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Create And Restore A QuickBooks Portable Company File

If you’ve been using QuickBooks Desktop for a while, you’ve probably heard from QuickBooks Support or during the logoff process to remind you to back up your company file. There’s a chance that your business used the same file consistently for a year or two.

Your file would be quite large if you did that. Although there are many storage options for archiving your backup files, flash drives are preferred because of their favorable cost-to-storage ratio. What if that isn’t an option in the circumstance? The QuickBooks portable company file is now available.

Do you need to share your accounting data or transfer it to another computer? Make a portable company file. This is a compressed version of your company file that is small enough to send via email or put on a USB drive. Some help articles also advise creating a portable company file to resolve minor data issues.

Did you receive an error message while attempting to create or open a portable company file (.qbm)? We know we’ve stressed you out, but you don’t have to. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps that you can take to fix QuickBooks Desktop and, as a result, restore your QuickBooks company file.

It will allow you to use your portable company file to move or repair your accounting data. To restore the file, follow the steps outlined in the following section of this blog.

What Makes a Portable File Useful for QuickBooks Desktop Users?

The benefits of a portable company file include a significant size reduction, which saves time on the verification process, as well as the ability to re-index file data, which made it one of my go-to strategies when I dealt with data integrity as a former employee of QuickBooks Support.

If you were to approach data integrity in a textbook manner, you would do so in the following order:

  • Rebuild the company file.
  • Verify File Data
  • Correct any errors you find by hand in the Verify Log.
  • If all else fails, create a portable company file and restore it.
  • restore the company file from the most recent backup.

Despite restrictions on attachment size, the reduction ratio of a portable company file enables you to email a copy of your file. Or, if you need something urgent but your flash drive is overflowing with data that you can’t delete right away.

Is There a Catch to Making a Portable File in QuickBooks?

When moving in this direction, there are things to keep in mind. It excludes the following because it only includes your financial information:

  • Letters
  • Logos
  • Images
  • Loan Manager Information
  • Information about Fixed Asset Managers (FAM)
  • Information about the QuickBooks Statement Writer.

Additionally, the Transaction Log (.TLG) File is absent. This file is useful in some data restoration efforts because it is used to aid in the restoration of transaction data through a particular process, despite frequently being a pain in the performance of company files.

Steps To Create And Open A Portable Company File:

Step 1: Update QuickBooks

Make sure to update QuickBooks desktop to the most recent release before beginning to create a QuickBooks portable company file. Additionally, you can update your accounting software manually or automatically. When you enable Automatic Updates, QuickBooks downloads and installs the most recent updates as soon as they become available. However, you must check for updates at least once a month if you plan to install the updates yourself.

Step 2: Consider creating a backup

When it comes to sharing or moving your accounting data, QuickBooks desktop portable company files are a fantastic substitute. Additionally, it does not request that you make a complete backup. But it’s crucial to understand that a portable company file doesn’t serve as a substitute for a complete backup. This is due to the absence of your message templates, logos, images, templates, tig or log files, Loan Manager, Statement Writer, or Fixed Asset Manager files. As a result, you must make a backup of your company’s files to keep them safe. However, you can create and send an accountant’s copy in QuickBooks Desktop if you want to send your data to your accountant.

Step 3: Make a portable company file for QuickBooks

  • Open the QuickBooks application, then log in as an administrator.
  • Afterward, select Portable company file, Next, and Create Copy from the File menu.
  • It will be simple to distinguish your portable company file from your regular company file if you give it a name.
  • Next, decide where you want your portable company file to be saved. Select an accessible location, such as your Windows desktop.
  • After everything is finished, click OK and then Save.
  • You should now have a business file that is portable and that you can upload to the internet or put on a USB. [Unique company file name] is how the file will appear. qbm.

Note: Once you give the portable copy to someone, they will have access to everything you have in the file. Additionally, the file is password-protected, so opening it requires the right information.

Step 4: Launch QuickBooks Desktop and open a portable company file

  • Open a portable version of your company file by following the instructions below.
  • Open the QuickBooks program and sign in as an administrator. Go to the File menu now and choose Open or Restore Company> Restore a Portable File> Next.
  • Select your company’s portable file after that. This is how it needs to appear. [Unique company file name] qbm then pick Open.

Important: Be careful not to use the same name for your portable and permanent company files. The portable file will also replace the regular one if you save them in the same folder. Therefore, you have two options: rename the portable company file or save it in a different location.

  • After reading the instructions on the Where do you want to restore the file page, click Next?
  • When you are prepared to open your file, click Save last.

What effects does the user security in a portable file have?

A portable file can only be sent by a user who is either an external accountant or the QuickBooks Administrator. You must determine or re-determine who would have access to such users, aside from yourself, if you find yourself needing to create and restore a portable file.

Are QuickBooks Portable Company Files Simple to Create?

Only three steps are required to create a portable company file:

  • Go to the top menu and select “File.”
  • Click “Send Company File” with your mouse.
  • Tap “Portable Company File.”

A popup window will appear, allowing you to modify the location where the portable file will be saved and kept. You won’t be able to change its name because QuickBooks’ naming convention clearly identifies the file as a portable file.

What Should I Know Before Restoring a Portable File?

Use Caution When Choosing a Location to Save Your Restored File:

Unless you intend to overwrite your working file, you shouldn’t do so. However, it is best practice to restore the file before checking its information and data integrity.

Step 1: Is Restoring a QuickBooks (.QBB) Backup File Different From Restoring a Portable (.QBM) File?

There are ways to restore a portable file, unlike restoring a backup file through the various locations in the menu tree. Simply follow these steps if you’re already in a QuickBooks Desktop Company File:

  1. Go to the top menu and select “File.”
  2. Go to “Open or Restore Company” and click.
  3. Click “Restore a portable file” when the popup window appears.
  4. Choose “Next.”
  5. To “Open Portable Company File,” a popup window will appear.
  6. If the immediately displayed location does not contain the file you need to restore, find where your portable file is.
  7. Click “Open” after you find it.
  8. A second popup window will ask where you want the recovered file to be saved.
  9. Choose “Next.”
  10. Find the location where you want to save it.
  11. If you want to save it in the same location as the most recent working file, be sure to give it a different name to prevent unexpected overwrites.
  12. Click “Save.”

Follow these instructions to restore your portable file if QuickBooks Desktop was just launched:

  • Click “Open or restore an existing company” in the “No Company Open” window.
  • Click “Restore a portable file,” just like in the previous step.
  • Choose “Next.”
  • Repeat steps 5 through 12 from the prior example after this has happened.

The restoration procedure will be evident. The length of time required to restore a file will vary depending on its size. The restoration won’t be complete until you enter your administrator password, which is highly advised. Your workspace will be restored after you click “OK” on the congrats popup.

Why should you restore a QuickBooks backup file first in situations where data damage occurs?

When it encounters problems with data integrity, restoring a known-good backup company file is a simple next step. In my opinion, time spent is the most important factor. When taking specific actions to address them, you and your business must consider this. Which of the following will take more time and produce less?

  • Re-enter any transactions that were missing from the most recent backup point after restoring a known-good backup.
  • Rebuild your company file, reopen it, and then verify it.
  • a series of manual steps, including rearranging QuickBooks lists, date-switching transactions deemed damaged, deleting and recreating transactions, etc.
  • Make a Portable Company File and Restore It.
  • Once you receive the file back, send your company file for data recovery and enter any missing transactions.

Numerous of the factors mentioned, as well as those not mentioned, are influenced by how severely the data file has been damaged. It’s great if you can verify this for yourself.

What if QuickBooks Desktop’s only option available is to restore a portable company file?

Important Information When Making or Restoring a Portable File:

To begin with, similar to a backup file, it is best to create or restore it on a traditional Hard Drive (HDD) or Solid-State Drive (SSD) (HD). Wait for it to finish creating the file if you need to transfer it to a flash drive. Copy or move the file to the flash drive once it is finished. Even though you’ve described what a portable file was missing when it was created, not everything is lost; if you know where the missing components for Loan Manager, Fixed Asset Manager, and Statement Writer are, you can retrieve them.


Creating a Portable File in QuickBooks Desktop can be a lifesaver, with the most common reason being fitting a copy of your company file into an extremely small space. Other reasons include troubleshooting data damage that is interfering with your ability to stay in your file or even start using it. Keep an eye out for our next post on how to recover items that were not brought over during the portable file process. If you require additional clarification or assistance in creating or restoring a portable file, or if you are experiencing problems with data file integrity, please contact us.

General FAQs:

1. How do I recover a company file from QuickBooks Desktop?

If you already have a QuickBooks Desktop Company File, simply follow these steps: From the top menu, choose ” File “. “Open or Restore Company” will appear. When the dialog box appears, select “Restore a portable file.” Next, press the “Next” button. “Open Portable Company File” will appear as a popup.

2. How do I open a QuickBooks portable company file?

Right-click anywhere on the Windows desktop and select Paste. Now launch QuickBooks without launching your company file. Following that, choose Opening or restoring an existing file, followed by Restoring a portable file. Finally, navigate to your computer and open the copied portable company file you pasted to your Windows desktop.

3. In QuickBooks, how do you make a backup company file?

Follow the steps to create a backup company file to completely back up your company files. Consider sending an accountant copy if you want to send your data to your accountant. Log in to QuickBooks as an administrator. Select Create Copy from the File menu. Next, select Portable company file.

4. How do I make a portable copy or replica of QuickBooks?

On all QuickBooks versions, the user must log in as the admin to create and return the portable replica or copy. Use the accountant’s copy when sharing the company file with your accountant. Log in as an administrator in QuickBooks. Choose Create Copy from the File menu. Then, click Next.

5. How do I create a portable business file?

Select Create Copy from the File menu. Next, select Portable company file. Give your portable business file a distinct name. This distinguishes it from your standard company file. Choose where you want to save your portable company file. Choose a location that is easy to find, such as your Windows desktop.

6. How do I transfer my QuickBooks company file to a different computer?

Launch QuickBooks but do not launch your company file. Open a new file or restore an existing one. Then select the option to Restore a portable file. Navigate to your computer and open the portable company file you copied and pasted to your Windows desktop. You’re ready to go if you can open the copied portable company file. Use it to transfer your accounting data.

8. What exactly is a portable company file?

Portable company files, on the other hand, are distinguished by their smaller size. A portable company file, as opposed to containing all the data that you enter into QuickBooks, only contains essential financial data. They still contain your company’s transactions, but they exclude non-essential information such as logos, graphics, templates, and letters.

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