What can you do when your QuickBooks Data File is too large?

Is QuickBooks hogging up your resources? Slowing you down?


We can help reduce your file to 20% of its original size.


Your QuickBooks File

New QuickBooks Data File

QuickBooks has worked well for your business, but the file is becoming too big to work with.

If you are having issues with QuickBooks running slowly, or reports taking too long, your QuickBooks file may be too large.  Your computers have to process all the data accumulated throughout years of business and this can slow down even the newest equipment.

What is considered big?

Files over 300 MB can begin to slow you down.  If it is not too slow, then it is not too big!  When you start experiencing slowness, check out our tips below and plan to begin a new data file.

Does making a change to my data mean that I will lose my data forever?

No.  Just like an Excel file or a Word file, you can copy, paste & rename your data file so that you can access the data file anytime you want to retrieve that information.  It’s best to change both the outside file name and the inside file name (and possibly the color background of the file) to make sure no-one enters data into that old file in error.  All new data should be entered into the new file. We can help you accomplish this task remotely in less than 1/2 hour.
Call 800-216-0763.

How to make any QuickBooks file run faster:

Upgrade your hardware/software

Upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise, purchase a new POWERFUL dedicated server just for running QuickBooks and use Terminal services. When a user is accessing QuickBooks through terminal services, the data and software are residing on the same computer, providing a quicker reaction time since the data does not need to go through the network. While there is no recommend top file size, we see performance issues when the file exceeds 1 GB, although we have plenty of companies running with the same file (experience some slowness but not yet painful) until it reaches close to 2 GB. We sell and support QuickBooks Enterprise, Call 800-216-0763 to speak with our GURU Certified QuickBooks Enterprise solution provider. 

Reduce the size of your QuickBooks Data File

  • Condense/archive (clean-up) the data file. This technique will reduce your file size by approximately 20%. More for versions 2012 or later (if you do so before the file reaches 700 MG) It can be a temporary alternative when it is inconvenient to start a new data file now.  It will replace your detailed transactions with monthly general journal entries for the period you are condensing. File menu > Utilities > Clean up company data.
    Be sure to backup before running this procedure.  In fact, it’s a good idea to copy the file so you can easily return to the pre-condensed file if you need to retrieve detailed data.  Starting with the QuickBooks 2012 edition, this feature has improved greatly.
    If you would like help with this procedure, call us at 800-216-0763.
  • If the file after condensing is still not small enough, we can start a new data file by copying your existing file and performing a period copy of just the transactions you wish to keep and reset the opening balances.  This works well if you are starting a new file in a new year. It can be time-consuming if you have a lot of accounts receivable and accounts payable transactions. If you would like help with this procedure, call 800-216-0763.
    We have a support plan that will coach you through this process.  At the first signs of slowness, plan to start a new file for the 1st day of your new year. You can do it yourself, use our coaching services or use our new file start services.  Included  is a new file using existing lists items and beginning balances including  accounts receivable and payable details, optional is one or more years of historical data. 
  • Request our QuickBooks Large File Conversion Service (800-216-0763) to start a new file anytime during the year or at year end. Over a weekend, we will take your existing data file, eliminate all transactions and import balances from 12/31/last year (or the last day of your prior fiscal year)  and all transactions from 1/1/this year through today and import into the new file.  Works well for companies with large file sizes. For companies using a QuickBooks payroll service, year-to-date history will need to be added. We can provide this service too, for an additional fee.
  • Request our New Start QuickBooks File. When your list items (Customers, Vendors, Items) have become unmanageable and you want a new start, or, your file has been showing signs of a corrupt database (crashing, failing to backup, and you have worked with Intuit to try and resolve the problem).   We will start a brand new QuickBooks file, importing only your active Customers, Vendors, Employees, Accounts plus your beginning balances and all your transactions from the first of the year.

Quick tips to make your existing large QuickBooks Data File run faster:

  • Keeping many windows open within QuickBooks while you work, will slow down the speed in which QuickBooks operates. Close open windows (in QuickBooks) that you are through with. To see how many windows are open,
    Click on the view menu> Open windows list.  Keep this open on the left side of your screen. When you are through with tasks/reports that are currently open, go to the Window menu > and Choose close all
  • QuickBooks performance can be impeded by
    A chart of accounts with a large number of sub-accounts- will class tracking help? Call us for more information.
    An Item list with a large number of sub-items
    A large transaction log file (TLG extension) – do a regular backup in single user mode (weekly) from within QuickBooks
    to keep this from being a non-issue.
    A Customer list with a large number of jobs (time to plan to start a new data file)
  • Google desktop, an application that can be installed with QuickBooks indexes the QuickBooks file for lookup/search purposes. But it takes an awful lot of your computer resources, so un-install it.  Start menu > Programs > Google desktop > select Uninstall Google Desktop – or from your control panel > add/remove programs > Select Uninstall Google Desktop > Remove.
  • Set up reports to display the date range first (modify report window) so that you are not needlessly running reports twice
    Edit menu > preferences > reports > check the box “prompt me to modify report options before opening a report”
    Also check “don’t refresh”, if indeed, you keep a report open for easy access while doing a lot of data entry. Run reports during off hours.
  • Consider turning off the QuickBooks warning that displays when you try to record a bill that has the same reference number as an existing bill from the same vendor. Checking the existing numbers causes QuickBooks to take more time to record a bill and may affect performance significantly. You will need to weigh the performance issue with the need to have this preference turned on.
    Edit menu > preferences > bills > uncheck the box “warn about duplicate bill numbers from the same vendor
  • Be sure to defrag the server and the affected workstation. It is normal to have large Database file fragments if you are using RAID
  • To speed up the initial opening of QuickBooks, you can set QuickBooks Preferences to NOT open the home page and to NOT remember what windows you had open last time you worked within QuickBooks. Edit menu > preferences > Desktop View > click on the radial button “don’t save the desktop”, and uncheck Show home page when opening a company file.

Creating a portable company file and restoring that portable company file as your working file will re-index the file which should improve performance as well.