Troubleshooting basics with QuickBooks for Mac

If you have a company file of any size, QuickBooks for Mac is handling a lot of data. If you don’t see the data you expect or in the way you expect it, it can be a scary thing. But with a little troubleshooting, you can soon be back to the way things were.

Tip #1: Check your version of QuickBooks for Mac and your Mac’s operating system

Have you recently upgraded your Mac OS? That change alone can cause an older version of QuickBooks to behave differently. When you modernize your operating system, you should do the same with QuickBooks. If updating QuickBooks doesn’t fix the wonky behavior, it means version compatibility isn’t the issue. Try opening one of the sample company files that QuickBooks installed. Repeat the activities that have been causing trouble in your company file. If the problems don’t occur in the sample, then your company file may have data damage.

Tip #2: If you still see the problem in the sample company file, try checking your disk permissions

Often, simply repairing disk permissions can make things right again.

  1. Open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).
  2. Select your Mac’s hard drive and click the Repair Disk Permissions button.

Tip #3: Delete the QuickBooks user-level preference file

Go to your user account on the Mac, open the Preferences folder inside the Library folder, locate the QuickBooks for Mac plist file, and trash it. (You may need to reset some preferences the next time you launch QuickBooks.)

If repairing permissions and deleting the plist file doesn’t help, a corrupted user account on your Mac could be the culprit. Create a new user account, and then open QuickBooks while still logged into that new account. Open your company file and use it. If the behavior problems are gone (particularly those not related to list and report accuracy), this might indicate that your regular Mac user account is corrupted. (Solving that problem is a job for a Mac expert.) If the sample company file behaves properly, you could still try repairing permissions and deleting the preference file. However, if your company file still misbehaves—lists and reports are still missing names or accounts, for example—then it might have list damage. See the article List Damage in QuickBooks for Mac: Symptoms and Cures for steps to fix that problem. If, in spite of all your efforts your file still crashes, reports errors, or displays wrong information, it may have data damage.

The Support knowledgebase article Troubleshooting and fixing data damage in QuickBooks for Mac (KB article #1007465) provides extensive instructions for problem-solving data damage. If rebuilding the data file and following all of the steps in KB article #1007465 doesn’t fix your company file, contact QuickBooks Support.

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About Debi Calvet

Debi Calvet was a small-business owner for nearly 14 years, most recently co-owning a creative-services firm that developed brand identity, Web sites, and promotional and advertising materials for other businesses. QuickBooks for Mac was the only accounting software her businesses used. As an active participant in Intuit’s QuickBooks for Mac Community, Debi enjoys helping users solve their problems. Her husband, however, suspects that she enjoys the forum a little too much. See all of Debi’s Articles

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