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Identify, Prevent and Fix QuickBooks Corrupted File

Various factors can cause a QuickBooks data file to become corrupt. These can be problems with the hardware or software, sudden system shutdowns, network connection issues, large file sizes, malware/virus attacks, etc. Whatever the cause, being unable to access the file can hinder business operations and even harm data. Fortunately, the following tips can assist you in avoiding QuickBooks file corruption.

Most business owners start out with a “do it myself” mentality by handling their own books when it comes to managing the finances of a small to medium-sized company. For non-accounting professionals, software programs like Intuit’s QuickBooks can make this process relatively simple, but occasionally a bug can leave you perplexed.

The QuickBooks Data File is just a sizable database. It doesn’t have any moving parts or programs (this is all in the QuickBooks Software). The data must be ordered and sequenced correctly in the file for the software to read it correctly. When a data file is small (under 200 MB), it is simple for the software to maintain the data in the correct order and add new data in the proper place, so it knows where to find it for subsequent uses.

The software struggles to maintain data organization as the data file gets bigger than this. This might lead to inaccurate reports, and it’s easy to start by looking at the balance sheet. If the total of the assets does not equal the total of the liabilities and equity, there is a problem. The balances in similar accounts on various reports can also be compared to look for corruption. It is possible to contrast Net Income, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and other balance sheet balances with other reports in QuickBooks. If these figures do not match, the QuickBooks file may be damaged.

If a corrupt file is connected to any external reporting programs, it may cause you additional issues. You may experience inaccurate reporting in those programs or even a failure in the sync process itself if those programs connect to QuickBooks automatically through sync managers. The good news is that the tools available within can be used to fix data corruption. The good news is that you can repair data corruption using the tools included in the QuickBooks Software program. However, you should be aware that if you don’t reduce the size of your data file after fixing the corruption, the issue will recur.

How can file corruption or damage in QuickBooks be found and repaired?

Users of QuickBooks Desktop may experience data damage errors when this happens. This could indicate that QuickBooks Desktop was unable to read the data from the company file. Internal QuickBooks errors may cause these errors, as well as external factors like a misconfigured file location path. However, because QuickBooks won’t be able to process the data supplied by the users, these errors could negatively affect how businesses operate.

What Are the Reasons for Data Damages in QuickBooks Desktop Company Files?

When using QuickBooks Desktop, data loss can occur for a number of reasons. These are a few of the causes of data damage:

  • If the system where the company file is stored stops working suddenly, there is a high likelihood of corruption.
  • Insufficient storage space and incorrect data entry can lead to corrupted company files.
  • Data corruption may have resulted from processes being interfered with by third-party applications.
  • It’s possible that some malware meant to corrupt files attacked the application.

What Kinds of Data Damage Errors Can Occur in QuickBooks Desktop?

In QuickBooks Desktop, data damage falls into one of four general categories. They are as follows:

  • Damage to Structured Data
    Data is stored in tables in a database used by QuickBooks Desktop. QuickBooks Desktop will display errors like Error -6000, -301 or Error -6150, -1006 when there are problems with the table’s contents or their headers. These suggest that the structure of the QuickBooks data may have been harmed.
  • List Data Damage
    List items are used by QuickBooks Desktop to store data on specific attributes. These include, but are not limited to, clients, staff members, suppliers, accounting charts, inventories, and services. List Incorrect sequence, incorrect or redundant entries for unique attributes, or other problems can cause data damage in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Damage to Transaction Data
    Users occasionally may notice an incorrect open balance or discrepancies between their sales orders and the item history. Transaction data damage is the cause of these mistakes.
  • Data Link Damage
    When links between transactions are broken, errors like these happen. Inconsistencies in the reports could be the result of these broken links. These are challenging to diagnose because the only way to fix them is by manually opening transactions.

How Do I Rectify Data Damages in QuickBooks Desktop?

The steps to identify and fix these errors frequently depend on the kind of data damage. Here are a few of the methods that are most frequently employed to fix data damage in QuickBooks Desktop.

  • Using the Rebuild Data Tool
    Inbuilt in QuickBooks Desktop, the Rebuild Data Tool can be used to automatically correct small problems with company files. It’s listed under utilities in the File menu. When you click on Verify Data, the tool runs a check for errors. Click Rebuild Now to fix the problem if QuickBooks detects data damage.
  • Using QuickBooks File Doctor
    Sometimes, even after rebuilding the QuickBooks company file, the problem still exists. Or the actual rebuilding process itself takes an unexpectedly long time. This could mean that there are additional factors, such as network problems, or that the data damage may be more severe. Deeper scans can be performed by QuickBooks File Doctor and other tools in the QuickBooks Tool Hub to find and fix data damage and other problems.
  • Applying Manual Fixes
    Both the tools might not be able to fix all errors brought on by data damage, especially those involving link data damage. With the assistance provided on the Verify Results screen, you can attempt to manually fix these.

How to Prevent Data Corruptions in the coming years? 

According to Intuit guidelines, you should compress your file if it is larger than 200MB for QuickBooks Pro or Premier or 450MB for QuickBooks Enterprise. You can choose from a few options:

  • Make regular backups of your company file

    While not exactly a way to stop QuickBooks file corruption, this does assist in preventing data loss. By regularly backing up your QuickBooks Company file, you can ensure that if the company file becomes corrupt, you can quickly restore your data. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep a backup copy accessible across multiple sources; this will guarantee that, if one of the backup files is corrupt, you will always have a copy you can restore.

    You can use Intuit Data Protect to automatically backup your QuickBooks data online or create a backup manually.
  • Reduce the size of your QuickBooks file

    As you add transactions, your QuickBooks company file’s size may increase significantly. Additionally, the file size grows as the transactions are deleted. This occurs because of the transactions only being marked as deleted in the database, leaving the file space where they were stored empty. Large Company files are vulnerable to corruption, which could cause data loss. Therefore, you must shrink the file. This is possible by:
    • Establishing a new corporate file
    • Utilizing the utility QB Condense Data
    • Removing transactions from the QBW file for a given time period to truncate it. Truncation, however, is not a service provided by QuickBooks. You must deliver the file to a third-party vendor.
  • Verify Your QuickBooks File

    To find any data problems in a Company file, use the built-in “Verify Data” utility in QuickBooks. Running this utility can assist you in identifying any “discrepancies on invoices or bills,” “missing transactions,” “deposited payments not showing up in the “Payments to Deposit window,” etc.

    Use the Verify Data tool by performing the following steps:
    • Open the QuickBooks Desktop application, select File, and then select Utilities. Click Verify Data.
    • When QuickBooks reports that there is no issue with your data, click OK. As a result, you can keep using the QB data file without encountering any issues.
    • If the message “Verifying finds some problem with your company file” appears, click View Errors.
    • To resolve problems with Company files, click ‘Rebuild Now’.
  • Always Update Your Hardware and Software

    The company file for QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT) can become corrupt or suffer data loss because of hardware or software problems. Maintaining updated hardware and software is therefore essential.

    Ensure that QuickBooks Desktop is updated, either automatically or manually, to the most recent version (2021). Launch QBDT and check the Product Information window to see if you have the most recent release. Install and configure the hardware that QB supports.
  • Run QuickBooks Desktop through a clean installation

    The QB file may be harmed if a clean QuickBooks installation is not performed. You must therefore uninstall the corrupt QB installation.
  • Make use of an emergency power supply (UPS Backup)

    The file can become corrupt if there is a power outage and the system shuts down suddenly while you are entering data into your QuickBooks data file. Use an uninterruptible power supply to fix the problem and guard against damaging QB files from brief power outages. In the event of a power outage, a UPS backup will give you enough time to properly shut down your system, especially in areas where power outages are common.
  • Do not use QB over a VPN

    Because a VPN connection can be erratic and insecure, using QuickBooks over one increases the risk of data loss. Although you won’t notice the corruption of your QuickBooks file right away, you might later.


Even though these steps may fix your current file corruption issue, if the root cause (incorrect QuickBooks setup or a lack of proper processes and procedures) is not addressed, you will continue to experience the “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome.

The article outlined some indicators of corrupt QuickBooks files and provided information on how to fix them. However, keep in mind that the same thing could happen again. Your QuickBooks data file might start giving you problems once more. You can prevent corruption in the data file by taking the following important factors into account:

  • Make several backup copies of your QuickBooks Desktop data file and store them in various places.
  • Reduce the size of your QuickBooks file: Although there is no restriction on the size of your QuickBooks data file, a large-sized file can negatively impact QuickBooks performance. Additionally, it makes file corruption more likely. However, by using the QuickBooks Condense Data utility, you can reduce the size of your file overall and lower the chance of corruption.
  • Use workstations and servers of a professional ability to enhance QuickBooks Desktop performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns.

A business’s ability to grow is greatly aided by timely and accurate financial information. By outsourcing your bookkeeping duties as well as the design and setup of your QuickBooks system, you can feel more at ease and have more time for more important and strategic tasks.

General FAQs

1. How can I fix a damaged QuickBooks file?

Step 1: Click Scan after selecting the file you want to repair. Step 2: View the data that can be recovered. Save the repaired file in the desired location in Step 3. Note: To scan corrupt QuickBooks® data files and preview the data that can be recovered, use the software’s trial version.

2. How can a QuickBooks QBW file be repaired?

When QBW files are corrupted or damaged, QuickBooks provides some free tools that can be used for data recovery and data repair. The following tools can be used to fix a QuickBooks file: QuickBooks File Doctor 1. Internal problems in the QuickBooks company file, like header corruption, can be found and fixed with the aid of this repair tool for QuickBooks.

3. How can I verify data in QuickBooks?

Go to File > Utilities > Verify Data in Step 1. Step 2: Click OK if you see a message that says, “QuickBooks detected no problem with your data.” Use of your QuickBooks data file is still permitted. Step 3: Select View Errors or Rebuild Now if “Verifying” identifies an issue with your company file. Step 4: Press the Close button after the data has been fixed.

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