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QuickBooks Tip – How To Rebuild Your QuickBooks Data File

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This QuickBooks Tip provides instructions for how to rebuild your QuickBooks data file.  The rebuild function will help maintain the overall health of your file.

QuickBooks tipsIs your QuickBooks file very large?  Is it running slow?  Are you in a multi-user environment where 2 or more people are inputting a lot of information on a daily basis?  If you answered yes to any of these questions you would probably benefit from rebuilding your data file on a regular basis.

The QuickBooks Rebuild Data function is like a cleaning lady.  When you access the rebuild function it looks at all of the information in your file and makes sure that it has been filed correctly.  Think of your desk, covered in piles of papers that need to be filed.  Before you actually put all of the papers in the filing cabinet, you sort and separate the various piles into organized files.  The rebuild function performs the same task.

How to Rebuild Your Data File:

You’ll need to be logged into QuickBooks as the Administrator.  If you have a large file, this could take quite awhile – so plan to run this process at lunch time, or gear it up just before you leave for the day.

  • From the File menu
  • Choose Utilities
  • Rebuild Data

The first thing that the Rebuild will require you to do is to make a backup of your data file, go ahead and do that.

As soon as the backup has completed, the rebuild function will automatically start.  This tool will take two passes through your file, looking for problems, organizing your data, and trying to fix any problems with your data that it finds.  If you sit an watch the process, don’t be concerned if QuickBooks seems to stop responding or stop working at 99% on the first pass and 50% on the second.  This just means that it’s found things that are wrong, is attempting to fix them, and then going back to check that everything it found on the first pass has been fixed.

There are times when the Rebuild function will fail, this usually means that there is data damage within your file that the rebuild cannot fix (it does have limited abilities).  In a situation like this, you’ll need additional assistance to fix the issues. If you run into this situation, I would recommend that you investigate the services of Accounting Users, Inc., QB or Not QB, or The Bottom Line.

Our own QuickBooks file contains 11 years of data and I rebuild it on a monthly basis and have for many years.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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