3 Popular External Hard Drives For Quickbooks (Guide)

Editor Choice
Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD...
Best Lightweight
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - Up to...
Best Value
WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive...
Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD...
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - Up to...
WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive...
$83.99
Price not available
$129.99
-
2,371 Reviews
5,346 Reviews
6,276 Reviews
Editor Choice
Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD...
Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD...
$83.99
2,371 Reviews
Best Lightweight
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - Up to...
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - Up to...
Price not available
-
5,346 Reviews
Best Value
WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive...
WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive...
$129.99
6,276 Reviews

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

You own a QuickBooks account for your small business. You use it to accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and handle payroll functions. 

But then you want to store your QuickBooks data on an external hard drive, or maybe you want to create a backup. You may want to move around from one place to another with your Quickbooks data right in your pocket.

Is there any reason this will not work? Can you back up your information on an external hard drive and move it from one computer to another?

All this can be achieved with a few simple steps, and well go over this and more in this article.

What is Quickbooks?

Quickbooks is an excellent accounting software developed by Intuit that’s geared mainly at small and medium-sized companies. It offers on-premises accounting applications and cloud-based versions that allow users to accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and handle payroll functions. 

Quickbooks gives you flexibility with several web-based features such as remote access capabilities, remote payroll assistance and outsourcing, electronic payment functions, and online banking and reconciliation.

The company included an import function through Excel in the 2008 version, adding employee time tracking options, pre-authorization of electronic funds, and new help functions.  

Intuit also offers a cloud service called QuickBooks Online. Users pay a monthly subscription fee rather than an upfront fee to access the software exclusively through a secure logon via a Web browser.

Intuit provides patches and regularly upgrades the software automatically and includes pop-up ads within the application for additional paid services.

Consider checking 2 Popular Chromebook For QuickBooks

Can You Run Quickbooks off an External Hard Drive?

It is possible to run Quickbooks off an external hard drive, but you need to understand a few key things first. 

You will likely have a couple of issues because that external device is most likely slower than the local hard drive for the relational database of Quickbooks and the associated utility files that are ‘live updated’ while you work.

Unlike Word or Excel that put a working file into memory, QuickBooks does not work the same way.  

The Quickbooks desktop program does not load the data file into memory but instead requires a ‘live and managed connection’ to the database at all times to work. That’s why there is a ‘Save’ on every Transaction; not a ‘Save’ on the entire file at the end.

Programs like MS Word and Excel put the working file into memory, so you are not working on a live file. Unless you are using the online version.

How To Store QuickBooks Data on an External Device?

The easiest way to create a portable QuickBooks database that you can access from different computers is to store the company file on an external drive to move between computers physically. 

You must check that the drive has enough space and that you regularly backup your databases. Also, always properly eject your external drive before you remove it to avoid data loss.

Step 1

Connect the external drive to the computer and then launch QuickBooks. From your dashboard, choose File > New Company to create a new database in QuickBooks. 

After, select Express ‘Start’ in the tab labeled ‘Let’s Get your Business Set Up Quickly.’

Step 2

Enter your company name, and then choose your industry and select ‘Continue’ afterward. Type in your business email address and ‘Validate.’

Step 3

Open a new browser tab and log in to your business email account. Click the link in the email from Intuit to validate your email address. Next, clear the check box labeled ‘Set Up My Company File…’, Then click continue (this is highly recommended). 

Finally, enter the contact information for your company and create your company file.

Step 4

Browse to the drive’s root directory. Type a file name for the company file and choose “Save” to save the company file to your external hard drive. Choose “File” and “Exit” to exit the QuickBooks program.

How To Move QuickBooks Data From One Computer to Another?

To move your Quickbooks data from one computer to another, you first have to get your company file saved to the laptop and opened up properly. First, you’re going to need to create a backup company file from the data that has been stored on the portable hard drive. 

How to Back Up Your Company File Manually

Step 1

In QuickBooks, go to the menu and select ‘Switch to Single-user Mode.’ From there, select Create Local Backup, and in the window, select Local Backup and then select Next.

Step 2

In the Local Backup Only tab, select Browse and choose where you want to save your backup company file. 

You want to make sure that you save it to your computer and not the portable drive. From there, set the number of backups you want to keep.

Step 3

The previous step runs a test to make sure your backup file is in good shape before you save, and when you’re ready, you can select ‘OK.’ Select Save it now and Next. 

It’s essential to make sure you have disconnected the portable hard drive after ensuring the backup company file has been saved to your computer after you have to restore the company file’s backup.

How to Restore The Backup of The Company File

When you’re ready to restore your QuickBooks data, you can follow a few simple steps. 

Necessary: If your backup company file is on an external drive, you’ll need to move it to your local hard drive first. Then follow these steps:

Step 1

In QuickBooks, go to the File menu and then select ‘Open or Restore Company.’ From there, like ‘Restore a backup copy’ and then click ‘Next.’

Step 2

After, select ‘Local Backup’ and then click ‘Next.’ Browse your computer for your backup company file. It should look like this: [Your company name].qbb. After, select a folder to decide where to save your restored company file, and then select ‘Open.’

When you’re ready, select Save, and if you see any messages about possibly overwriting your data, select the option that best fits your needs. Don’t overwrite anything unless you know you want to.

3 Best External Hard Drives for QuickBooks

To find the best external hard drives for Quickbooks, we reviewed the speed, price, security features, and portability of these hard drives. 

1. Samsung T5 (Best Overall)

Sale
Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD...
2,371 Reviews
Samsung T5 500GB USB 3.1 Pocket Size Portable External SSD...
  • Storage: The Samsung T5 500GB Portable External SSD elevates data transfer speeds to the next level and unleashes a new experience...

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

With a compact and durable design and password protection, the Samsung T5 is the best overall external hard drive for Quickbooks. The T5 is truly easy to carry and stores data securely while providing transfer speeds of up to 540 MBs – that’s up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs.

The T5 works on all major platforms, including Mac and Windows, and comes in two distinct aluminum finishes. You can count on the T5 for safe and reliable storage of your Quickbooks data.

2. SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB (Best Lightweight)

SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - Up to...
5,346 Reviews
SanDisk 500GB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - Up to...
  • Save time moving and editing your files with our lightning-fast, in-house NVMe technology that dramatically increases transfer...
  • Ruggedized design with a forged aluminum body protects the SSD core and dissipates heat. Its IP55 rating lets you know that it’s...
  • With capacity of up to 500GB,* creative professionals have enough space for full libraries of content [*1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes....

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB is another excellent external hard drive for your Quickbooks data and backups. It features lightning-fast, in-house NVMe technology that dramatically increases transfer speeds to up to 1050MB/s.

The rugged design comes with a forged aluminum body that protects the SSD core and dissipates heat. Its IP55 rating lets you know that it’s water- and dust-resistant while its durable, silicon rubber coating delivers higher impact resistance.

You can carry it around quickly, and the compact, pocket-sized design won’t weigh you down when you travel.

3. Western Digital My Passport Ultra (best value for price)

Sale
WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive...
6,276 Reviews
WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Blue Portable External Hard Drive...
  • USB-C and USB 3.1 compatible
  • Innovative style with refined metal cover
  • Password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Western Digital My Passport Ultra is the budget external hard drive on this list, offering an astounding 4T of data at the same price as other drives.

Featuring the latest in USB-C technology, the My Passport Ultra portable drive delivers quick and easy storage, while the included USB 3.0 adapter makes sure it’s compatible with older machines. It has plenty of space to store all your Quickbooks data as well as all the content you love.

Final Thoughts and best pick

Moving your QuickBooks data from one hard drive to another can be achieved with a few simple steps. You simply have to create a backup on an external hard drive and then restore the data on your choice computer. 

We’ve compiled the best external hard drives on the market today to make this process much simpler. In short, the Samsung T5 is the best external hard drive for Quickbooks, fast, reliable, and you won’t have to worry about losing your data.

I hope you found this one useful. In case you feel something wasn’t obvious, please feel free to reach out! I wish you all the best!