About QuickBooks Files and Extensions 1


 

Question

What are all the different file extensions that QuickBooks uses and which version of QuickBooks will open a particular data file?

 

Answer

There are two main types of QuickBooks company files; data files and backup files. When stored on your hard disk, a QuickBooks data file name always ends with .qbw and a QuickBooks backup file name always ends with .qbb. For example, if you name your company file ABC, QuickBooks will store the data file on disk as ABC.qbw. When you backup your company using the QuickBooks Backup function, QuickBooks will store your backup file with the name “ABC.qbb.” The letters after the dot (.) are referred to as the file extension. This extension (e.g. qbb, qbw, doc) is used by Microsoft Windows to associate files with the application program that uses them.

With QuickBooks, you can enter data or create reports only in a data file (i.e. with the .qbw extension). From inside the QuickBooks program, you can “Open” data files, but you must “Restore” backup files (and convert them into data files) in order to use them.

QuickBooks File Types

In addition to these main data files, QuickBooks uses several other files to store data or related information about your configuration. It uses different file types and folders to separate different types of data.

The QuickBooks for Windows files and extensions are:

Extension File Type Description
.AIF Accountant’s review copy (import file) Accountant’s copy Import File. Created when Accountant’s copy is exported; to be used for importing into user’s company file.
.BDB Timer backup file. A backup file created when the user backs up time data in the QuickBooks Pro Timer.
.BMP Windows Bitmap file These files contain bitmapped images used by QuickBooks.
.BPW Business Planner file QuickBooks Business Planner data file. Not backed up with the company file, so must be separately copied to backups.
.DES Form design template file This file type is created when you export a form design from the templates list.
.DOC Word Documents Word documents for the write letters function.
.IIF Intuit Interchange Format file You can import and export lists and/or transactions using text files with an .IIF extension. Using IIF files is no longer recommended. Instead, the QuickBooks SDK is used by applications to read and write data between QuickBooks and other applications. See http://marketplace.intuit.com.
.INI Configuration file Configuration files that support online banking.
.LDB MS Access file for Timer data. A Microsoft Access file needed for the *.TDB file.
.LGB Little Green Box This file contains encrypted information about user names and passwords. It is used when an SDK application connects to the company file and needs to open it in the unattended mode. The user name and password is needed to open the connection with the Sybase server.
.LMR Loan Manager Data This file is created by the Loan Manager, and keeps information about loans. Not backed up with the company file, so must be separately copied to backups.
.ND QuickBooks Network Data File A configuration file that allows access to the QuickBooks company file. Do not delete this configuration file.
.NPC Online Banking File (obsolete) An online banking format used by previous versions of QuickBooks. It was superseded by OFX and is no longer supported by financial institutions.
.QBA Accountant’s review copy (working copy) When the accountant restores a QBX file (the accountant’s review copy) the file is given a .QBA extension.
.QBA.TLG Transaction log file (for accountant’s review copy) When you back up an accountant’s review copy, QuickBooks starts a log of transactions that you’ve entered since the last time you backed up. In case of accidental loss of data, Intuit Technical Support can use your most recent backup in conjunction with the transaction log file to recover your data.
.QBB QuickBooks backup file QuickBooks company backup file. To open a .QBB file, go to the File menu and click Restore.
.QBI QuickBooks image file Image file, “holds” transactions that have been written until they are posted to the hard drive. This file keeps the memory-resident changes to the data file while QuickBooks has the file open. When you close the company file, the .QBI file will be deleted automatically by QuickBooks. If you see QBI files when QuickBooks is not running, it probably means QuickBooks crashed while you had a file open. Do not delete a QBI file when the QBW file is open in QuickBooks.
.QBM QuickBooks Portable Company File (for version 2006 and above). This file contains all the data, but not the database indexing, so it’s much smaller than the QBW or QBB file. It is useful for transferring the data file through the Internet because the data size is smaller than any of the other file types, but can be restored to the full QBW on the receiving end.
.QBO Web Connect file. Web Connect online banking download file. This file is downloaded from the bank when you use the Web Connect method for online banking.
.QBW QuickBooks for Windows company file This is the main file type for a QuickBooks company file.
.QBW.TLG Transaction log file (for QuickBooks company file) When you back up your company file, QuickBooks starts a log of transactions that you’ve entered since the last time you backed up. In case of accidental loss of data, Intuit Technical Support can use your most recent backup in conjunction with the transaction log file to recover your data.
.QBW192.168.X.XXmta Temporary Database File A temporary file created by the Database Manager while opening a company file. As soon as the file is opened successfully, the temporary file is deleted.”
.QBX Accountant’s review copy (export file) When you “create an accountant’s review copy” of your QuickBooks company file, QuickBooks creates an accountant’s review copy with a .QBX extension.
.TDB QuickBooks Pro Timer files. By default found in the QBTIMER directory. Contains the time tracking data from the QuickBooks Timer.
Archive Copy XX/XX/200X ABC.QBW Archive copy of data file When you condense a data file, QuickBooks creates a separate QBW file with the name Archive Copy XX/XX/200X followed by the name of the QBW file. This file is an exact copy of the company file before condensing, and can be used to look up information that was later removed during the condense process. In addition to this archive file, the condense process forces you to create a backup (QBB) copy of the file.
CONNLOG.TXT Connection Log file Online Banking connection log file that contains a log of each connection for online banking.
DownloadQBXX folder Download folder This folder is created by QuickBooks to store the updates that are downloaded when you use the Update QuickBooks function.
Images Folder Images folder A folder storing temporary copies of images used by QuickBooks.
Inet Folder Inet No longer used. Was used to store license information for QuickBooks.
QBInstanceFinder Instance Finder file This empty file is no longer used by QuickBooks. You can delete the file, but it may get created again by some versions of QuickBooks.
QBrestor.TMP Temp restore file. This file is created when restoring a QBB file deleted automatically when restore completes successfully.
Qbwin.log QuickBooks Log file. This file is created/updated when a user runs verify and/or rebuild. Logs problems found/situations corrected. Located in the QuickBooks installation directory.
QuickBooks Letters Templates folder Letters Folder This folder contains the Word document templates for the QuickBooks write letters function.
Temp1234.qbt Temp rebuild file. This file created during pass 1 of rebuild, and deleted automatically when rebuild is completed.

Table 1 QuickBooks File Extensions

How To Determine Which Version Opens Your QuickBooks File

To determine which version of QuickBooks opens a QuickBooks file (QBW or QBB backup), you can view the file properties in the Windows Explorer. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start Menu and then select Explore.
  2. Find the QuickBooks data file in the folder where it is stored and select its folder on the left side of the Explorer.
  3. Point your mouse to and hover over the data file (XXXX.QBW or XXXX.QBB) as shown in Figure 1. The file type, date, size and version of QuickBooks are shown in a popup window.
    Blog IMG 1
  4. Figure 1 Hovering the mouse over a data file to see its version
  5. You can also right-click on the file and select Properties to view more specifics of the file. This displays information about the data file as shown in Figure 2.
    Blog IMG 2
    Figure 2 Properties of a QuickBooks file.

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One thought on “About QuickBooks Files and Extensions

  • Cyrus Pakzad

    Your answer to the question of “What are the different file extensions that QuickBooks uses and which version of QuickBooks will open a particular file?” was very nice, thank you. However I would have liked to see short situation-imperative example uses of these file extensions in which you have to have them or the operations could not go forward.
    For example, when you say .QBX “creates an accountant’s review copy” of your QuickBooks company file, QuickBooks creates an accountant’s review copy with a .QBX extension, when is it a MUST that I have to have a file with this extension?
    Some of these MUSTS might be obvious and simple to you but not to someone else who is not in the context.
    I hope you can work on this version of your answer and send me another email.
    Respectfully and thankfully,
    Cyrus Pakzad