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QuickBooks Backup Tutorial – Native and Third-Party Options to Automatically Back up Your Data

Data backup is a must-have feature which will save you from unexpected loss of your accounting data. Ideally, you should have a scheduled backup process, which will create a copy of your data every day. Is this available for QuickBooks? In this blog, we’ll discover all the backup QuickBooks options available for both QuickBooks Online and Desktop.

How do I backup QuickBooks?

QuickBooks does not provide a single backup solution for both online and desktop software. So, first, make sure that you know which QuickBooks product or plan you have. 

Backup QuickBooks online

QuickBooks Online plans, except for Advanced, do not provide data backup from the user perspective. This means that you will neither have a backup QuickBooks for audit purposes nor be able to roll back to an old copy if needed. To get the job done, you will have to opt for third-party solutions.

QuickBooks Online Advanced is the only plan that provides QuickBooks cloud backup and restore capability. Moreover, you can set up automatic data backup, or restore to a specific time and date. The tricky part is that QuickBooks Online Advanced is only available for the US region.

Backup QuickBooks desktop 

If you’re a happy user of a QuickBooks Desktop product, you can create a backup company file (.qbb), schedule automatic backups, and even save your backup copy either locally or online. No additional software is required.

Now, let’s check out the steps to make a backup of your QuickBooks data. 

QuickBooks online backup 

Although there is no native backup feature for QuickBooks Online plans, there is a method that you may benefit from – data export. This will let you create a backup spreadsheet in Google Sheets or Excel, or even upload your data to a data warehouse. Here are the options you should consider.

QuickBooks Cloud backup via manual data export

You can export data from QuickBooks natively if you go to Settings => Export data.

Read more about how to export QuickBooks data.

You can select the Reports and Lists to be included in an archive file that will be downloaded to your device. The archive file will contain Excel files for each data entity selected for export. 

The flaws of this method include:

  • Data is exported manually, without any automatic scheduling
  • Limited data entities are available for export
  • Excel is the only available export data format

Let’s check out a solution that is free of all these flaws.

How to backup QuickBooks Online data to Google Sheets, Excel or BigQuery  

We’ll use Coupler.io as the backup software for QuickBooks Online. It lets you export a number of data entities from QuickBooks Online on a custom schedule. As a destination for your QuickBooks data, you can choose from Google Sheets, Excel Online, and BigQuery.

Once you’ve signed up for Coupler.io, you’ll need to complete the following steps to create a backup:

  • Set up Source (QuickBooks)

You’ll need to choose QuickBooks as a source app, connect to your QuickBooks Online account, select a data category to export, and specify additional parameters if needed.

  • Set up Destination 

You’ll need to choose a destination app (Google Sheets, Excel, or BigQuery) and configure the connection according to the chosen app, for example, QuickBooks to Google Sheets.

After completing these steps, you can export your QuickBooks data right away by clicking Save and Run. However, if you want to schedule exports of data, click Continue and read the next section.

QuickBooks automatic backup to Google Sheets, Excel or BigQuery

Coupler.io’s key feature is Automatic data refresh. It lets you automate exports of data from the chosen source to the chosen destination on a custom schedule. Here are the scheduling settings available:

  • Interval (Every Hour, Every Day, Every Week)
  • Day of week 
  • Time 
  • Time zone

Once you’ve set up the desired schedule, click Save and Run to activate it.

QuickBooks data categories you can backup with Coupler.io 

Account, Attachable, Bill, Bill Payment, Budget, Class, Company Info, Credit Memo, Customer, Department, Deposit, Employee, Estimate, Exchange Rate, Invoice Item, Journal Entry, Journal Code, Payment, Payment Method, Preferences, Purchase, Purchase Order, Refund Receipt, Sales Receipt, Tax Agency, Tax Code, Tax Rate, Term, Time Activity, Transfer, Vendor, Vendor Credit

Other QuickBooks Online backup software

Coupler.io will help you backup your history log data for audit. However, you won’t be able to roll back your QuickBooks company data to an earlier copy in the case of an error. Still, you can search among QuickBooks Apps to get this job done. Here are the options you can consider:

  • Rewind Backups 
  • BackupCircle
  • QODBC For QuickBooks Online
  • QXL For QuickBooks Online

*Online Back-up and Restore is only available for QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks online backup cost

Since there is no native feature for backing up QuickBooks Online, you’ll have to pay for the third-party options. 

The cost for Coupler.io, which provides a free forever plan, will depend on the data volume and the frequency of automated data backups. In some cases, scheduling daily backups to either Google Sheets or Excel or BigQuery won’t cost you a single penny! If you are interested in learning more about it, check out the available Coupler.io pricing plans

The QuickBooks apps that we mentioned above do not provide any free tiers. For example, Rewind will cost you a minimum $14 per month for the daily backup of one file. The more files you want to back up, the more you’ll have to pay. 

How to back up QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premium or Enterprise

Users of QuickBooks Desktop products have no worries about backups, since this is an out-of-the-box feature. It allows you to create local and online backups manually or automatically. Let’s review the flow in the example of QuickBooks Pro for Windows.

Create a QuickBooks backup file

  • Go to the File menu, select Back Up Company => Create Local Backup.

Note: Make sure that you are in Single-user Mode, otherwise you need to switch to it.

  • In the open window, click Options to change the default backup settings such as location for backups, number of backup copies, and others. Once you are done with this, click OK.
  • In the next window, you’ll be able to choose when to save your backup copy:
    • Save it now
    • Save it now and schedule future backups
    • Only schedule future backups

Choose the desired option and click Next.

  • In the last step, you’ll be able to rename the backup file and change its location if desired. Click Save and your QuickBooks data will be backed up.

QuickBooks scheduled backup

If you want to schedule your QuickBooks backups, you’ll need to select a respective option when creating a backup file and click Next.

In the new window, click New and configure the backup task:

  • Add a description
  • Specify the location 
  • Customize the schedule

When you click OK, you’ll need to confirm your QuickBooks scheduled backup by entering your Windows username and password (since we have a QuickBooks Desktop version for Windows). 

Eventually, click Finish and you’ll see a message that your QuickBooks backups have been scheduled.

Set up Online Backup for QuickBooks Desktop

In addition to backing up your QuickBooks locally, you can create a backup copy that will be stored in the cloud. This is possible due to the Intuit Data Protect service, which is included in all QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, Premier Plus and QuickBooks Enterprise subscriptions. 

If you use the simple QuickBooks Desktop Pro software like we do, this service comes at an additional cost:

  • Monthly Plan for an entire PC – $9.95 per month, or $4.95 per month for a single file
  • Annual Plan – $99.95 per year, or $49.95 per month for a single file

To activate Online Backup for your QuickBooks Desktop, go to the File menu, then select Back Up Company => Setup/Activate Online Backup. 

A new window will pop up where you’ll be able to purchase the Intuit Data Protect service.

After the purchase, you’ll be able to store your QuickBooks backups in the cloud.

How to restore QuickBooks backup from a local file

The process to restore a QuickBooks backup is quite simple. Go to the File menu, select Back Up Company => Restore Previous Local Backup => select the file to restore. 

Then you’ll need to follow the guides and confirm your intent to restore the backup copy and delete the current data.

Restore QuickBooks backup from an online copy

Go to the File menu, select Open or Restore Company… and select Restore a backup copy in the open window. Click Next.

Then select Online backup and click Next.

After that you’ll be redirected to the Intuit Data Protect service to select the file in the cloud to back up data.

QuickBooks Online backup – key takeaways

Some QuickBooks users complain that they had to sacrifice the backup feature when they moved from QuickBooks Desktop to Online. Indeed, it’s crucial to have a copy of all your accounting data that can save you time and effort in case of an emergency. Nevertheless, there is always a solution that you can benefit from.

You can choose QuickBooks auto backup to spreadsheets or data warehouse and have your data in a one-size-fits-all format – Coupler.io will help you with this. Or you can open your pockets and purchase an app that will let you backup and restore your QuickBooks data. The decision is up to you. Good luck with your data!

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