Backing Up? Hints, tips and help with backing up QuickBooks...
Backing up your computer, data and informtation is something that many many computer users either don't do at all, only do occasionally or don't really have any form of regular system in place for.
Anyone who has lost data in a computer crash, damaged or stolen computer will have found out the hard way what a very painful, time consuming and potentially expensive problem losing your computer data can be.
Personally I am not a fan of having everything online and relying on
Internet access to do anything important as anyone who has lost Internet
access, even temporarily, at a time you need to do something urgent is a
real pain. With deadlines for RTI and VAT for example being able to
work on your QuickBooks file on or off-line personally I find very
So my personal preference is QuickBooks desktop version but I can understand why other prefer QuockBooks online.
Is it Safe To Backup Up QuickBooks Using OneDrive?
The QuickBooks user licence allows for installation of QuickBooks on one computer plus an additional portable computer as long as the computers are used by the same person, or it did at the time of this blog post as per the link.
Personally my main computer that I will useful work is a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 which I have to say I absolutely love. The solid-state drive means it boots up in around 5 to 10 seconds and turns off as quickly. Fabulous.
Going more portable generally got me wondering how I could ensure that the QuickBooks data files on my Surface Pro 2 were in sync with the QuickBooks data files on my laptop.
One of my main concerns was whether storing my QuickBooks data files in my OneDrive (formally SkyDrive) folder, which is actively syncing with the Microsoft OneDrive cloud online, could corrupt my QuickBooks data files in some way if they were in use while been synced?
I can't say that this couldn't happen and that files couldn't get corrupted but I have been syncing my QuickBooks files between my Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and my laptop by storing all my work data including QuickBooks data files within folders in my OneDrive folder for around two months now without any problems.
A bit of care and observation is needed however to make sure that you are using the latest QuickBooks data file that you last worked on.
On the same computer that you last worked on this is not an issue. But if you open the QuickBooks data file on your other computer without first checking that the OneDrive folders are fully synced, and perhaps checking the date the QuickBooks file was last saved using Windows file explorer, you could risk making QuickBooks entries and your to data files not having exactly the same date in them which could cause a mess.
I haven't found this a problem but it is something to be watchful for an careful about.
Is a OneDrive backup the only QuickBooks backup you need?
Personally this is my regular backup as it is constant and I have found reliable.
However I strongly recommend that you take regular additional backups using the backup facility within QuickBooks (top menu "File" then "create backup") and store these in a separate folder in OneDrive which I call "backups" personally.
Why do this?
If you had a problem with a QuickBooks data file for whatever reason such as it corrupted, you made some silly mistakes, or for whatever reason you could restore your QuickBooks data from that backup file. Not taking these proper QuickBooks backups is a recipe for disaster if you hit a problem.
Also under the file menu, then "Utilities" you have the "verify data" and "rebuild data" options. Using the create backup feature will usually automatically run a verify data command.
Verifying your data at least occasionally is wise so that the QuickBooks software can ensure your data stays intact.
Coming to the point of whether backing up your QuickBooks data files to OneDirve is the only backup you should take I would suggest not.
One drive syncs the data in your one drive folder with your OneDrive cloud account with Microsoft.
However if you have a problem with your data file for whatever reason the copy online is going to have the same problem as your copy off-line.
For instrance if you delete a file accidentally on your computer from the OneDrive folder (or any other synced device) syncing will mean that it also gets deleted on your OneDrive account and one any or all other the other computers or devices that are synced to your OneDrive account!
That is why OneDrive is not necessarily the only backup you should keep!
So I would strongly recommend backing up all your important data, including your QuickBooks data files, to an external hard drive off-line as well as backing up to OneDrive.
For me personally I do this external hard drive occasionally now as a secondary backup offline and treat the OneDrive sync and OneDrive backup folders as my main backups as these are constantly being updated.
You maybe able to use other cloud storage providers such as Dropbox but I haven't tested or tried it personally.