James E. Moede, CPA

Specializing in Accounting Services, QuickBooks® Consulting, and Tax Preparation

Instructions for Creating and Opening QuickBooks Portable Company Files

General Information – One major change Intuit made to QuickBooks 2006/2007 from older versions is in the database of the company data file.  QuickBooks 2006/2007 uses an SQL database for the company files. The advantage is that files are supposed to run faster.  The disadvantage is that the company file size is much larger.  This creates a problem when it comes to transferring the QuickBooks company data files via e-mail.  The large files take a long time to send as attachments and some Internet Services Providers and e-mail clients limit the size of attachments to e-mail messages.

QuickBooks has included utilities in the 2006/2007 version to solve this problem.  The solution is the Portable Company File.  This utility compacts the large company data file to make is easier to send as an e-mail attachment.  There is a corresponding utility to open the Portable Company File after it has been received.

Here are the steps necessary to create a Portable Company File using QuickBooks 2006/2007:

Start QuickBooks Pro 2006/2007 and open the company file that is to be compressed.

  1. From the ‘FILE’ menu, select ‘PORTABLE COMPANY FILE’ and then select ‘CREATE FILE’.
  2. A message will appear indicating that QuickBooks needs to close and reopen the company file. Click the ‘OK’ button.
  3. The “Create Portable File” window will appear.
    1. Current Company – make sure this is the correct company file.
    2. Save Portable Company File As – Filename – accept the default filename.  Make sure the extension is .QBM
    3. Save Portable Company File As – Location – use the location of your company’s data file.
  4. Click the ‘Save’ button.
  5. Click the “OK’ button.

QuickBooks will create the portable company file in the location you specified.  This file is much smaller than the company data file. This .QBM file can now be attached to an e-mail.  The original company file (.QBW extension) has not been changed.

The Portable Company File cannot be opened directly in QuickBooks.  It must be opened using a special utility included in QuickBooks 2006/2007.

Here are the steps necessary to open a Portable Company File using QuickBooks 2006/2007:

Before starting, make sure you have saved the .QBM file that was attached to the e-mail message.  I recommend using the directory where your QuickBooks company data file is located.

  1. Start QuickBooks Pro 2006/2007.
  2. From the ‘FILE’ menu, select ‘PORTABLE COMPANY FILE’ and then select ‘OPEN FILE’.
  3. The “Open Portable File” window will appear.
  4. In the “Open Portable Company File From” section, click ‘BROWSE’ and select the location where you saved the .QBM file attached to your e-mail message (step 1).
  5. In the “Name and Location of New Company File” section the filename should be filled-in.  Click ‘BROWSE’ and select the file location (where your QuickBooks company file is normally located on your system).
  6. Click ‘Open’ - this process may take several minutes.
  7. The Portable Company File has been decompressed and is ready to be used by QuickBooks 2006/2007.


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Last modified: August 22, 2008