Resolve QuickBooks Restore Failed Error When Restoring a Backup File

Experiencing a QuickBooks restore failed error can be alarming for users attempting to restore a backup of their QB data file. If you need help with the following steps, this comprehensive guide will provide practical solutions to resolve the error.

QuickBooks Desktop frequently encounters errors that can typically be resolved by restoring a backup. However, discovering an error during the restore process can be particularly frustrating. This article will focus on one such error— the QuickBooks Restore failed error— which may occur when restoring a QuickBooks data file backup. These restore failed errors can present various messages and be triggered by multiple factors. In this guide, we will explore the different causes of this error and provide straightforward steps to resolve the QuickBooks restore failed error, including issues with removing the log file. Read on for detailed information and solutions.

A restore failed error occurs when a user attempts to restore a QuickBooks company file backup. During the restoration process, QuickBooks may display one of four error messages:

  1. Restore Failed. This is an Invalid Format of a Post QuickBooks 2007 Backup File
  2. Error: Failed
  3. Error: Restore failed. Can’t remove the log file
  4. This file is set to read-only. Try again with a different name

You might also see an error message showing the file name with the .qbw extension you are trying to restore. The “QuickBooks restore failed can’t remove logfile” error can complicate restoring company file backups, which is crucial for protecting data. The following sections detail the various reasons that can trigger a restore failed error and provide solutions to resolve them.

Causes of QuickBooks Restore Failed Error

Several factors can lead to a QuickBooks restore failed error, including:

  1. Special Characters in File Name: QuickBooks does not permit special characters in the company file name. The restore failed error will be triggered if your file includes any distinctive characters.
  2. Existing Company File: Attempting to save the backup file over an existing company file in QuickBooks can result in a failed restore error.
  3. Incorrect Backup Location: Trying to restore a backup from a USB drive to a network drive may cause errors. In such cases, Errors 6189 and 816 may be displayed.
  4. Version Mismatch: Restoring a backup file created by a newer version of QuickBooks to an older version is not supported. For example, a backup made with QuickBooks 2017 can only be restored in 2017 or later versions.
  5. Insufficient File Size: Backup files smaller than 6000 KB are likely not actual backup files, as QuickBooks backup files are typically larger than 6MB.
  6. Damaged File: Damage in the company file you are trying to restore can cause the restore failed error.
  7. Read-Only File: If the QuickBooks company file you are trying to restore is set to read-only, it can prevent the restoration.
  8. Insufficient User Privileges: The user attempting to restore the backup file might lack the necessary rights and privileges.
  9. Configuration Issues: Mismatches in Windows firewall settings, internet security, or network settings can prevent QuickBooks from restoring a backup.

Understanding these causes can help diagnose and resolve the QuickBooks restore failed error.

Steps to Resolve QuickBooks Restore Failed Error

For a quick resolution, follow each troubleshooting step in the given order.

Step 1: Rename the QuickBooks Backup Company File

QuickBooks can only read a company or backup file without special characters, spaces, or symbols. Follow these instructions to rename your file:

1. Locate the File:

  • Open Windows File Manager.
  • Navigate to the company file, typically found at `C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\` with a `.qbb` extension.

2. Rename the File:

  • Right-click the file and select **Rename**.
  • Remove any special characters such as `%`, `#`, `@`, `!`, `^`, `&`, `*`, `(`, `)`, `_`, or `+`.
  • Save the file with the new name.

3. Restore the Backup:

  • Check if you can restore the QuickBooks backup after renaming the file.

Step 2: Save the Backup File Without Replacing the Existing Company File

When prompted to choose a location to save the file, navigate to your usual save location. If you receive a message stating, “The file name exists. Would you like to Overwrite this file?” click “No” and save the file with a different name in the exact location. This message typically appears when a file with the same name already exists in the folder. Check if restoring a QuickBooks backup file is more accessible now.

Step 3: Verify the Version of Your QuickBooks Desktop Application

Ensure you use an updated QuickBooks Desktop version to create the backup file. For example, a backup file created in the 2019 version cannot be restored in QuickBooks 2018. However, you can restore a backup file in QuickBooks Desktop 2019 created in QuickBooks Desktop 2018.

Additionally, QuickBooks File Manager can assist you in importing clients’ QuickBooks files, upgrading from one version to another, and determining the current QuickBooks version.

Step 4: Move the Company File to the Local Storage of the Computer

If your company file is stored on a network drive or an external storage device, copy it to your computer’s local storage. Then, try restoring it in QuickBooks from this new location. Accessing the data file from an external source can lead to connectivity issues affecting backup and restore operations. Check if the “QuickBooks restore failed invalid format” error message is resolved.

Step 5: Repair the Damaged Company Data File

Repairing damage in the company file is straightforward using QuickBooks File Doctor. This tool can be accessed through QuickBooks Tool Hub, which you can download from its official download page.

  1. Launch QuickBooks Tool Hub and navigate to the Company File Issues tab.
  2. Select QuickBooks File Doctor and browse to select the company file you are trying to restore.
  3. Choose the option to repair the company file damage. File Doctor will automatically identify and fix the issues in the company file. After running it, check if you can restore the QuickBooks backup file.

For more detailed instructions on repairing damage in a QuickBooks company file, refer to Step 1: Download and Run QuickBooks File Doctor in our article on QuickBooks Error 6175.

Step 6: Create a New Folder to Save the Backup of the Company File

QuickBooks cannot restore the backup of a company file if the folder containing the backup file is damaged. Follow the steps below to create a new folder and restore the backup from there:

  1. Create a new folder and copy the company file into it.
  2. Try restoring the company file from this new folder. If the error was due to a damaged folder, this step should resolve it.
  3. Right-click the backup file and select Properties. If the file size is less than 6MB, delete the file and create a new backup file.

Step 7: Change the Properties of the Backup File

If the backup company file is set to read-only, QuickBooks will be unable to modify it to restore the backup. Follow these steps to change the file properties:

  1. If you receive an error indicating the file is read-only while attempting to restore the backup, right-click on the file and select “Properties.”
  2. In the Properties window, uncheck the “Read-only” box at the bottom.
  3. Click “Apply” and then “OK.” Check if you can now restore the QuickBooks backup.

Step 8: Restore a Different Copy of Your Company File

Before starting this method, transfer them to the local hard drive if your company and backup files are on an external device (such as a USB drive or hosting service).

  1. go to the “File” menu in QuickBooks and select “Open or Restore Company.”
  2. Select “Restore a backup copy” and click “Next.”
  3. Select the “Local Backup” option and click “Next.”
  4. Search your computer for the backup company file, which should have a “.qbb” extension (e.g., yourcompanyname.qbb).
  5. Choose a folder where you want to save the restored QuickBooks backup, then select “Open.”
  6. To avoid overwriting your current company file, do not save the backup in the same folder. Either rename the existing file to make it unique or save the backup in a different folder.
  7. After completing these steps, click “Save.” You will now have a new company file with which to proceed.

Step 9: Reset Password and Restore Missing Payroll Data

If your QuickBooks restore failed and you receive error messages related to the password or payroll-assisted data, follow these steps to complete the restoration:

Reset Your Password

If you encounter an error message stating, “Your data has NOT been restored because you failed to enter the correct admin password,” you need to reset your password to successfully restore the QuickBooks backup files. Use the automated Reset Password tool to change your password, then attempt to restore the backup file again.

Restore Missing Payroll Data

If you receive the message, “This QuickBooks file may be missing some of the payroll data you 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,” follow these steps:

  1. go to the “Employees” menu in QuickBooks Desktop and select “Send Payroll Data.”
  2. In the “Items to Send” field, check the list:

   – If it shows 0 paychecks for $0.00, select “Send.”

   – If any transactions are listed, do not hit “Send” yet, as it might create duplicate transactions.

Check if you can restore the company file’s backup without any errors.

Step 10: Run the Verify and Rebuild Data Utility

If the integrity of your company file is compromised, running the Verify and Rebuild Data utility in QuickBooks Desktop can help resolve issues with restoring your QuickBooks backup. Follow these steps:

Verify and Rebuild Data Utility

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop and go to the “File” menu.
  2. Select “Utilities” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose “Verify Data” from the list.
  4. Allow the Verify Data tool to run and check for errors in the company file. It will prompt you to run the Rebuild Data utility if it detects any issues.
  5. Proceed to the “Utilities” section in the “File” menu.
  6. This time, select “Rebuild Data.”
  7. Let the scanning and repair process complete.

By following these steps, you can ensure the integrity of your company file and resolve any issues that prevent you from restoring your QuickBooks backup.

Step 11: Generate a Portable Company File

If QuickBooks struggles to restore the backup file due to an invalid format, consider creating a portable file on two separate computers. Additionally, explore the possibility of using email for sharing instead of relying solely on external drives like USBs. Test if the QuickBooks portable company file can be successfully restored.

Step 12: Execute Windows with Administrative Privileges

Lack of administrative rights can hinder the restoration of the backup file. To mitigate this, run Windows with administrative privileges by following these steps:

  1. Log in as an Administrator on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the Windows Start menu.
  3. Right-click and select “Run as administrator.”
  4. Attempt to restore the backup of the company file again to verify if the issue persists.


We hope the steps outlined in the article assist you in successfully restoring your company file backup. We recognize that QuickBooks is primarily utilized by business professionals rather than Windows technicians, which may make following troubleshooting steps challenging. However, if you’ve exhausted troubleshooting options and QuickBooks restoration still fails, seeking a swift resolution, please contact us for assistance.

Have you ever encountered the “Restore Failed” error when bringing back your QuickBooks data? It can be frustrating, but fret not! Here are some common reasons and solutions to this issue:

By understanding these common causes, you can effectively troubleshoot the “Restore Failed” error and get your QuickBooks data back up and running. If you encounter specific error messages, consult the QuickBooks Help Articles for more detailed solutions.

1. Forbidden Characters in the File Name:
Question: Why might my company file name cause a restore issue?

Answer: Special characters like /, <, >, !, or $ in the file name can disrupt the restore process.

2. Overwriting an Existing File:
Question: Can restoring an existing file lead to errors?

Answer: It’s recommended to choose a different location or name for the restored file to avoid conflicts.

3. Using a Non-Genuine Backup:
Question: What if the backup file itself is corrupt?

Answer: Ensure you’re using a valid backup created by QuickBooks, not a random copy of the file.

4. Restoring from USB to Network Drive:
Question: Can I restore from a USB drive to a network location?

Answer: This might cause errors (like -6189 or -816). It is better to restore on the same type of drive (local or network).

5. Version Incompatibility:
Question: Does the QuickBooks version matter for backups?

Answer: Yes, backups created in a newer version of QuickBooks might not be restored properly in an older version.

6. Corrupted Company File:
Question: What if the issue lies with the original company file, not the backup?

Answer: If a test restore of a dummy file works, it suggests a corrupted company file. Consider using the QuickBooks Tool Hub for fixes or seeking professional data recovery services.

7. Error Messages and Logs:
Question: Where can I find more details about the restore error?

Answer: QuickBooks might generate error messages or log files. These can provide valuable clues for troubleshooting. Refer to QuickBooks Help Articles for further guidance based on specific error codes.

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