QuickBooks Payroll Bulletin | December 2007

10 Tips for Optimizing QuickBooks Performance

Whether you're installing a new version of QuickBooks or want to get a fresh start on the new year, refer to these tips to gain top performance from your QuickBooks software.

1. Make sure your hardware meets or exceeds minimum requirements.

The right hardware will help you get the most out of QuickBooks. Learn more about the system requirements for your version of QuickBooks:

2. Always use QuickBooks in Recommended Mode and optimize network performance.

Proper network setup is essential for optimal QuickBooks performance. Learn more about network and multi-user setup for QuickBooks 2007 and QuickBooks 2006.

For best performance on a network, use a 100 Mbps hard-wired network. Avoid wireless network solutions, due to possible breaks in the connection.

Also avoid external hard drives when possible. Use a fast disk on the server. The faster the disk, the better QuickBooks will perform: 7,200 to 10,000 rpm is good.

3. Improve performance in multi-user mode.

For the best performance in multi-user mode, be sure to install QuickBooks or the QuickBooks Server on the same computer where the company file is located and set up that computer according to the recommended multi-user setup.

You can do most day-to-day tasks in multi-user mode without noticing much difference in performance. Tasks that take a long time to complete, such as running large reports, can affect performance for other users. A few tasks, such as finding transactions, temporarily prevent other users from working on the company file. Consider doing these tasks when other users are not working in the company file.

Important: If you are an Assisted Payroll subscriber, please note that you cannot transmit Assisted Payroll in multi-user mode.

You can improve the performance of day-to-day tasks by modifying some of your QuickBooks preferences. In the Reminders preferences, select Don't Remind Me for tasks for which you don't need a reminder. In the Reports & Graphs preferences, consider selecting Prompt me to refresh or Don't refresh. Refreshing reports automatically can slow performance. Waiting to print reports until other users have logged out and splitting large print jobs also can help performance. See the topics "Performance tips for reports" and "Performance tips for printing" in QuickBooks Help for more details.

4. Configure anti-virus software properly.

An anti-virus utility running a real-time scanning engine can cause QuickBooks to operate at a slower speed. You can improve performance by disabling real-time scanning. Read more about anti-virus software and QuickBooks.

5. Configure firewalls so they will not interfere with QuickBooks.

Internet security and personal firewall application settings can affect how QuickBooks accesses payroll and program updates online. Incorrect settings can result in update errors. Learn more about configuring firewall programs.

6. Run anti-spyware software.

Spyware can create significant unwanted CPU activity, disk usage, and network traffic—slowing down the legitimate use of system resources by QuickBooks.

7. Defragment your hard drive regularly.

Performing this task keeps hard drive access as fast as possible. In Windows, go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools. Click on Disk Defragmenter. When the window pops up, click Defragment to begin the process. The defragmentation process can take quite a bit of time, especially the first time.

8. Reduce the number of reminders and memorized transactions.

Reminders and memorized transactions can increase QuickBooks start-up time. If your program starts too slowly, try limiting your reminders and memorized transactions to just those you really need. In the Reminders preferences, select Don't Remind Me for tasks for which you don't need a reminder.

You can improve the performance of day-to-day tasks by also modifying some of your other QuickBooks preferences. In the Reports & Graphs preferences, for example, consider selecting Prompt me to refresh or Don't refresh. Refreshing reports automatically can slow performance.

9. Uninstall previous versions of QuickBooks.

Uninstalling previous versions of QuickBooks should help you improve program start-up time. From your Windows Start menu, go to Settings>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs. For each previous version of QuickBooks, click Uninstall.

If you have Windows Vista, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then clicking Programs and Features.
  2. Select a program, and then click Uninstall. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

10. Periodically clean up your company file.

This feature, formerly called Archive and Condense, removes obsolete list entries and transactions.

To clean up your company file:

  1. In QuickBooks, go to the File menu and select Utilities.
  2. Select Clean Up Company Data.

Sometimes you can achieve additional file compression by creating and restoring a portable company file. Learn more.

For More Information

For additional details and tips, see the QuickBooks Knowledge Base article "Improving system performance."

QuickBooks Payroll Bulletin
Editor: Lise Quintana
Publisher: Intuit
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E-mail us at payroll_editor@intuit.com