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How to Delete Customers in QuickBooks

Delete Customers in QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a popular accounting software developed by Intuit that offers a range of tools and features to effectively manage business finances. One of its key functions is the ability to manage and organize customer information. With QuickBooks, businesses can streamline their customer relationship management processes, maintain accurate records, and ensure smooth financial transactions.

Understanding the importance of QuickBooks in managing customer information is crucial for businesses looking to enhance their efficiency and maintain strong customer relationships. QuickBooks provides a centralized platform for businesses to store and organize customer data. It allows users to create detailed customer profiles that include essential information such as contact details, billing and shipping addresses, payment terms, and tax information.

Deleting customers in QuickBooks refers to the process of permanently removing customer records and associated data from the QuickBooks software. It involves removing all customer information, transactions, and related details from the system, effectively erasing their presence in the customer list and associated reports.

The need to delete customers in QuickBooks arises for several reasons. It helps streamline the customer list by removing inactive or non-engaging customers, allowing businesses to focus on relevant relationships. It optimizes system performance by reducing data volume and mitigates security risks by minimizing stored customer information. Overall, deleting customers in QuickBooks ensures efficient data management, regulatory compliance, and improved system performance.

Precautions Before Deleting Customers:

Before proceeding to delete customers in QuickBooks, it is crucial to take certain precautions to ensure a smooth and accurate process. Here are some important precautions to consider:

  • Before deleting customers, create a backup of your QuickBooks data to avoid any potential loss of information.
  • Familiarize yourself with the implications of deleting customers, such as the removal of associated transactions and their impact on financial reports.
  • Check for any outstanding balances or open transactions associated with the customers you intend to delete and take necessary actions to resolve them.
  • Update relevant reports, such as accounts receivable or sales reports, to reflect changes accurately after deleting customers.
  • Inform relevant stakeholders, such as accounting teams or sales representatives, about the customer deletions to ensure everyone is aware of the changes.
  • Evaluate whether making customers inactive, rather than deleting them, would be a better option to preserve their records while removing them from active use.

Steps to Delete Customers in QuickBooks:

To delete customers in QuickBooks, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Accessing the customer list:

  • To begin the process of deleting customers in QuickBooks, you need to access the customer list.
  • This can be done by launching QuickBooks and navigating to the “Customers” or “Sales” menu.
  • From there, select the “Customer Centre” or “Customer & Sales” option to open the customer management area.
  • This is where you will find the customer list containing all the customers recorded in QuickBooks.

Step 2: Identifying the customer to be deleted:

  • Once you have accessed the customer list, you need to identify the specific customer you want to delete.
  • This can be done by scrolling through the list or utilizing the search function to locate the customer you wish to remove.
  • Taking the time to accurately identify the customer ensures that the correct records are deleted.

Step 3: Verifying customer information:

  • Before proceeding with the deletion process, it is important to verify the customer’s information.
  • Review details such as the customer’s name, contact information, and any outstanding balances or open transactions associated with them.
  • This verification step helps avoid any mistakes and ensures the accurate deletion of the customer’s records.

Step 4:  Removing transactions associated with the customer:

  • To delete a customer in QuickBooks, it is necessary to remove any transactions associated with that customer.
  • This includes invoices, payments, estimates, or any other transactions linked to the customer’s record.
  • By removing these transactions, you ensure that no discrepancies or incomplete information are remaining after the deletion.

Step 5: Deleting the customer:

  • Once you have completed the above steps, you can proceed with deleting the customer in QuickBooks.
  • Right-click on the customer’s name or select the customer and click on the “Edit” option.
  • Within the edit menu, you will find the “Delete” or “Make Inactive” option.
  • Choose the appropriate deletion option and confirm the deletion when prompted.
  • This step finalizes the deletion process and permanently removes the customer’s records from QuickBooks.

By following these steps, you can successfully delete customers in QuickBooks, ensuring the accuracy and cleanliness of your customer data. It is crucial to pay attention to detail and follow the steps carefully to avoid unintended deletions or errors in your accounting records.

Alternative Approach: Making Customers Inactive

By following these steps, you can make customers inactive in QuickBooks, effectively removing them from active use while preserving their records for future reference. This alternative approach allows for more flexible and controlled management of customer data within the software.

A. Benefits of making customers inactive instead of deleting them:

Making customers inactive in QuickBooks offers several benefits compared to deleting them outright. It allows you to retain their records while removing them from active use. Some benefits of this approach include:

  • Making customers inactive ensures that their historical transactions and interactions are preserved in QuickBooks.
  • By making customers inactive, you retain their impact on financial reports.
  • Inactive customers still retain their transaction history, allowing you to refer to past interactions if needed. This can be valuable when analyzing customer trends or resolving historical disputes.

B. Steps to make customers inactive in QuickBooks:

To make customers inactive instead of deleting them, follow these steps:

  • Access the customer list in QuickBooks as described earlier.
  • Identify the customer you want to make inactive.
  • Right-click on the customer’s name or select the customer.
  • Choose the “Edit” option to open the customer’s details.
  • In the customer details, look for a checkbox or field labeled “Make Inactive” or “Inactive.”
  • Check the box or toggle the field to mark the customer as inactive.
  • Save the changes and close the customer details.

Potential Issues and Troubleshooting:

A. Recovering accidentally deleted customers:

Accidentally deleting customers in QuickBooks can happen, but there are steps you can take to recover them. Here are some potential solutions:

  1. Check the “Deleted Customers” list: QuickBooks maintains a list of deleted customers. Access this list and restore the customer from there if available.
  2. Restore from a backup: If you have a recent backup of your QuickBooks data, restore it to recover the deleted customer along with their information.
  3. Contact QuickBooks support: If you are unable to recover the deleted customer using the above methods, reach out to QuickBooks support for further assistance.

B. Addressing errors or complications during the deletion process:

During the deletion process, you may encounter errors or complications. Here are some troubleshooting steps to address them:

  1. If you receive error messages during the deletion process, carefully read and understand the error details. Perform a web search or consult QuickBooks support for specific troubleshooting steps related to the error.
  2. In some cases, you may encounter conflicts when attempting to delete customers due to linked transactions or outstanding balances. Resolve these conflicts by properly handling the transactions or payments before proceeding with the deletion.
  3. If you are unable to delete a customer despite following the correct steps, ensure that you have the necessary user permissions to perform the deletion. Contact your system administrator or QuickBooks support for assistance in resolving any permission-related issues.
  4. After deleting customers, perform data integrity checks in QuickBooks to ensure that the deletion process did not cause any data corruption or inconsistencies. This helps identify and resolve any underlying issues in the data.

Best Practices for Managing Customers in QuickBooks:

A. Regularly review and clean up customer data:

To ensure data accuracy and efficiency, it is important to regularly review and clean up customer data in QuickBooks. This involves:

  • Updating contact information: Keep customer contact details up to date, including addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  • Removing duplicates: Regularly identify and merge duplicate customer entries to avoid confusion and maintain data integrity.
  • Archiving inactive customers: Inactivate or delete customers who are no longer engaged or relevant to keep the customer list streamlined and focused.

B. Properly document customer deletions or inactivation:

Maintaining proper documentation when deleting or inactivating customers in QuickBooks is essential for record-keeping and future reference. Consider the following practices:

  • Record deletion or inactivation details: Document the date, reason, and any relevant notes for each customer deletion or inactivation.
  • Maintain an audit trail: Keep a record of the deleted or inactive customers, ensuring a comprehensive audit trail for future analysis or reference.
  • Communicate changes internally: Inform relevant stakeholders, such as accounting teams or sales representatives, about customer deletions or inactivation to ensure everyone is aware of the changes.

C. Utilize customer reports and filters for effective management:

QuickBooks provides robust reporting and filtering features that can enhance customer management. Consider the following practices:

  • Customer-specific reports: Generate customer reports to analyze sales, outstanding balances, or customer profitability.
  • Filter customer views: Utilize filters to segment customers based on specific criteria such as location, purchase history, or payment terms. This enables targeted marketing campaigns or personalized customer communication.
  • Customize customer fields: Take advantage of customizable fields in QuickBooks to capture additional customer-specific information that is relevant to your business.


In conclusion, properly managing customer data in QuickBooks is vital for businesses to streamline operations, enhance customer relationships, and make informed decisions. Accurate record-keeping, efficient invoicing, and effective communication are key aspects of managing customer data. When it comes to deleting customers in QuickBooks, it is essential to follow the steps carefully: accessing the customer list, identifying the customer, verifying information, removing associated transactions, and finally deleting the customer.

Alternatively, making customers inactive provides a viable option to retain historical data while removing them from active use. By employing these practices, businesses can ensure data integrity and optimize their use of QuickBooks for efficient customer data management.


1. Can I delete customers in QuickBooks without losing their transaction history?

Yes, in QuickBooks, you can delete customers while preserving their transaction history. Before deleting a customer, QuickBooks prompts you to remove or reassign their transactions to other customers. By reassigning transactions, you ensure that the historical data remains intact and connected to the appropriate customer.

2. What happens to outstanding balances when I delete a customer in QuickBooks?

When you delete a customer in QuickBooks, the software prompts you to address any outstanding balances associated with that customer. You have the option to apply the balance to another customer or credit the customer’s account to resolve the outstanding balance.

3. Can I recover a deleted customer in QuickBooks?

Yes, in QuickBooks, you can recover a deleted customer. QuickBooks maintains a “Deleted Customers” list, which allows you to restore the deleted customer if needed. Additionally, if you have a recent backup of your QuickBooks data, you can restore the customer by restoring the backup.

4. How can I avoid accidentally deleting the wrong customer in QuickBooks?

A4: To avoid accidentally deleting the wrong customer in QuickBooks, it is crucial to double-check the customer’s details and verify their information before proceeding with the deletion process. Take your time to ensure that you have selected the correct customer for deletion.

5. Is it possible to delete multiple customers at once in QuickBooks?

No, QuickBooks does not provide a built-in feature to delete multiple customers simultaneously. Each customer needs to be deleted individually by following the deletion steps for each customer.

6. What is the difference between deleting customers and making them inactive in QuickBooks?

The key difference is that deleting customers permanently removes their records from QuickBooks, including all associated transactions. On the other hand, making customers inactive retains their information within QuickBooks but removes them from active use in the customer list, allowing historical data to be preserved.

7. Will deleting customers affect my financial reports and sales data in QuickBooks?

Yes, deleting customers will impact your financial reports and sales data in QuickBooks. Once a customer is deleted, their transactions and balances associated with them are also removed. It is important to update your financial reports after deleting customers to reflect accurate and up-to-date information.

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