How to fix QuickBooks “Restore Failed” error

Summary: Despite being the number 1 desktop accounting software, Intuit QuickBooks often faces errors that can put a serious threat to the financial data it handles. In this post, we will get to know the reason and solutions pertaining to a particularly troublesome QuickBooks restore failed error. If nothing works, using a QuickBooks repair tool may help.

How to fix QuickBooks “Restore Failed” error

QuickBooks is trusted by millions of small and medium-sized organizations around the world to handle their critical financial data. As such, it is only natural that the software is programmed to take some of the best security measures to safeguard the integrity of the data it stores, organizes, and helps to manage. One such security measure is prompting users to properly back up all their company files (QBW).

Reasons for QuickBooks Restore Failed error

When trying to restore data from QuickBooks backup files, some users reportedly witness a strange happening wherein the restore operation fails with one of the following messages:

“Error: Restore Failed. This is an Invalid Format of a Post QuickBooks 2007 Backup File”

“Error: Restore failed. Can’t remove log file”

“This file is set to read-only. Try again with a different name

This failure of the backup restore operation can be attributed to one of several reasons:

  • The backup is being restored over an existing company file
  • The company file name includes special characters
  • The backup is being restored from a USB flash drive or a network drive
  • The file being restored isn’t an actual QuickBooks backup file
  • The backup has been made in a newer version but is being restored to an older version
  • The company file is damaged or corrupted

Since the real culprit behind the “QuickBooks restore failed error” might not be identified immediately, finding the exact solution that works might be challenging at first and might require a few hit and trials. Thus, to cover all bases, in the next section, we have presented a list of the most feasible solutions to tackle this error. To find out which solution works best for your case, execute all in the order given in the list. Proceed to the next solution if the previous one doesn’t work.

Methods to Resolve QuickBooks Restore Failed Error

  1. Stop overwriting an existing company file when performing the restore

This is a part of the basic file saving ethics. When saving the file being restored, browse to the destination folder where you wish to save it and if the name of the file clashes with an already existing company file, pick a different name.

  1. Remove special characters from the company file name

Again a part of basic file saving do’s and don’ts when saving any file, avoid using special characters like /\<>!$ in the file name.

  1. If the backup is saved on a USB flash drive or a network drive, copy it to the local system first

When restoring a backup saved on external media like a USB drive or on a network, it is recommended to make a local copy of the backup first so that if the connection to the USB or the network is disrupted, the backup operation doesn’t terminate abruptly. Such a mishap, while the restore is underway, could also lead to permanent data corruption in the QBB file.

  1. Ensure that the file you are trying to restore is a valid QBB file

If you try to perform a restore operation on a file that’s not a valid QBB format (an invalid post QB2007 backup file) it will most likely throw the QuickBooks restore failed error.

  1. Restore the QBB to the same version of QuickBooks which was used to create it

It is possible to restore a QBB created in an older QuickBooks version to a newer version of the application, but the vice versa if performed will result in an error. Thus ensure there are no version-incompatibilities when undertaking a backup restore.

  1. Repair QuickBooks using Stellar QuickBooks Repair tool

If none of the above tricks fixes the issue, your QBW or QuickBooks company file might be severely damaged. To repair it manually you can use QuickBooks inbuilt Rebuild and Verify utilities as follows:

  • QuickBooks File menu -> Utilities -> Rebuild Data
rebuild data
  • QuickBooks File menu -> Utilities -> Verify Data

However, you should be aware that you will need to review the QBWin.log or the QuickBooks.log files while performing these operations and they might be too technical.

A far easier and more efficient approach would be to rope in reliable QuickBooks File Repair SoftwareStellar Repair for QuickBooks®  Software embedded with advanced algorithm to repair severely damaged or corrupted QuickBooks data files without hampering the file components (like the company, customer, vendor, and employee information) and facilitate their recovery. The software can support multiple currencies, offer a preview of all recoverable data before attempting the repair, and extract critical financial data (paychecks, payroll transactions, etc.) to be saved in a new QBW file.

Download for Windows


While you should always remember to back up your QuickBooks company files (QBW), it might also be a good idea to keep an efficient QuickBooks repair application like Stellar Repair for QuickBooks®  Software handy for unexpected situations. After all, you never know when you come face to face with a problem that manual techniques cannot fix.

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