How Do I Perform a Manual Backup?

From within QuickBooks itself, you can perform a manual backup.  See our related article for information on how to perform scheduled backups.

A backup can be performed to a local hard disk, a network drive, or a USB drive.  QuickBooks compresses data in a backup file, and the scope of the data actually backed up has changed over the years.  See our related article for what’s included in a backup file made with the integrated QuickBooks backup function.

A manual backup will have the name:

[companyID] (date time).QBB

To perform a manual backup, start by clicking on the File->Save Copy or Backup… menu selection.

Click the Next button to display the Save Copy or Backup window. Choose Local Backup and click Next.

When the follow-up Save Copy or Backup window appears, choose the Save it now option and click Next.

You’ll next be prompted to specify the location and file name of your .QBB backup file.  By default, the file name is set to your company file name followed by the date and time in parentheses, but you can change it to suit your needs.

Alternately, before the preceding step, you may choose to click the Options button.  Doing so will allow you to manage several backup settings, the most important of which is verification.  By default, a manual backup is set to complete verification.

Verification is the process of checking the company file and the internal database for possible damage. Complete verification is not available in multi-user mode. If you opt for at least some data verification prior to backup, QuickBooks will automatically create a transaction log file (.tlg). The transaction log file records changes to your company file since the last backup and can be used in extreme circumstances to recover data from recent transactions.

Once you’ve chosen to use the location you’ve entered, you can continue to perform a manual backup by clicking Ok.

If you opt to save your backup on the same drive that holds your QuickBooks company file (.qbw), you’ll be warned to choose another location. Depending on the role that this manual backup plays in your overall backup strategy, this warning may not be relevant. You can either click Use this Location and continue or choose a different location by clicking Change Location.

QuickBooks will now perform a manual backup based on your verification setting and display a message similar to the one below once the process is complete:

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  1. greg sander says

    Is it possible to do as you say here and have a automatic backup when quickbooks closes – and also be able to do a manual backup to CD. I am working with someone who is not very computer literate. She wants a automatic backup and to be able to backup to CD. She can backup to CD now and I can help her schedule the automatic backup. My concern is that she may overwrite the automatic backup settings when she runs a manual backup.


    • Chief Mechanic says

      Is your concern that she’ll overwrite the backup data or the backup settings? If your destination for both backups is different, she is not likely to overwrite the data. Manual backups don’t change your automatic backup settings, so you should be fine. You can also explore backup solutions outside of QB that will do an automatic backup on a schedule, especially where the backup destination is the cloud. That’s much safer than backing up to the same hard disk or another physical device that is within the same building.

      • greg sander says

        My concern is that she will over write the automatic back up settings. I thought I tested it with her and found that she did over write it. My goal is to have a backup on the local hard drive that is then backed up by Carbonite to their cloud. My customer wants to retain the ability to back up to CD. She can not be sure she will remember to close Quickbooks.

        • Chief Mechanic says

          Does Carbonite require that QB be closed? If so, you should investigate other backup solutions such as Cloudberry Online Backup. Cloudberry will back up a QB file even if it’s left open.

          You’re right that she can over-write the automatic backup settings, and I don’t think there’s a way around that.