QuickBooks Online Backups

by | Jan 16, 2020

Big Changes in QuickBooks Online Backups

In January 2020, Intuit dropped the bombshell that their purchase of Nate Tippie’s ChronoBooks wasn’t the all-encompassing good news that we expected to hear. Instead of becoming QuickBooks Online’s built-in backup system, today Intuit announced that ChronoBooks would only be available to subscribers of QuickBooks Online Advanced, the highest-tier version of QBO. As of February 25, 2020, all Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus users would no longer have access to this third-party backup solution. QuickBooks Online backups are important!

While I myself don’t necessarily agree with that decision, I understand Intuit’s rationale. QBO Advanced is a high-ticket item, and to justify the price Intuit needs to include exclusive features that increase the value to users.

In 2019, I gave workshops at Scaling New Heights and QuickBooks Connect about backup strategies for QuickBooks Connect. Because I’m so familiar with the options, I’m not panicking about this decision. The best way through is to share my resources with you!

Let’s take a look at:

  • The features in each solution
  • The use cases that will help you select the appropriate alternative


Why do you even need to back up QBO?

QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, and backed up redundantly on Intuit’s servers. This means your data is perfectly safe from disaster. But those backups are outside of your control. If there’s an operational issue with your data, Intuit can’t restore for you.

Here are some of reasons you may wish to back up your QBO file:

  1. Make a hard copy archive to match your taxes
  2. QBO is a live document, so when you modify your Chart of Accounts or Products & Services, your history rearranges, too
  3. You’re about to import data and may need to revert if it goes wrong
  4. You want the ability to restore deleted transactions
  5. You want to move a QBO file from one account to another.

The variety of 3rd party apps each have strengths that address these different needs.


The Features of each Backup Solution


  • Free as part of a QBO Advanced subscription
  • Daily full backup
  • Incremental backups every few hours
  • Manual backup on-demand
  • Restore to any date and time
  • Export folder of .csv files to DropBox or GoogleDrive
  • Copy file from one account to another



  • Items to Rewind
  • Works with all versions of QBO
  • Business owners can subscribe directly for $10/mo. ProAdvisors have a dashboard, and clients are $5/mo.
  • Nightly full backup
  • Every transaction individually saved in real time
  • Manual backup on-demand
  • Undo deleted transactions
  • Restore any transaction to any date and time
  • Restore entire transaction type or list to a date and time with help of Support (i.e. Customer list, Products list, Invoices, Checks, etc.)
  • Restore entire file to any date and time with help of Support (user ability in Beta)
  • Export JSON files for developer to reimport
  • Copy file from one account to another in Beta
  • Also available for Shopify and BigCommerce


Backup Circle:

  • Works with all versions of QBO
  • Business owners subscribe directly for $4.99/mo
  • Weekly full backup
  • Manual backup on-demand
  • Restore to any date and time


  • Manual backup on-demand
  • Full file restore on-demand
  • Graphical representation of data


In-Product Export to QuickBooks Desktop

To move QuickBooks Online data to QuickBooks Desktop, there is a free option available in QuickBooks Online, but it’s not on the menus! It can be performed on a PC in Internet Explorer by Company Admins. Change the URL to http://qbo.intuit.com/app/exportqbodatatoqbdt. I demonstrate how to do this in my Backing Up QuickBooks Online video course at http://royl.ws/QBO-Backups.


Which one is right for you?

That depends on what your needs are, of course!

Automated backups

ChronoBooks does a daily full backup and several incremental backups during the day, but the time varies. Rewind does a full backup every evening, and updates immediately every time you change or add a transaction. Backup Circle backs up weekly on a day of your choice.

Manual backups

I do a manual backup before I make major changes to a file, like importing data or updating my Products & Services list. All the solutions allow you to manually initiate a backup so that you can roll back to it if your import doesn’t succeed as expected.

Restore an entire file to a particular date and time

ChronoBooks, Backup Circle, and SafetyNet do this quickly and easily. As of the time of this writing, you need to work with Rewind’s Support team to roll back an entire file. The ability to initiate this action yourself is in Beta and is expected to be available in February.

Undelete one or more transactions

Only Rewind has this ability.

Revert one or more transactions to a specific point in time

Only Rewind has this ability.

Restore a single category of items to a point in time

Rewind can do this with the help of Support. See the image above to see which transaction types and lists can be rolled back.

Exporting your file to your computer

ChronoBooks exports a folder of csv files. Rewind exports a JSON file, which requires a developer to import. QBO allows you to export your QBO file to QuickBooks Desktop using the link http://qbo.intuit.com/app/exportqbodatatoqbdt (it’s not on the menus!).

Copy a QBO file from one Account to another

ChronoBooks has this ability, but once it becomes part of Advanced, it will have less utility than it did in our ProAdvisor portal. Rewind has this feature in Beta.


Additional Resources

I have several resources that you’ll find helpful in this time of transition!

I recorded a demo of Rewind in November 2019 that shows you how it works.

I have a Video Course about Backing Up QuickBooks Online that includes demonstrations of all the software alternatives, including a full export of QBO to QuickBooks Desktop. It was recorded before the announcement that ChronoBooks was bought by Intuit, but otherwise it’s has a lot of great in-depth information.

Here’s a PDF with a comparison chart of ChronoBooks, Rewind, and Backup Circle. I made it for Intuit, and it’s shared with permission.

Backing Up QuickBooks Online

Backing Up QuickBooks Online2

About Alicia Katz Pollock

With a Masters in Teaching from Tufts University, a QuickBooks®️ Online Advanced Certification and more than 30 years’ experience in the tech industry, Alicia is passionate about finding creative, practical solutions to complex and everyday tech problems. She also loves a good laugh!




  1. Backing Up QBO Using Rewind.io | Royalwise - […] To see how Rewind compares to ChronoBooks and Backup Circle, read more here! […]
  2. QuickBooks Pro Advisor Saves 8 Hours of Work After Sales Receipts are Deleted - […] Online and the need for location redundancy of information. I started hearing rumblings about both Chronobooks and Rewind. And…

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