How To Rectify QuickBooks Unable To Back Up Company File Error

How to Rectify QuickBooks Unable to Backup Company File Error

Managing your company data is crucial to ensure that reporting and calculations are done properly and as per requirements. In this regard, a backup of your company file helps you prevent data loss in many ways and ensures that even if your main company file loses data, you always have an updated backup handy. While this backup process is automatic in QuickBooks, there are some error codes and instances where you may face problems backing up your company file. This can disrupt your business processes by rendering you vulnerable in the event of an accidental data loss or virus attack. In such cases, you must be aware of why such errors are occurring and how to resolve them. So, here we will talk about the issue of QuickBooks being unable to backup files, potential reasons for it, and how to resolve the issue through multiple solutions.

Do You Know What Is “Backup Of Company File?”

The backup of a file primarily means a second copy that includes the exact data entered within the primary file. This backup is there to protect your data if you ever lose the primary file or the data in the primary file, in which case you can use the secondary file to refer to the same data and potentially restore the primary file. In the case of QuickBooks, this backup allows you to access all your company information if a malfunction or critical error deletes all the data in your company file. Since such errors and malfunctions happen unexpectedly, it is advised to always keep an updated backup handy to enable you to access company info whenever you need it.

Most Common Errors You May See

When QuickBooks comes across an error that compromises the backup process, you may see the error message as being:

  • “Backup failed,” or
  • “QuickBooks unable to back up the company file.”

However, apart from these error messages, the backup failure can be due to multiple QuickBooks error codes caused by different factors and functions of QuickBooks. Some of the most common errors that can cause this error of unable to backup are:

  • QuickBooks error codes in the –6000 series.
  • QuickBooks error codes –6189 and –82.
  • QuickBooks error codes –6190 and –816.
  • QuickBooks error codes 3371 where QuickBooks installation is affected.
  • QuickBooks error codes in the ‘C’ series, such as Error Code C=272 and Error Code C=343.
  • Other error codes which show the error message as being an unrecoverable error.

While these are not the only ones that can lead to your QuickBooks company file not backing up, these are the most common ones you would be seeing. So, it would help if you could familiarize yourself with these error codes and make sure that you know the cause and solution for each of them.

You Must Know The Reasons Behind The Error

Although we have identified the common errors that are associated with QuickBooks being unable to back up the company file, we also need to identify why these errors occur. This is applicable for all identified errors as well as unidentified errors leading to failure in backing up the files. Some of these reasons include:

  • Lack of space to create the backup: Adequate storage within your system is crucial to enable the backup file to be created. In this case, one of the most plausible reasons is that your computer does have the necessary amount of space left over to accommodate the backup. This can be an even more plausible reason if your company file is large, implying that the backup will be large and require that much more space as well.
  • The company file is large in size: Relating to the previous reason identified, if your company file itself is too large, then QuickBooks can have difficulty backing it up. While this may be due to the lack of space, the sheer size of the file may also make it difficult to process it and create a backup. This issue is commonly seen in company files that are over the size of 3GB.
  • The chosen backup path is wrong: Choosing the wrong backup path can also lead to you being unable to back up your company file. The wrong backup path can lead to QuickBooks freezing and hanging, rendering you unable to work on it anymore. This means that once this happens, you cannot use any function available on the program, forcing you to relaunch it.
  • The company file name is too long: You may also face this issue if the name of the company file is long. Specifically, this issue is frequent if the company file name is longer than 65 characters. So, it is always a good idea to count the length of the name and shorten it accordingly when naming the file in the first place to avoid this error.
  • Damaged or corrupt company file: If the company file has been damaged or has become corrupt, then it can face issues with having a backup made. A damaged company file can create many issues for the administrators, and this is one of them. Since creating a backup is one of the most crucial things you are required to do when using QuickBooks, this is one thing you would like to resolve as soon as possible.
  • Backup attempted on an external hard disk: The QuickBooks program is designed in a way that the backups can only be created within the computer drives. So, if you are attempting to back up your company file on an external storage device directly from QuickBooks, then QuickBooks can create issues by making you unable to create the backup successfully.
How To Fix QuickBooks Unable To Back Up Company File Errors?

If you are facing the issue due to specific QuickBooks error codes, then it would be best to look up the solutions to resolve the error and address the issue accordingly. However, if you are facing the issue due to some of the above reasons, then these solutions mentioned below can help you to potentially resolve the issue.

  • Setting up QuickBooks Desktop to use the new company file name: Using a new company file name is one of the most effective solutions to deal with this issue. However, when you do use this method, you need to set up your QuickBooks Desktop product to use this new name. You can do so by following the below steps:
    • Step 1: Start by opening QuickBooks Desktop.
    • Step 2: Go to the ‘File’ menu.
    • Step 3: In the File’ menu, go to the option of ‘Open or Restore’ one of the existing companies in your program.
    • Step 4: On the resulting page, click on the option of ‘Open a Company File.’
    • Step 5: Click on ‘Next.’
    • Step 6: Click on New company file name.’
  • Backup of company file into an external drive or flash drive: You can also try to move the backup to an external storage device after you have created the backup on your computer. If you wish to adopt this solution to resolve the issue, then follow the below steps:
    • Step 1: Open QuickBooks and choose save Copy or Backup’ from the ‘File’ menu.
    • Step 2: Click on ‘Backup copy’ and then ‘Next’ to proceed.
    • Step 3: Choose ‘Local Backup’ on the resulting page and then click on ‘Next.’
    • Step 4: On the next page, click on Save it now’ on being prompted and then confirm by clicking on ‘Next.’
    • Step 5: Choose a location on your computer to save the file and then click on ‘Save.’
    • Step 6: Minimize QuickBooks and then go to the location you just saved the file in.
    • Step 7: Right-click on the file and choose Copy.’
    • Step 8: Then go to the folder representing your external storage device and paste this file by right-clicking and choosing ‘Paste.’
  • Rename the QuickBooks Desktop company file: You can also choose to rename the company file entirely and see whether it solves the error or not. To rename your company file, follow the below steps:
    • Step 1: Open QuickBooks Desktop and then launch the correct company file.
    • Step 2: Then press ‘F2’ or ‘Ctrl + 1’ on your keyboard to access the Product Information’ box.
    • Step 3: Note the location of this company file as you see on this Product Information box.
    • Step 4: Now go to this location on your computer.
    • Step 5: Right-click on the file and click on Rename.’
    • Step 6: Once you have typed in the new name, press ‘Enter’ on your keyboard and click on ‘Yes’ when prompted.


Being unable to create a backup of your company file can be a major hindrance, especially if you know how difficult it can be when you lose your company file and have no backups. So, if you are stressed over not being able to create backups, these solutions will help you to identify the cause for such errors and resolve them accordingly.

Share this Link:
Call for Help & Support