How to Clear Old Transactions in Quickbooks


Past transactions can impact the operation of your QuickBooks database, resulting in slow system performance. As you use QuickBooks, old transactions don't automatically get archived. When you no longer need the transactions, simply voiding or deleting them from QuickBooks creates inaccurate reports and ends up providing you with incorrect balances. To avoid this, use the Condense Data utility to archive and clear old transactions while leaving important financial information intact.

  • Choose the "File" menu, click "Utilities" and select "Condense Data" from the drop-down menu.

  • Select the "All Transactions" option to remove all the eligible transactions. Alternatively, select the "Transactions Before a Specific Date" option, and then choose a date using the Calendar pop-up menu to remove transactions before a specific date. Click "Next."

  • Select the "Summarize Inventory Transactions (Recommended)" option, and then click "Next."

  • Select each of the check boxes on the "Do You Want to Remove Unused List Entries?" screen, and then click "Next." Note that while you can leave these options unchecked, this may result in empty lists that no longer correspond to transactions you cleared.

  • Click "Begin Condense" to start the process. Let it run until it finishes, as stopping the process beforehand may result in data loss.

Tips & Warnings

  • Duplicate your company file to create a backup in case you need to restore the original file after running the Condense Data utility. When you initiate the Condense Data utility, select the option to back up your file as well.
  • Run the Condense Data Utility on the computer with the company file and avoid attempting this process over a network connection.
  • The Condense Data Utility permanently changes your transaction and list records.
  • Many reports -- including the cash basis, audit trail and sales tax liability reports -- may show incorrect information after running the Condense Data utility.
  • Information in this article applies to QuickBooks 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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