How to Backup and Restore a Portable Co. File in QuickBooks

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in QuickBooks Tips | 0 comments

Two articles ago I described to you the difference between the portable and backup of a company file. Now I’m going to show you how to backup the portable company file and restore it.

If you do not have the Backup Icon on your Icon Menu, then go to the Menu Bar/File and choose Save Copy of Backup. This will open up the window as displayed on the left.

Click on the button beside Portable company file. Remember that this type of backup is normally only used to email or move a company file, because it only contains the financial data.

As mentioned in the previous article, this portable file does not contain  logos, images, letters and templates, nor the transaction log. So if you had a custom Invoice designed with your company logo, it will not display it in your templates.

So…… as we carry on, after tagging the portable company file button, this will open up the Save Portable Company File window on the right. Don’t forget to save this on to a memory stick and not to your computers hard drive.

Notice that the backup file name has (Portable) in it with an extension .QBM. Once you click Save, the next window will be the Close and reopen window with a message that reads – QuickBooks must close and reopen your company file before creating a portable company file. Click on OK.

Wait will QuickBooks creates the backup and when it is done you will receive the QuickBooks Information message on your screen. Click on OK.

NOTE: Although I am showing you how to restore this type of file (portable), be aware of what data it does and does not contain.


To restore this file I would have to be at the No Company Open window as displayed on the right and then click on Open or restore an existing company.

The Open or Restore Company window opens next, where I will click on the button for Restore a portable file. QuickBooks will then open the window that will indicate where to look for the file, or in other words, where it was backed up to – which is the memory stick.

On my computer that is the F: drive but on your computer it may be a different letter, but whatever the letter, it should contain the (Portable).QBM file. I will then highlight that Portable file and click on Open.

The next window will ask me where I want to restore the company file to and I will click on Next.

The Save Company file as window – is very important and where most people make this mistake!

YOU MUST change the file name: or else it WILL NOT RESTORE. I have changed the name to qblessonNEW.QBW. As shown on the screen shot, QuickBooks defaults to the Company Files folder which is the norm, but since this is a temporary move, I may want to save it to my Desktop for easy access.

I hope this article assists whenever you need to backup and restore a Portable company file. is now mobile friendly. From the web address you can choose Options/Mobile formatted and the site will appear in all its living colour for you to view. Check it out.

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