That’s a really great question! While you can absolutely make a copy of your QuickBooks Online data and store that copy on a flash drive, there are a few limitations that I’d like to go over with you first. That copy of the data is intended for your own peace of mind. You will not be able to move that data back into QuickBooks Online. You will also not be able to import a local copy file stored on a flash drive directly into a desktop version of QuickBooks.
IMPORTANT information about the local copy:
- Cannot be used to work offline. You can’t make changes to your local copy and move them back into your QuickBooks Online company.
- Cannot be used as a snapshot to restore your data into QuickBooks Online in the future.
- Can only be done from a PC using Internet Explorer (IE10) at this time.
- Cannot be directly imported into QuickBooks desktop software. Choose the “Export to QuickBooks desktop edition” option instead of the “Create a local copy” option if the data is to be used in QuickBooks desktop.
- Will include your most important financial information, but some information will not be included.
In addition, you must maintain the security of the data yourself. QuickBooks Online can only safeguard data that resides on our servers.
How does it work?
You can download a copy of your data to store on your own PC or flash drive with just a few short steps. While you are unlikely to ever need to access the file, it might make you feel more comfortable knowing you have it.
- Click the gear in the upper right of your Home screen.
- Choose Export Data from the dropdown.
- You may or may not see this message: IMPORTANT: Before you can perform either of the tasks below, you must install an ActiveX control.
- If you do not see the message proceed to the next step.
- If you do see the message but, below it you see: ActiveX control successfully installed. You can…, proceed to the next step.
- If you do see the message and below it you see an Install button, you will need to click Install and finish the Active X installation in order to complete the local copy, then proceed to the next step.
- Scroll down to the section that reads, Create a Local Copy “Have a copy of my data on my computer (a “local copy”). Click the link for Local Copy Interview.
- Complete the remainder of the interview.
After you create a local copy of your data, you can just download it and keep it on your computer. Here’s how:
- Click the Activity from your Home screen that starts with Download the company file created on…
Note: The company file will only be available to download for 10 days; after that, the link expires and you will have to perform the above steps again.
- Click I’m creating a local copy to keep on my computer.
- Click Download.
- A window will open allowing you to choose a location to save your file. Browse to the location you would like to keep the file (like maybe that flash drive).
- Click Save.
If you ever need to read the contents of the file, you can open it in a program such as Microsoft Word or Excel. However, you may need someone with programming skills to help interpret it! Hope that helps you get what you needed!