QuickBooks being a bit sluggish for you?

Apart from adding newer, faster hardware (think solid state drives) or having your file supercondensed, here are some less obvious ways to possibly get a speed increase.

1. Turn off the built-in search indexing in QuickBooks. This is a company preference that enables you to do the quick, global search with F3. But that instant search capability comes at a price: slower performance for other functions, particularly saving new transactions. This is particularly true with very large files, or with version 2013 files.

So try this: Click on Edit / Preferences / Search / Company preferences. Uncheck the search box, or the search update automatically box, depending on your version of QuickBooks. Rebuild your file. Close out of QuickBooks, then open it up again. Are formerly sluggish processes faster? They might be. (If the rebuild step failed, your file has other issues.)

(Note: you can still search in your company file after turning off Search, but it will take longer.)

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2. Get rid of unneeded memorized reports. Some users save a bunch of memorized reports over the years that become irrelevant later on. Get rid of the memorized reports you don’t need anymore.

We have seen cases where QuickBooks performance slows way down if you have memorized reports numbering in the dozens. Not sure why this is exactly. Maybe QuickBooks pre-populates at least some of the information in the memorized reports whenever you save new transactions? Maybe. In any event, we’ve seen performance increases sometimes when you parse the list of memorized reports down significantly.

To delete unneeded memorized reports, click Reports / Memorized Reports / Memorized Reports List. Right click on any unneeded report and select Delete Memorized Report.

3. Delete the TLG file. The TLG file – transaction log file – is an auxiliary file that QuickBooks automatically creates and maintains alongside your main file. The TLG file doesn’t have to be there for QuickBooks to work correctly; it can be deleted without data loss. (It sometimes is useful in data recovery situations, however.)

If the TLG file gets very large — say, over 1GB — then it might start to slow down QuickBooks, especially when you are adding new transactions.

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The simplest way to delete the TLG file is to just make a verified backup of your file in QuickBooks. That will blank out the TLG file and start it over again.

You can simply click File / Create Backup / Local Backup, and click the Options button. Make sure that “Complete verification” is selected. Finish making the backup, and the TLG file will be reset to a blank file. (If there are problems verifying the file, contact us for help.)

You should make sure that your automatic backup system is backing up the TLG file in addition to your QBW file, in case you need it later. Or, you can just manually move it in Windows from its current folder to a backup folder that you have created.

Anybody tried any of these techniques? How did they work for you?

lady waiting at computerI had written before about when QuickBooks is “Not Responding”, particularly when doing data-intensive tasks on large databases. The “wait time” can be reduced by supercondensing large files, but even users of medium-sized files sometimes experience the “not responding” phenomenon.

I was watching the performance graphs in Windows Task Manager during a QuickBooks company verify (with the “not responding” message in my QuickBooks windows tab). Guess what? QuickBooks wasn’t using much CPU power or memory:

task manager screen during quickbooks verify
Verify not taking advantage of available computing resources

Why is that? Why didn’t it use more of my Intel i7-2600′s processing power? Why didn’t it want to use more of my 6GB of RAM? Dunno. It did have some peaks at about 22% CPU usage, but no more than that.

I was verifying a large company under Enterprise Solutions 12. Enterprise is said to take better advantage of extra RAM than Premier and Pro editions, and I think it probably does. But even so, it seems to me to be leaving lots of computing power on the table.

I’ve read about people doing hacks on their Windows registry so that QuickBooks uses more resources and things happen faster. Anybody tried that?

Also, I’ve read that if you keep your QuickBooks information on a solid-state drive (SSD), that speeds things up quite a bit — your hard drive is kind of like extended memory, so there is no mechanical movement associated with reading and writing data. Anybody have a word of experience on that?

Otherwise, as far as QuickBooks itself is concerned, here’s my wish: that future versions use more memory and processor resources than currently available versions do. That would save us — millions of QuickBooks users and pros — a lot of time. Just an idea.

We interviewed a client, Beth Simons at Transmark, who had a large QuickBooks data file that we supercondensed for her. Here is her story:

AccountingUsers: Beth, thanks for talking with us. To get started, can you tell us a little about your company, and your role there?

Beth Simons: We consist of three companies: fuel transporters, logistics broker, and patent-pending upper coupler supplier. I am the accountant and office manager for all three.

AccountingUsers: What does your office use QuickBooks for?

Beth Simons: Having all three companies on QuickBooks Pro 2012, I use it for everything – from inventory in the upper coupler business to purchase orders for our vendors to estimates for our customers. It takes care of everything I need and has for 14 years!

AccountingUsers: What prompted you to contact us to get some help with your QuickBooks file?

Beth Simons: I receive a weekly newsletter from QuickBooks Expert Scott Gregory and his topic a few weeks ago hit me square in the face – “File Size Problems?” My fuel transportation company file was suffering from these problems: taking forever to run a report (one took six minutes!), random error messages causing QB to shut down on its own, and failure to backup properly. I found out the file size was 30% too large for QB to handle and one day it would crash and burn, making it impossible to open at all. Mr. Gregory highly recommended your service to help me out of this precarious situation.

AccountingUsers: What did you hope would result from getting your file supercondensed? Did you have any particular expectations?

Beth Simons: I wanted to be able to sleep at night again without the threat of my QB imploding! I wanted my QB to go back to the way it was years ago – fast, no errors, and seamless – I wanted it all.

AccountingUsers: So you uploaded your file to us to be supercondensed. What was the process like – the steps you took to send your file, the scheduling and turnaround, etc.?

Beth Simons: Your service took the time to explain every step of the process and what I could expect upon completion. I simply made a portable company file on Friday evening, uploaded it to your secure filebox and went home. I arrived in the office Monday morning and restored the new supercondensed file to my QB.

AccountingUsers: When you got your file back from us, what was it like? How did it perform?

Beth Simons: My QB was off and running – the report that took 6 minutes now ran in 40 seconds – amazing! My evening backups work every time now and no more error messages shutting my program down in the middle of my workday!

AccountingUsers: Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

Beth Simons: I want to stress how important it is to keep an eye on your QB file size – just hit your F2 key to look at your data information. I spent one week researching all the different avenues of getting my file size back in control. The only real solution was that offered by your file-shrinking service. I cannot thank you enough!

AccountingUsers: Glad to help. Thanks for telling your story.