and Time of Backup to the File Name check box, if selected, does just what it says. The Limit the Number of Backup Copies in This Folder To [X] check box tells QuickBooks to limit the number of backup copies of your QuickBooks file it stores in the backup folder. The default number of backup copies kept on hand is three; that should be fine.

Specify the backup reminder rule. You can select the Remind Me to Back Up When I Close My Company File Every [X] Times check box to tell QuickBooks it should remind you every so often to back up. By default, QuickBooks reminds you every fourth time you close a data file, but you can replace the value in the text box to specify some other backup reminder frequency.

Select a data verification option. QuickBooks provides three data verification options: Complete Verification (safe but slow), Quicker Verification (fast but not as thorough), and No Verification (saves you a bit of time now at the risk of huge problems later). The Complete Verification option is what QuickBooks recommends.

When you finish with the Backup Options dialog box, click OK and then Next. QuickBooks displays the second Create Backup dialog box.

6Determine when QuickBooks should back up your data file.

The second Backup Wizard dialog box provides option buttons that you use to schedule when you want to back up. For example, to indicate that you want to back up on the spot, select the Save It Now radio button.

Note: The very first time you back up your QuickBooks file using the Create Backup command, QuickBooks doesn’t ask you when it should back up your data file. QuickBooks just backs up the data file, skipping this step.

7Confirm the backup file location and name.

With the second Backup Wizard dialog box displayed, click Next. QuickBooks displays the Save Backup Copy dialog box.

Just to be on the safe side, confirm that the filename and folder location shown in the Save Backup Copy dialog box are correct. If the folder location isn’t correct, select a new folder location from the Save In drop-down list. If the filename isn’t correct, edit the name shown in the File Name text box.

8Click Save.

QuickBooks backs up your data file and displays a message box that tells you it has backed up your file. The message also gives the backup filename and folder location.