QuickBooks is
the de facto standard for small business finances. When QuickBooks runs well,
it’s a champ; when it doesn’t, it can be a nightmare to troubleshoot.

One issue users sometimes encounter is their connection to
the QuickBooks data file slows to a crawl. When this happens, work either
becomes nearly impossible, or you lose data — neither is
acceptable.

If your network is humming along in its usual zippy fashion,
and you’ve come to the conclusion that the desktop(s) are trouble-free, how do
you get QuickBooks back up to speed? A quick fix that almost always solves the
problems is to create a portable copy of your data file. This fix is especially
helpful when your transaction logs have gotten out of hand. The transaction
logs are files with the .tlg extension. For every QuickBooks data file, you
will have a transaction log. If the file size of the .tlg file exceeds that of
the .qbw file, problems may ensue.

When you create a portable copy of your data file, the
transaction log is effectively flushed, and you start with a pseudo clean slate.
This ultimately has the effect of speeding up your connection to the data file
(given you have no general networking or firewall issues).

Here’s how to create the portable copy:

  1. Get
    everyone out of QuickBooks.
  2. Switch
    to single user mode.
  3. Go to
    File | Create Copy.
  4. Select
    Portable Company File (Figure A) and click Next.
  5. Click
    the Save In drop-down and select Desktop.
  6. Click
    Save.
  7. Click
    OK.
  8. Click
    OK.

Figure A

Creating a portable copy of your data file.

The portable copy of your data file will now be located on
your desktop. The next step is to restore that portable copy back to the
original location. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to
    File | Open Or Restore Company File.
  2. Select
    Restore A Portable File and click Next.
  3. Locate
    the portable copy on your desktop and click Open.
  4. In the
    Where Do You Want To Restore The File window, it’s very important that you
    read the warning about changing the file name. Click Next.
  5. Click
    the Save-in drop-down and select your location (this will be on the
    server/machine hosting the data file).
  6. Rename
    the file.
  7. Click
    Save.

If you do not rename the file, you will overwrite the existing
data file. If there was a problem during the creation of the portable copy, you
could overwrite your data file with a file that will not work, so use caution!

Once the file is restored, open the data file. You should
experience a much faster connection to your QuickBooks data file.