Pro tip: A quick fix for slow QuickBooks data file connectivity

Follow these steps to experience a much faster connection to your QuickBooks data file.

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.

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....