QuickBooks Restore Failed Error When Restoring a Backup File: 8 Ways to Solve It

When you come across the ‘QuickBooks Restore Failed‘ error while attempting to restore a backup file, it can be a perplexing and inconvenient situation. This error arises under various conditions, often due to issues like corrupted backup files, insufficient disk space, or software conflicts. 

What is QuickBooks Restore Failed Error When Restoring a Backup File?

QuickBooks users often encounter challenges when attempting to restore data from their backup files, leading to the process failing with error messages like:

Error: Failed or Restore invalid.

Restore Failed. This is an Invalid Format of a Post QuickBooks 2007 Backup File.

Error: Restore failed. Can’t remove log file.

These error messages indicate that the restoration was unsuccessful, and several factors could contribute to this issue. 

Common reasons for the problem include difficulties restoring backups from USB flash drives or mistakenly selecting the wrong backup file for restoration. Resolving these errors in QuickBooks is essential to ensure the safe recovery of your valuable data.

In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of this condition, shedding light on what causes this error and providing solutions to help you resolve it efficiently. 

Probable Reasons for QuickBooks Restore Failed Error

Error messages like ‘Failed’ or ‘Restore Failed’ can occur during the restoration of a QuickBooks backup due to various factors. These errors may arise if:

Special Characters in Company File Name

If your company file name contains special characters like /, <, >, ! or $, it can lead to errors during restoration. QuickBooks may struggle to recognize such characters.

Overwriting an Existing Company File

Attempting to restore a backup over an existing company file can cause conflicts and errors as QuickBooks tries to replace the existing data.

Restoring from USB Flash Drive to Network Drive

Restoring a backup from a USB flash drive to a network drive can result in errors like -6189 or -816 due to the differences in storage methods.

Restoring a Newer Backup in an Older QuickBooks Version

Trying to restore a backup created in a newer QuickBooks version into an older one can lead to errors since the older version may not fully support the newer data format.

Attempting to Restore an Invalid Backup File

When the file you’re trying to restore isn’t a genuine QuickBooks backup file or is corrupted, you’ll encounter errors during restoration.

Damaged Company File 

If the integrity of the company file is compromised due to corruption or other issues, it can result in restoration errors and hinder successful data recovery.

Precautions To Take Before Troubleshooting the QuickBooks Restore Failed Error

Before you try to resolve the error, make sure to take the below precautions:

  • Make it a habit to frequently create backups of your company file. 
  • Keep your QuickBooks software up-to-date and ensure it’s compatible with your generated backup files. 
  • When creating a backup file, use an updated version of QuickBooks Desktop that corresponds to your current software. For instance, a backup file generated in QuickBooks 2019 won’t be restored in QuickBooks 2018.
  • Verify that the file you’re trying to restore is a valid QBB (QuickBooks Backup) file. Using incorrect file formats can result in errors during the restoration process.

HFE.com: Quick Fixes

Problem: Special Characters in Company File Name

Solution: Right-click on the company file name and choose ‘Rename.’ Create a new file name with no special characters, then press ‘Enter.’ 

Problem: Overwriting an Existing Company File

Solution: Go to your usual file-saving directory when selecting the save location, and make sure the file name is distinct from existing files to protect your QuickBooks records.

Problem: Restoring from USB Flash Drive to Network Drive

Solution: To restore a QuickBooks backup from external storage like a flash drive, open the file, launch the restore wizard, and choose ‘Local backup.’ Locate the backup file, open it, select a restoration location, and save the files while responding to any prompt notifications as needed.

Problem: Restoring a Newer Backup in an Older QuickBooks Version

Solution: You can restore a backup to a newer QuickBooks Desktop version, but you cannot restore from a newer to an older version. Make sure to check the versions are compatible. 

Problem: Attempting to Restore an Invalid Backup File

Solution: Ensure the file you are restoring is a valid QBB (QuickBooks Backup) file. 

Problem: Damaged Company File 

Solution: You can use the built-in Rebuild Data feature to repair a damaged company file. 

Methods To Resolve and Restore Failed Error in QuickBooks

Let’s discuss the different solutions for QuickBooks to restore failed errors 

Method 1: Remove Special Characters (/ \! $) From Your Company File Name

QuickBooks relies on consistent naming conventions to locate and manage files, so when special characters are present, it can lead to issues during the restoration. 

To address this, follow the below steps and remove any special characters from your company file name.

  • Locate your company file by searching for its location.
  • If needed, refer to the Windows file search for assistance.
  • Right-click on the file name and choose ‘Rename.’
  • Create a new file name with no special characters, then press ‘Enter.’

Method 2: Prevent Overwriting an Existing File During Backup Restoration

If you don’t choose where to save your restored file correctly and inadvertently overwrite an existing file in the selected directory, it can result in data loss or file conflicts. This further leads to potential errors and complications in your QuickBooks records.

Follow the below steps to prevent overwriting an existing file during a restoration. 

  • While selecting the save location for your file, navigate to your usual file-saving directory.
  • A prompt will appear if the chosen name matches a file in this folder: “File name already exists. Do you want to replace it?”
  • Choose ‘No.’
  • Modify the file name to be distinct from the existing file.

Method 3: Repair the QuickBooks Company File

A QuickBooks company file can get damaged due to unexpected power outages, network interruptions, incomplete backups, hardware problems, software bugs, and third-party conflicts. These issues can corrupt the file, potentially leading to data loss and errors. 

In such instances, QuickBooks Desktop provides a built-in solution – the Rebuild Data function – to mend data corruption in your company file.

Here’s how you can repair the company file:

  • Begin by selecting ‘Utilities’ from the ‘File’ menu.
  • Choose the ‘Rebuild Data’ option.
  • In the QuickBooks Information window, click ‘OK’ to proceed.
  • Follow the instructions to create a backup.
  • Allow the program to repair your file. 
  • Click ‘OK’ once the repair process is finished.
  • Return to ‘File’ and select ‘Utilities.’ Then, opt for ‘Verify Data.’
  • Let the tool perform a final check on your file for any data problems.

The duration may vary depending on your file’s size. Even if QuickBooks appears unresponsive, it’s still processing if you can move the mouse.

If QuickBooks doesn’t detect any issues with your company file, click ‘OK.’ This indicates your company file is free from data damage, and you can continue using it. However, if the problem persists, choose ‘Rebuild Now’ to address the issue.

If you still have problems, you can use the QuickBooks File Doctor to fix your company file.

Or you can manually repair the QuickBooks company file following the below process, but make sure to take a backup of the file as a precautionary step:

  • Head to the File menu, hover over Utilities, and select Verify Data.
  • Allow the tool to scan your file for any data issues.
  • Click ‘ Expand All ‘ in the Verify Results screen to reveal the error details.

If you still face the error, contact support for assistance in repairing your company file.

Method 4: Restore QuickBooks Using a Flash Drive

Use external storage such as a flash drive if your backup file is not on the system’s hard drive or network folder.

  • Open QuickBooks and access the file you wish to restore.
  • Navigate to the ‘Open or Restore Company’ option to launch the restore wizard.
  • Click ‘Next’ after selecting ‘Restore a backup copy (.qbb).’
  • Choose ‘Local backup’ and click ‘Next.’
  • A prompt will ask you to launch the ‘Backup Copy’ option.
  • Locate the backup file on your system using the ‘Look’ drop-down menu. These files will have the .qbb extension.
  • Open the backup file by selecting it and clicking ‘Open,’ followed by ‘Next.’
  • Determine the location where you want to restore the backup files by clicking ‘Save.’
  • Select the backup files and click ‘Save.’

Throughout this process, your system will display various prompt notifications. Respond to them accordingly.

Method 5: Copy the Backup File to A New Folder Before Restoration

To ensure your backup file isn’t in a potentially damaged folder, creating a copy in a different location is better. 

Using Windows Explorer, perform a simple copy-and-paste operation to move the file to a new folder. This precautionary step can help protect your backup data from potential issues in the original folder.

Method 6: Ensure QuickBooks Version Compatibility for Backup Restoration

Before proceeding with backup restoration, you must determine the version of your QuickBooks backup. You can use the QuickBooks File Manager to identify the version.

Follow the below steps:

  • Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Press either F2 or use Ctrl + 1 to open the Product Information window.
  • Look in the ‘File’ section to see the version details.
  • The version, edition, and release appear at the top of the window on the Product line.

Another way to check a QuickBooks file is to go to ‘File,’ then ‘Utilities,’ and choose ‘Verify Data.’

When restoring a backup, use either the same version of QuickBooks or a newer one. This is vital because QuickBooks undergoes changes with each version, affecting its file format. 

While you can restore a backup to a newer QuickBooks Desktop version, attempting to restore it to an older version poses challenges due to differences in file structure. For example, you can restore a backup from QuickBooks Desktop 2018 into QuickBooks Desktop 2019 but not from QuickBooks Desktop 2019 into QuickBooks Desktop 2018.

By aligning your QuickBooks version with the backup version, you ensure a smooth and error-free restoration process, safeguarding your data from potential compatibility issues.

Method 7: Recover Password and Restore Missing Payroll Data

If your QuickBooks restoration fails, particularly due to password issues or missing payroll data, you can complete the process as follows:

Reset Your Password

If you encounter an error message like, “Your data has NOT been restored because you failed to enter the correct admin password,” it’s time to reset your password to successfully restore your QuickBooks backup files. 

Use the Reset Password tool to change your password, then attempt the restoration again.

Restore Missing Payroll Data

Should you come across a message during the restoration process that states, “This QuickBooks file may be missing some of the payroll data that you have already sent to the Payroll Service,” follow these steps to resolve it:

  • Navigate to the ‘Employee’ menu in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Select ‘Send Payroll Data.’
  • Check the ‘Items to send’ field. If you have 0 paychecks for $0.0, click ‘Send.’ However, if any transactions are listed, avoid hitting ‘Send’ to prevent accidental duplicate transactions.
  • Now, you can proceed with the QuickBooks backup file restoration process.

Following these steps will address password-related issues and missing payroll data, ensuring restoring your QuickBooks backup files smoothly.

Method 8: Run Windows as An Administrator

It’s essential to have administrative privileges when restoring a QuickBooks backup file. To run Windows as an administrator, follow these steps:

  • Access the Windows Start menu.
  • Right-click and select “Run as administrator.”
  • Check if you can now proceed with the QuickBooks backup restoration.


Start implementing these best practices today. Schedule regular backups and double-check QuickBooks version compatibility before performing any restorations. These proactive steps will help you keep your financial records safe and secure while enjoying a seamless QuickBooks experience.

Hopefully, the above-given information is useful for you to get rid of this problem. But if you are still facing any issues with your software and need professional assistance, regarding accounting, bookkeeping & accounting software-related issues then feel free to get in touch with Certified Experts at +1-860-325-4922. The USA-based ProAdvisors will provide all sorts of assistance related to the software 24/7.