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QuickBooks Restore Failed? Why and How to Troubleshoot That

Several Reasons Why QuickBooks Restore Failed

  • You are restoring the backup over an existing company file
  • The company file name has special characters  ( / \ ! $ ) 
  • You are restoring the backup from a USB flash drive to a network drive
  • You created the backup using a newer QuickBooks version
  • The company file you are restoring isn’t a backup
  • The company file has data damage or has lost integrity

1. Update QuickBooks Desktop 

Let us begin by updating the QB software. This brings the latest software components and helps to resolve common issues.

update quickbooks desktop enterprise to the latest version

Once you are done, continue to the next step.

2. Check Your Backup File Before You Restore a Backup

Before you restore the company file backup, you should check it. The length of the backup should not be less than 6MB or 6,000 KB. If you are restoring from a file that is shorter than 6 MB, it most probably is not the backup file.

Here is how you can check the backup file:

  • Go to the location where the company file is stored
  • Right-click on the backup file and tap on Properties
  • You should be able to see the length of the backup file

Now, move ahead to the next step.

3. Check the Name of the Backup File and Remove Special Characters

Check if there are any special characters ( / \ ! $ ) in the company file backup name.

  • Go to the location where the company file is stored
  • Right-click on the backup file and tap on Rename
  • Are there any special characters ( / \ ! $ ) in the name of the backup file?
  • If you find special characters ( / \ ! $ ) in the name, remove them and save the name of the company file.

Now, try restoring the backup, and if it fails or you get an error, continue to the next solution.

4. Do Not Overwrite an Existing Company File When Restoring Backup

The error QuickBooks restore failed can arise if you are overwriting an existing company file when restoring the backup.

  • When you go ahead to choose where to restore the backup and save the new company file, browse to where you usually save the company file.
  • However, if another file with the same company name exists in the folder, windows will show a message: “The file name exists. Would you like to overwrite this file?
  • Tap on No.
  • Now, save the new company file with another name.

5. If Restoring the Backup from an External Drive or Network Drive

You are not advised to restore the backup if the backup company is stored on an external drive such as a USB flash drive or CD or a network drive such as DropBox or Google Drive.

 restoring the backup from an external drive

In such cases, you might get the error message: QuickBooks restore failed. 

Therefore, copy the backup file from the external or network drive to the local drive of the computer where you want to restore the backup. Now, try restoring the backup and check if it works.

If restoring the QuickBooks backup fails again, proceed to the next troubleshooting method.

6. Copy the Company Backup File to a New Folder

QuickBooks errors are often caused by a damaged folder or file path in context. You can try changing the folder where the company backup is located.

Therefore, create a new folder on your desktop and copy the backup file to it. Now, restore the backup from this file.

7. Use the Same or More Recent QuickBooks Version

Do not restore the backup file created from a newer version using an earlier version of QuickBooks.

To restore the backup, you can either use the same QuickBooks version you used to create the backup or a more recent QuickBooks version. 

If you restore using an older QuickBooks version but have created the backup using a QuickBooks version later than that, the restore will fail.

Let us understand it with an example:

  • It won’t work if you restore a backup from QuickBooks Desktop 2019 in QuickBooks Desktop 2018.
  • It will work if you restore a backup from QuickBooks Desktop 2018 in QuickBooks Desktop 2019.

However, if this doesn’t resolve the error, proceed to the next solution.

8. Restore a Different Backup

Although the chances are rare, there might be an issue with the backup file. If you continue to have a problem with restoring the backup company, you can restore another backup you made earlier for test purposes.

If you do not have an earlier backup, you can create a backup now and try restoring it. If it works, it confirms the issue is with the backup file, and you cannot restore using the backup.

However, if QuickBooks restore fails, the issue might lie in the company file or elsewhere.

9. Sign into a Sample Company File

We want to know if the existing company file is the reason why you can’t restore a backup company.

Let us login to the sample company file and try restoring the backup. 

  • Tap on the File menu.
  • Choose Close Company.
  • Go to the Open a sample file tab.
  • Tap on the drop-down arrow and choose a sample company.  
  • Select Open.

Now, once you have signed into the sample company, restore the backup. If you find no problem restoring the backup, the issue is with the company file.

 log in to the sample company file and try restoring the backup

However, if restoring the backup fails, the problem lies outside of the company file.

10. Search for Data Damage in Company File

Let us search for data damage in the company file.

We will begin with finding the issues with your company file.

  • Open QB Desktop and sign in to your company file.
  • Tap on the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • Now, click on Verify Data.

Now, rebuild company data to resolve the issues you find.

  • Open QuickBooks Desktop and log in to your company file.
  • Tap on the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • Select Rebuild Data.
rebuild company data
  • In the QuickBooks Information window that appears, tap on OK.
  • Give QB a while to complete the repair process, and once it is done, select OK.

Let us run verify data to check for additional damages in the company file.

  • Tap on the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • Now, click on Verify Data.
  • If QB doesn’t find any issues with the company file, tap on OK. Click on Rebuild Now if QB finds issues with the company file.

Scenario 1: Error: -6144, -301 When Restoring a Backup Company

Sometimes, restoring a QuickBooks backup fails, giving way to an error -6144, -301. To resolve this, here is what you can do:

  1. Begin with fixing company and network issues with QB File Doctor.
  2. If that doesn’t work, you can use ADR to recover lost data.

Scenario 2: Error Message About Password When Restoring QuickBooks Backup

Do you see an error message mentioning the password when restoring the backup fails?

Some users may see the message: 

Your data has NOT been restored if you failed to enter the correct admin password.

If this happens, you might want to reset the QB password.

Scenario 3: Error Messages About Assisted Payroll Data When Restoring QuickBooks Backup

Do you see an error message that talks about assisted payroll data when restoring the backup fails?

You might see an error message like:

This QuickBooks file may be missing some of the payroll data that you have already sent to the Payroll Service. 

Before creating any new transactions, you need to restore the missing data by clicking Send Payroll Data from the Employees menu and then clicking the Send button

Here’s what to do:

  • Tap on the Employee menu.
  • Choose Send Payroll Data.
  • Mark the Items to send checkbox. In case you have 0 paychecks for USD 0.00, tap on Send.

However, if you find no transactions listed, do not tap on Send. If you created a duplicate transaction by mistake, you will need to fix that.

QuickBooks Restore Failed in Online Version (QBO)

Final Words

1. Why won’t my QuickBooks backup restore?

QuickBooks might not be able to restore the backup if there is an issue with the backup file, it has special characters in the name, or the backup file is present on an external or network drive. Other reasons can be because the folder or file path to where the backup file is stored is damaged.

2. How do you repair a corrupt QBW file?

To resolve the data damage or corruption in the company file, you can rebuild the company file. To do so, open the File menu of QuickBooks Desktop and select Utilities. Now, choose Rebuild data.

3. Why do I keep getting unrecoverable errors in QuickBooks?

Unrecoverable errors can arise for several reasons, such as network or company file issues. For example, if the hosting is configured incorrectly, you might get an unrecoverable error when accessing the company file on a workstation in multi-user mode.

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