How to Use a Flash Drive with QuickBooks
By Steve McDonnell
The easiest way to create a portable QuickBooks database that you can access from different unconnected computers is to store the company file on a flash drive that you can physcially move between computers. Make sure the flash drive has sufficient space and that you make a backup copy of the database on a regular basis. Always properly eject a flash drive before you remove it to avoid data loss.
Create a Company on a Flash Drive
Insert the flash drive into a USB port on the computer and then launch QuickBooks.
Choose "File" and "New Company..." to create a new database in QuickBooks. Select "Express Start" in the window labeled "Let's Get Your Business Set Up Quickly."
Enter the company name, select your industry and choose the company's organizational structure. Select "Continue."
Type your business email address when prompted and select "Validate."
Launch a browser window or run your business email client program and log in to your business email account. Click the link in the email from Intuit to validate your email address.
Clear the check box labeled "Set Up My Company File Locally and on Intuit's Servers So That I Can Access QuickBooks Features Online (strongly recommended)." Select "Continue."
Enter the contact information for your company and choose "Create Company File."
Browse to the flash drive's root directory. Type a file name for the company file and choose "Save" to save the company file to the flash drive.
Remove Flash Drive with QuickBooks from Computer
Choose "File" and "Exit" to exit the QuickBooks program.
Tap or click the up arrow next to the clock to display the notification icons. Locate and tap or click the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon and select the flash drive from the list of devices.
Remove the flash drive from the computer once Windows has ejected it.
Open a Company File on a Flash Drive
Insert the flash drive into the computer and launch QuickBooks.
Choose "File" and "Open or Restore Company..."
Select "Open a Company File" and select "Next." Navigate to the flash drive, choose the company file and select "Open."
Back Up a Company Database on a Flash Drive
Insert the flash drive into the computer, launch QuickBooks and open the company file.
Select "File" and "Create Backup."
Select "Local Backup," choose "Options..." and navigate to a folder on the computer or on the network where you want to store QuickBooks backup files. Choose "OK" after you've selected the destination folder for the backup.
Choose "Save the Backup Now" and select "Save."
Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.