If you have a gigantic QuickBooks data file, the classic approach is to recreate the file and start over. This approach works, but it takes a lot of effort and it opens the door to lots of data entry or importing mistakes.

One alternative, if your version has the built-in Condense command, is to try that command on a copy of your file and see what happens. Sometimes it works great, and sometimes it doesn’t.

RELATED: These are Large QuickBooks Data Files…and What Users Did

If the built-in condense doesn’t give you satisfactory results, you can have your file supercondensed. Some of our clients describe their supercondense experience:

“We are so pleased with our new Supercondensed QuickBooks file and the quick and professional service you provided. Our file was very large and over 20 years old. We were having many problems with the old file and were told by Quickbooks support to re-create the file and start from scratch. This would have required countless hours and days of downtime for our company. Also, we did not want to lose all of the transaction history and wanted to keep 2 years of history for comparison reports. We were thrilled when we found your service. We sent the file on Friday and the new file was here Monday morning. The instructions to upload the new file were very easy to follow and in no time we were using our new file. We highly recommend your service to other companies looking to condense their QuickBooks file. We plan on using this service every 3-5 years from now on. Thank you so much all your help!!!” — Sue Hamby, Motherlove Herbal Company

“Finished product came back just as advertised. Shannon and QuickbooksUsers.com reduced my file size by 70% and got it done and back to me in less time than expected for a weekday turnaround.  All questions were answered promptly and the process was very professional from start to finish.  Would highly recommend QuickbooksUsers.com and will use them again when my file gets too big again.” — John Clouse, Butler Color Press

“No down time. Massive data file repaired and condensed. We are thrilled that we did not have to start a new company file and were able to keep the data years our CPA recommended. Best customer service ever! Did what Intuit and 4 business days of down time could not achieve. These guys get it done!!” — Ann Mahoney, Bates Air Conditioning & Service Co Inc.

“We went with the weekend supercondense. Shannon explained the process up front and the entire project went exactly as planned – sent the file Friday and it was ready for first thing on Monday. Speed is greatly increased and we would definitely do it again.” — Rob Coleman, RCTENN

“We got our data back much smaller and ready to move to QuickBooks online.  So I was very happy.  Most importantly to me, Shannon was extremely responsive which was key for us.” — Cameron Struthers, Allen Print Ltd.

“100% satisfied. Best investment we made in getting our QB data file under control. We were able to get our supercondense done with no downtime. Very happy we used their service.” — Paul Perry, Precision Services

RELATED: Case Study: User with Big, Slow QuickBooks File

Have you evaluated recreating your company, versus condensing, versus supercondensing? What did you decide?

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28 thoughts on ““I Was Told to Re-create My File and Start from Scratch…”

  1. Condensing the file is relatively simple.
    Don’t ever need to pay an outside consultant to do it unless one was literally lazy to do so!

    The unspoken problem is whether or not the QB file is ‘cleaned up’ (i.e. vendors, transactions, etc…) which could still remain in the updated condensed QB file but that’s a different story!

    • Hi JustSaying,

      Well, that’s exactly the issue. From the user’s point of view, running the Condense command in QB is simple and usually no outside help is needed. But what it actually achieves in the file is, as you say, often a different story. That’s why we offer our supercondense service, which is separate from the built-in condense, and usually works much better. Thanks for your comment.

  2. My paychecks print in a numerical format that isn’t able to be fixed by reversing the printer to print back to front. We have nine employees, and I have to go to the register and correct 4 of the numbers every week ?

    • Take the group of nine checks and put them in the correct order before you print them.

      Then next time you order checks for payroll tell the company to print in reverse order.

  3. The condense utility in Enterprise 2015 works very well, the people before me had not condensed the company file since 2006! I found out the hard way to condense one year at a time, it took approx. 15 hours per year so be sure and run it over the weekend. So far I have condensed from Dec. 13, 2010 back, it has made a huge difference..

  4. Shannon, please email me, I have a client that needs a Supercondense service, the file size is 1.1GB and needs to be like 300mb or so. It only has like 1000 transactions, but is showing 500k targets, something is wrong for sure! QuickBooks Enterprise 2014

  5. I have a new quickbooks I am putting on my computer with windows 7. I uninstalled the program because I couldn’t get my sign on and my password to work. After I reloaded it my license and all my company info was still there. Also I am wanting to change my start date. All of that didn’t come up. Now when I click on the quickbooks icon it opens right up with no password.

  6. Shannon, I have a question
    If we condense the QB file is it still possible to perform a supercondensing on the same file? Do we have an access to financial reports?
    Thank you for your time

    • Hi Ellie,

      Yes, we can supercondense a file that has had the built-in condense run on it. You’d want to keep a copy of your original file on your system so that you can run historical reports for periods before the cut off date (the date before which transactions are removed). Thanks for your question.

  7. Thank you Shannon for your response. I was trying to get on hold with your company yesterday, but wasn’t successful . What is the best way to contact you? Thank you

  8. Ummm… Condensing doesn’t even reduce file size much and it screws up A/R reporting… You guys have to know that it just deletes transaction links right?

    • Hi Um,

      That’s right, the built-in condense command often fails to reduce file size significantly, and can mess up reporting. It actually removes transactions, but sometimes has unforeseen consequences. Our supercondense process is not affected by the problems in the built-in condense command. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Under what conditions would someone want to run the Supercondense? We’re on Enterprise 16.0 R10. Our previous QB file size was way too large, so we had created a new file in January 2016, starting from scratch. But the past 8 months or so, even though the size of the new file is not large, the file runs very slow when processing payroll-related transactions. It even holds other users hostage from being able to do anything in QB while that user’s process is running. We have evaluated hardware, software, and tried every possible option.

    • Hi Nathan,

      File size is one significant factor for performance, but it is not the only one. How many employees are in the file? How many other names? How big is the TLG file? Will the file verify OK currently?

  10. File size is 600MB (not too big), employee count was very large (1,200) but we just deleted most of them (the ones we could that had no activity/history), with no subsequent change in performance when processing a batch of paychecks. That surprised me.
    I just did a rebuild, there was an error that got fixed (the number of a transaction should have been a different number). So next step is we’ll test processing a batch of paychecks after rebuild and see how that goes. I’m not hanging my hat on that. TLG file is tiny, and the file verified great.

  11. No, the “old defunct employees” show as removed when I look at the list information on F2 section (Product Information area). The reason why I did a Rebuild, is because I wondered if somehow the supposedly deleted employee data is still embedded in QuickBooks’ tables somehow, and still slowing things down. (It didn’t make sense to me that the performance and speed did not improve at all, after I deleted all those employees).

    • OK thanks. Another question: Why would there be a lot of employees with no activity/history? Did they use to have activity, but the file was condensed to get rid of the activity? Or they never had any activity at all?

  12. Because the previous QB file was so large and voluminous, I create a brand new file from scratch January 1, 2016. I made the mistake of loading in all the existing employees instead of first removing the inactive ones. So we took care of it just recently, but to my surprise, still no difference in performance.

  13. Pingback: QuickBooks: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How « QuickBooks and Your Business

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