What if you could reduce your big QuickBooks file’s size without deleting data. How great would that be?

But wait…Can you have your cake and eat it too?

There is a new feature that is built in to the Condense command starting with the 2019 version of QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise. This new feature will allow you to run the Condense command and ONLY remove the audit trail from the file.

Sometimes the audit trail makes up the majority of a QuickBooks file’s size. So the ability to remove it, and only it, might allow a user to significantly reduce their file size but still retain all other data.

For years, the built-in Condense command has offered users a way to reduce their file’s size. But many users reported that the command froze, or didn’t do much, or messed up the balance sheet.

That’s why for many years users have come to us to have their data supercondensed as an alternative to the built-in Condense command.

But now QuickBooks 2019 has a new take on condensing: Leave all the data except the audit trail. Will this be effective?

The main problem I foresee is that audit trail removal alone may not make the file perform any faster.

At least, that has been our experience. For awhile we experimented with offering a service to remove just the audit trail from QuickBooks files. We could reduce a file’s size by up to 50% that way.

But users complained that it just didn’t help speed up slow files. The process of saving invoices would be just as sluggish as before. Running complex P&Ls would take just as long as before. Verifying a file would still take as long, etc.

So even though on paper the process reduced the file, in actuality it didn’t make any noticeable difference in QuickBooks’ performance. And it’s all about performance, right? So we discontinued offering that service years ago.

I’ll be interested to run some tests on big files in QuickBooks 2019 to see if removing the audit trail speeds up slow files or not. If you try it, let me know your experience.

      RELATED: Why QuickBooks Files Grow (Fast)

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9 thoughts on “New in QuickBooks 2019: Reduce File Size But Retain Data

  1. QB’s built-in Condense command is a joke!
    When you perform a monthly reconciliation and KNOW that the ending balances are Correct (or as Correct as you can get!) especially when you’re on a CASH BASIS, the Condense feature MESSES up the balance!

    QB needs to be redone to FIX their problems!
    Removing the audit trail is a joke!

    • Hi Seriously,

      I agree. After talking with hundreds of QB users about it, and many consultants too, it seems that using the built-in Condense command has one of these outcomes:

      * It works great. This does happen sometimes.
      * It crashes with errors or it freezes
      * It goes through the motions but doesn’t remove much
      * It completes and removes a lot, but messes up account balances

      That’s why we offer our supercondense alternative. It works even when the built-in condense command fails. https://quickbooksusers.com/quickbooks-supercondense/

      We’ll see how the built-in condense command works in version 2019. Thanks for your comment.

  2. This is the Really Great feature in the new version of QuickBooks. Because when we have file size is too large. We always face issue to open. Many time its broken. Using new feature of QuickBooks 2019. We can remove audit trail from QuickBooks file

  3. Shannon, my friend.

    The new feature also clears a few other internal logs (that contribute to file size) and performs an ‘unload/reload’ routine which provides some additional optimization. In our own testing on about a dozen different files ranging from 300MB to 1.2GB we saw reductions between 31- and 49-percent which were directly dependent upon how extensive the number of edits were to transactions (which bolsters the audit trail).

    We observed considerable improvement in performance immediately after performing the process, but that was testing in single-user mode only in an almost pristine environment. There really is no telling how performance will be impacted in a ‘typical multi-user environment’ as configured by most users.

    Still the same, I view this as the first really good ‘temporary stop-gap’ (thus avoiding the other ‘internal QB crappy condense options users have attempted) that may help people get through the end-of-their current year so they can then either have a professional file reduction or start a new clean file.

    • Hi Murph,

      That is helpful, thank you. I’ll try it out on a few big files too and see what happens. I’ll be particularly interested in files where there is latency in saving transactions. Hope all is well over there in OK.

  4. Hi Shannon
    I have a small problem that I find very frustrating!
    (I use Reckon Accounts Enterprise 2018)
    As I am not good at spelling I rely on spell check when I type invoices. The spell check finds the errors and gives me the list of options – all good so far – I find the correct one highlight it and press enter BUT it does not change in the invoice!!
    Can you help?


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