Backing up your company file in QuickBooks Mac 2020

backupSometimes things just don’t go well—files get messed up, computers crash. But don’t worry—it’s easy to get QuickBooks going again.

Setting up backup for your company file

The first thing you’ve got to do is set up your backup preferences.

Here’s how:

  1. Launch QuickBooks Mac 2020 (if you haven’t already).
  2. Go to QuickBooks > Preferences.
  3. Choose Backup.

Now you’ve got some options:

  • Set QuickBooks to automatically back up the company file every few hours or once a day.
  • Set QuickBooks to automatically back up every time you close your company file.
  • Choose a place to put your backup files. If you have a secondary or backup hard drive available, it’s a good idea to set the backup location to that drive.  If you use Apple’s Time Machine, you can choose a folder on the Time Machine drive for your QuickBooks backups.
  • Choose whether or not QuickBooks overwrites the backup file each time it creates a new backup.
  • Decide whether to encrypt your backup and create a password or not. It’s a good idea to set a password (which automatically encrypts your backup file) if you’re backing up to Time Machine or to a cloud solution like Dropbox or Skydrive. If you’re the only user on the computer and you’re backing up to a private secondary drive, you probably don’t need a password.Tip: Be sure you pick a password you can remember. Once it’s encrypted and passworded, your backed up data cannot be unencrypted without your password—not even by us at Intuit!
  • Decide whether to back up your Attached Documents Library with your company file. Tip: If you use attachments, we think it’s a good idea to choose this option.

What QuickBooks does to create a backup

When QuickBooks backs up your company file, it creates a disk image—that is, a file with a .dmg extension. Unless you’re a computer geek, you probably won’t care about the details of this kind of file.

We create .dmg backup files so that you don’t accidentally open a backup company file and start making changes in it directly. I’ve seen what happens when a user does that—it creates a huge mess!

But that does lead to the question—how do you restore your company file from one of these .dmg backup files?

Restoring from a backup

Each .dmg file QuickBooks creates when it backs up your data includes a copy of your company file and your Attached Documents Library (if you use and back up attachments).

Here’s how you use the .dmg to restore your company file:

  1. Go to your backed up disk image and double-click to mount (open) it. A new window will open, containing your file, attachments library, and restore instructions. Double-click on the Restore Instructions icon to open the PDF. This will tell you step-by-step how to restore your company file and attachments library.
  2. You cannot open your company file from the disc image, as it is read-only, so you’ll need to copy it to a directory on your hard drive in order to open it, such as Documents or your desktop. Drag the company file (with the .qb2020 extension) where you want it to be.
  3. If you use attachments and you have set up your backup preferences to back up the Attached Document Library, drag the Attached Documents Library folder where you want it to be.
    Tip: We recommend that you put your Attached Documents Library in the same place as your company file.
  4. Open your company file.
  5. Go to QuickBooks > Preferences.
  6. Choose Attachments.
  7. Click the Attached Documents Library menu and choose Select Existing.
  8. Navigate to the Attached Documents Library folder you restored in Step 3 and choose it.
  9. Click Open.
  10. Close the Preferences window—your choice is saved automatically.

That’s it! Your company file is restored, and your Attached Documents Library is restored and connected to your restored company file.

About Liz Hamill Scott

Liz Hamill Scott is the newest member of the QuickBooks for Mac team, but she's no stranger to QuickBooks. For the last few years, Liz has used QuickBooks for Mac to track the many expenses she incurs as a travel, food, and lifestyle writer. The author of The Imperfect Traveler's Guide to Traveling With Pain, five Moon Handbook travel guides to California and numerous magazine, newspaper, and blog articles, Liz loves advocating for travelers with hidden disabilities and takes the business of being a sole proprietor seriously. You can find Liz on the web at See all of Liz's articles

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