How to fix ‘QuickBooks Unable to Backup Company File’ Error?

Summary: This post will help you understand the reasons behind the 'QuickBooks unable to backup Company File' error. It will also explain the step-wise instructions following which you can fix the error. You may also try using a QuickBooks® repair tool to extract data from a backup file (QBB).

How to fix ‘QuickBooks Unable to Backup Company File’ Error?

‘QuickBooks unable to back up company files’ is a QuickBooks desktop error that appears when you try to back up company files (.QBW) data using  backup options of the software. The error may occur due to several reasons such as QBW file corruption, damaged ND files, etc.

Data is one of the most important assets for any organization. A regular backup of business data not only helps prevent data loss but also reduces downtimes and ensures business continuity.

QuickBooks®—a top-notch business accounting software—stores all the business data and transaction details in company files (.QBW) on local storage. This makes QuickBooks® data vulnerable to data loss due to hardware breakdown or software errors. Thus, keeping a regular backup of QBW files is critical.

QuickBooks® features an option to create a backup of company files on an internal or external drive. This helps you restore it in a few clicks if the company files get corrupt or accidentally deleted.

You may also automate the process to create a backup of your QuickBooks® company files at regular intervals.

However, while taking QuickBooks backup, you may sometimes experience errors such as,

QuickBooks Unable To Backup Company File
Backup failed

Reasons for QuickBooks Backup Errors

‘QuickBooks Unable to Backup Company File’ error may occur due to the following reasons:

  • Corrupt Company (.QBW) file
  • Damaged Network Data (.ND) file
  • Company file name exceeds the 65-characters limit
  • Company backup file exceeds 3 GB size limit
  • QuickBooks® files used by another program during backup process
  • Backup storage media isn’t available/connected
  • Wrong backup path in QuickBooks® settings

Steps to Resolve ‘QuickBooks Unable to Backup Company File’ Error

Below are the possible steps to resolve QuickBooks unable to back up company file error on a Windows PC.

Step 1: Run Anti-Virus/Malware Scan

Run a thorough antivirus or anti-malware scan on your PC by using any trusted antivirus or anti-malware tool. The step is important if the QuickBooks® backup error is caused by some malware or virus intrusion.

Step 2: Update QuickBooks® Software

You may need to reinstall QuickBooks® software if the backup error persists. However, that is not an ideal solution, as you will have to go through the entire QuickBooks® setup again.

Alternatively, you may check for the software updates. Installing the latest updates may also fix the QuickBooks® unable to back up company file error.

To check and install the updates,

  • Open QuickBooks® software and go to Help>Update QuickBooks…
  • Click on Update Now
  • Select the available updates and click on the Get Updates button to download the updates
  • Restart the software. It will prompt you to update, click Install or Yes and follow the update installation wizard
  • After installing the updates, reboot the system
  • Open the software and try to back up your .QBW company files

Step 3: Check Backup Path

QuickBooks® may fail to back up the company file if the backup path is faulty or unavailable. Check the backup location drive or directory before initiating the backup task. If backup directory exists on an external drive, make sure it is firmly connected to the system. To check, follow these:

  • In QuickBooks®, go to Preferences and check the backup directory or path where you want to save the backup company files
  • Verify the path and check if it’s valid and accessible

Step 4: Check and Rename the Company File (.QBW)

QBW file name should not contain any special characters. Also, the number of characters in the name should be 65 or less.

NOTE: If you use Loan Manager in QuickBooks®, recreate loan manager information after renaming the company file.

  • Go to your company file location C:\ Users\ Public\ Public Documents\ Intuit\ QuickBooks\  and check the file name
  • Right-click on the file and choose the Rename option
  • Remove extra and special characters from the file name. You may also rename the company file
  • Press ‘Enter’ and that’s it

Now try to back up your QuickBooks® data.

Step 5: Rename Network Data (.ND) File

You can’t back up a company file if the .ND file is damaged or you have moved the .QBW file to a different location on the PC without moving the corresponding .ND file during upgrade.

  • Open Windows File Explorer and go to C:\ Users\ Public\ Public Documents\ Intuit\ QuickBooks\
  • The .ND file has the same name as your company file with .ND extension


  • Right-click on the .ND file and choose ‘Rename
  • Add .old at the end of the file name extension and press ‘Enter’ to save

If you have moved the .QBW to a different location, copy the .ND file and paste it at the same location.

Go back to QuickBooks® backup option and try to back up the company file again.

Step 6: Use QuickBooks® Rebuild Data Utility

QuickBooks® has an option to rebuild company files. Most of the issues such as ‘Backup Failed’ or ‘QuickBooks unable to back up company file’ can be resolved by rebuilding the company files data.

Follow these steps to rebuild company files in QuickBooks® software:

  • Go to File>Utilities and click on Rebuild Data
  • Click the OK button if a prompt appears to back up the company file
  • Wait for a while and then click OK when ‘Rebuild has completed’ message appears

After the rebuild is done, go to File>Utilities>Verify Data to check if the rebuild was successful. Then try to back up the company files once again.

If these solutions don’t fix the backup error, use Stellar Repair for QuickBooks® Software.

Download for Windows

The software can help fix the problem with company file and export a newly repaired copy of .QBW company file at your desired location. It’s the most advanced QuickBooks® repair tool to fix severely corrupt or damaged QBW files with complete precision. It also recovers data from QuickBooks® Backup file.

For more help related to ‘QuickBooks® unable to backup company file error’, leave a comment or reach us via Self Help & Support page.