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Create or Restore a QuickBooks portable Company File

Here are steps and recommended solutions to guide you in creating and restoring a QuickBooks Desktop portable company (.qbm) file.

What is a QuickBooks Desktop Portable Company File?

  • It is a compact copy of your financial data that you can send by email or any portable media such as external or flash drive.
  • The portable company file does not include letters, logos, images, and templates.
  • It doesn’t contain a transaction log (*.tlg) file.
  • It is an effective tool for resolving data problems since QuickBooks Desktop re-indexes the data when restoring a portable company file.

Before proceeding, take note of the following:

  • Ensure your QuickBooks is up to date before troubleshooting.
  • All versions of QuickBooks require you to log in as the Admin to create and return a portable copy. If you give someone a portable copy, they will gain access to all areas of QuickBooks and have the ability to add or modify your transactions and change your Administrator password.
  • If you are trying to resolve data problems, do not overwrite the original file while restoring the portable copy. The best practice is to rename the original file before restoring the portable company file.
  • If you are sending your company file to your accountant, consider using an accountant’s copy.

Create a portable company file

  1. From the File menu, select Create Copy.
  2. Select Portable company file, then Next.
  3. Choose the location where you want to save the portable copy.
  4. Select Save and OK.

Restore a portable company file

  1. From the File menu, select Open or Restore Company.
  2. Select Restore a portable file, then select Next.
  3. Select the portable copy (.qbm), then select Open.
  4. Read through the Where do you want to restore the file? page, then select Next.
  5. Choose the location where you want to restore your portable file.Note: You can change the name of the portable file to prevent it from overwriting your existing file.
  6. Select Save.

Loan Manager, FAM, or QuickBooks Statement Writer information is not restored with the portable file

You will not have access to your Loan Manager (LMR), Fixed Asset Manager (FAM), or QuickBooks Statement Writer (QSW) information if you restore the portable company file on a computer other than where the QuickBooks Desktop company file is saved. To work around this, you need to copy the folders and files to the current company file location.

Loan Manager: Copy the .lmr file, which is labeled as [CompanyName].lmr, to the current location of your company file then restore it.

Fixed Asset Manager: Copy all the files from the folder specified below to the current location of your company file then restore it.

  • QuickBooks 2020: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\FAM19\clients
  • QuickBooks 2019: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\FAM18\clients
  • And some older Versions
  • QuickBooks 2018: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\FAM17\clients
  • QuickBooks 2017: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files\FAM16\clients

Unable to create or restore a portable company file

Solution 1: Copy the QuickBooks company file on the desktop

  1. Open the folder where your file is saved.
  2. Right-click the file, then select Copy.
    • If you are creating a portable file, copy the .qbw file.
    • If restoring a portable file, copy the .qbm file.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the Desktop, then select Paste.
  4. On your keyboard, press and hold the Ctrl, then double-click the QuickBooks icon to get the No Company Open window.
  5. Try creating or restoring the portable file.

Solution 2: Try to work on a sample file

  1. On the No Company Open window, select Open a Sample File.
  2. Create a portable copy using the sample company file and save it on your Desktop.
  3. From the File menu, select Close Company/Logoff.
  4. Try to restore the portable copy of the sample file that you saved on your desktop.

If you are able to create and restore the portable copy of the sample company file, your company file is damaged. See Resolve data damage on your company file for more information.

Solution 3: Clean install QuickBooks Desktop