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How to find and select QuickBooks company files

Here’s an overview of the types of files we can use to convert you data as well as how to find them.

File types for the conversion service

When sending a file for conversion, you can send any of three file types: A QuickBooks Company Backup file, a QuickBooks Portable Company file, or a QuickBooks Company File.

The results of your conversion will be the same no matter which of these file types are sent.

Sending a QuickBooks Company Backup File (*.qbb file) – preferred

A backup is slightly preferred and is often the easiest file type to send. Many customers regularly create backups. As you create a back up you can specify the backup file name and location.

Create a backup file by staring within QuickBooks with your file open and then pick File | Back Up Company  | Create a Local Backup.

Continue to name the file and select the location. Be aware as you do this and then later select that file to send.

Sending a QuickBooks Portable Company File (*.qbm file)

A portable file is created much like a backup file, but will be smaller.  It’s most useful if you have a large company file because it will upload faster. Like a backup, you can specify the file name and location as you create it.

Create a portable file by staring within QuickBooks with your file open and then pick File | Create Copy  and then pick Portable company file.

Continue to name the file and select the location. Be aware as you do this and then later select that file to send.

Sending a QuickBooks Company File (*.qbw file)

When sending a standard QuickBooks Company File directly, things can get a bit more confusing…

By default, the Windows File Explorer’s option to hide known file extensions is enabled. It’s a rather awful option, likely designed to make Windows look more like a Mac. However, instead of making things easier, in many cases it makes it harder to understand what you’re looking at.

Further complicating things, each QuickBooks company consists of a main company file and several similarly-named auxiliary files that do not contain your financial data. They are basically throw-away files; when missing, QuickBooks will just re-create them as you open the company. Depending on the features you use, you will see between four and six or more of these similarly-named auxiliary files.

For even more excitement, when you create a new company file, QuickBooks typically puts the file where it wants it, which is often in what seems like a strange location compared to other file-based windows programs like Word or Excel.

How To locate your company file – when sending a *.qbw file.

In QuickBooks, pick File | Open Previous Company from the menu.

Your currently-open company will appear at the top of the list with its full path. Note the location and then go there using File Explorer / Windows Explorer.

When you open the folder where your QuickBooks Company is saved, you may see some files with extensions and some without:

Typical File Explorer view when hiding known file extensions:

  • The “QuickBooks Company File” extension (“.qbw”) is hidden, because it is known – registered by QuickBooks.
  • The “Data Source Name” extension (“.DSN”) is also hidden because its extension is known to Windows as an ODBC data source file –  which is actually what this QuickBooks file is.
  • When the DSN extension is hidden, it makes the DSN file look like a company file. But note the file Type and Size are wrong.
  • The other two file types are not known and show their extensions, ND and TLG.

Typical File Explorer view when showing known file extensions:

  • All the files show their full names and extensions.
  • The DSN and ND files share the entire Company File name including the extension – with an added extension.
  • The TLG file uses the Company File name with its own extension.

Enable known file extensions

If you’re unsure of the the to select, you may want to turn on known file extensions.

To do this,

  • Start in Windows File Explorer and select the View tab, and then click the Options button. The Folder Options window will open.
  • Then click on the View tab, then scroll down until you see the “Hide extensions for known file types” option and then remove the check-mark next to it: