Memory aid
Do you remember to make QuickBooks backups?
The classic problem with backups (Quickbooks or otherwise) is that they don’t get made consistently.

So people are always calling with QuickBooks data corruption and…you guessed it…no good current backups.

So what’s the answer? The solution is to always have backups available that are technically sound, current, and deep.

Deep? Well, sometimes your file gets corrupted, and your last good backup is corrupted too. You can’t just restore your backup, if you’re only “one backup deep”. So you need a number of backups going back in time. If your last backup is bad, perhaps the one created the day before that is OK.

There’s gotta be an easy way to do this, right? A way that you don’t have to think about too much?

These days, backing up your QB data can be easy and automatic. Let’s look at some options.

1. Intuit Data Protect. This plan seems to be replacing QuickBooks Online Backup, although it is only available for QuickBooks 2011 and higher (QuickBooks Online Backup works with earlier versions too.) This fee-based service will automatically backup your QuickBooks files, and other files too, to Intuit’s cloud. It will keep your data around for 45 days. So that’s pretty good “depth”. This plan is included for no extra charge if you have certain Intuit support plans.

2. 3rd Party Online Backup Services. There are a lot of these out there. Global DataVault, iDrive, Carbonite, Mozy, and others compete in the online storage marketplace.

Most of these will automatically sync your hard drive to your online storage account, and backup your files whenever then change. This includes your QuickBooks company data files.

The potential vulnerability here is with one-generational backups. Example: Your company file is getting synced continuously with your online backup account. But then your data gets corrupted. And backed up to your online account. Hmm, where’s a good backup? It’s not online!

The workaround for this is to still make manual backups within QuickBooks. You can configure your preferences in QuickBooks to prompt you every time you exit to make a backup. I would recommend that you do this. Making a backup doesn’t take much time. Then, theoretically, you have an almost limitless number of backup generations if you get in trouble.

These are really the only easy and automatic methods I know of. If you have in-house IT, perhaps you have a way of getting automatically produced server backups off-site and off your server. I’ve talked to too many IT consultants over the years who end up with a crashed RAID and NO good server backups. No good. It might seem scary, but you really want to backup your most important data to the cloud. The scarier alternative is finding yourself with no good current backups at all.

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7 thoughts on “How Do I Make Backing Up QuickBooks Easy and Automatic?

  1. I have been using Carbonite with success. They do support restoration of previous file versions.

    “Carbonite keeps old versions of your files for up to three months. It keeps one version of the file for each day of the past week, one version for each of the previous three weeks, and one version for each of the previous two months that the file has been backed up.”

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  2. I use an online backup service for my computer. But I’ve yet had to use them to restore a file. I don’t really know how the system works. So my question is: Is it possible for the service to ‘save’ a currupt file and not have an earlier good file or do they only save the last back up? I use Carbonite so I guess this is a question for them. But I thought you may know. Also if Carbonite is “back up enough”, how can I disable the back up reminders I get when I close QB?

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  3. Emile, thanks for that clarification for how Carbonite works; good to know. I would think under their system it would be good to make a manual verified backup in QB at the end of each quarter and let Carbonite permanently save it. Then you’d be covered through their multi-generational approach for files going back the last three months, and you’d also be covered if you needed to restore something older than that.

    Tim, when you are exiting your company and it prompts you to make a backup, accept the prompt. Then click on Options, you can then uncheck the “Remind me to back up” box and it won’t bother you any more after that. Thanks for the question.

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  4. QuickBooks Pro has a feature to Schedule the backups. So I just setup a schedule to backup to a separate hard drive in the middle of the night. It also provides the option of how many backups (depth) you want to keep.

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  5. Hi Barry, thanks for sharing your procedure with us. Has that approach worked out well for you? Do you regularly leave your computers on after-hours? I’ve wondered about the pros and cons of doing that.

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  6. You can also set the QuickBooks file to backup to a DropBox folder, either automatically when closing out of the company file, or on a schedule, or when prompted.

    This way, the backup is stored ‘in the cloud’, but, also, loaded onto every computer where you have your DropBox utility installed.

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