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Get Over ‘QuickBooks Restore Failed Invalid Format’ Error!

Quickbooks restore failed can't remove log file

QuickBooks users understand how essential it is to create a backup of your file to keep the data secure. But sometimes they get an error message that says “QuickBooks restore failed Invalid Format” due to which users might not be able to access their backup files. This error mainly appears when you are trying to restore a backup copy. There are different types of error message that appears on your screen when this issue arises:

Error: Failed
Restore Failed. This is an Invalid Format of a Post QuickBooks 2007 Backup File
Error: Restore failed. Can't remove log file

NOTE: When you try to save the restored file, the file name may appear with a *.qbw.

Did you run into the “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” error? Reach out to our experts at  +1(855)-955-1942 for all sorts of technical assistance. 

Reasons that give Rise to QuickBooks Restore Failed Issue 

A few basic issues like the wrong way to save your company file name and also a few technical things, like a compromised company file can lead to ‘QuickBooks restore failed’ messages. Let’s look at the reasons why QuickBooks restore backup failed errors appear on your system:

  • There is a special character( / < > ! $) in your Company file name.
  • You created a backup over an existing company file.
  • A network drive was used to restore the backup from a USB flash drive. 
  • You used a recent version to create a backup.
  • The file you’re attempting to restore isn’t a backup file.
  • The company file got compromised.
  • There is data damage in your company file.
  • There is a mismatch in your Windows folder permission, firewall settings or internet settings. 


Check your backup file for errors before continuing. A backup file should be at least 6MB (6MB = 6,000KB) in size. If it’s smaller, it’s most likely not a true backup file, and you’ll have to create one from the working file. To find out how big a file is, right-click it and go to Properties.

Now, you know what is causing the issue on your system, kindly look at the related solution. There are 9 different types of solutions you can follow when “QuickBooks restore backup failed” error appears on your system. But In case, you are not aware of the cause, you need to follow these troubleshooting methods step by step: 

Solution 1: Remove Special Characters  

There are certain characters that are not allowed in a company file name. You will face “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” error if you have used them. The list of acceptable characters are:

  • Alpha-numeric (A-Z, a-z, 0-9)
  • Comma (,)
  • Dot or period (.)
  • Question mark (?)
  • At symbol (@)
  • Ampersand (&)
  • Exclamation point (!)
  • Number/pound sign (#)
  • Single quote (‘)
  • Tilde (~)
  • Asterisk (*)
  • Space ( )
  • Underscore (_)
  • Minus sign/hyphen (-)
  • Semi-colon ( ; )
  • Plus sign (+)

Using characters other than the above-mentioned can be a reason why QuickBooks restore backup failed on your system. You need to rename your file, follow the steps in order to do so:

  • Click on Windows File Manager and find your file with the .qbb extension. The path you need to follow is C:\ Users\ Public\ Documents\ Intuit\ QuickBooks\ 
  • Right-click on it to select Rename. 
  • Now name your file using the types of characters mentioned above.

Solution 2: Don’t Overwrite an Existing File While Restoring Backup

Overwriting an existing file can lead to the ‘QuickBooks restore failed‘ issue. There is a dialogue box that appears whenever you want to save a company file. You have to browse through your standard location where you save your file. In case the file you want to save on your system matches with another file on your system a message will pop-up: “The file name exists. Would you like to overwrite this file?”. You need to tap on No and then change the name of the file you want to save that is different from the existing file. 

Solution 3: Make a Copy of your Backup

Damaged folders can also possibly lead to QuickBooks restore backup failed. People tend to use flash drives or network drives to restore their backup directly to and from a local computer. First, it is advised to copy and paste your backup file to avoid the “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” error. It also ensures the safety of your file. 

Solution 4: Copy Backup file in New Folder

The simplest way to fix “QuickBooks restore backup failed” error is by creating a new folder, pasting your backup file in that folder and then running it. You can copy and then paste the file into a folder in a different location using Windows Explorer.  

Solution 5: Use Similar or Newer Version of QuickBooks

If you are trying to restore a backup in an older version than the one in which you created it, You will face the “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” error. It’s because the structure of the versions differs.

Example: It is possible to restore a backup in QuickBooks Desktop 2020, which was created in QuickBooks Desktop 2019 but you can’t recover a backup in QuickBooks Desktop 2019, which was generated in QuickBooks 2020.    

The simple solution to this issue is going back to the older version in which you generated the backup.   

Solution 6: Repair your File

A corrupt backup file is one of the most common causes of the “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” issue on your computer. You can restore it through these steps:

Important: You need to move your backup file to a local hard drive if it is on a local hard drive such as USB or any hosting service. 

  • Tap on the File menu and choose Open or Restore Company.
  • Choose Restore a backup copy and then click on Next
  • Click on Local Backup and then tap on Next.
  • Look for your backup company file on your PC. This is how it should look: [Your company name].qbb.
  • Choose a folder where you wish to save your restored file and then click on Open

NOTE: You risk overwriting your data if you open the backup in the same folder as your existing company file. You can change your existing company file or the backup so that the names are unique to avoid overwriting. Alternatively, you can save the backup in a separate folder.

  • You need to choose Save. If you receive any warnings regarding the possibility of your data being overwritten, choose the option that best suits your needs. Don’t overwrite anything if you are not sure.

Solution 7: Create a Portable File

If you are unable to restore a backup due to the “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” problem, create a portable file to restore it on two distinct computers. You can even email it as an attachment using this method, and you won’t need an external portable device like a USB drive to do so.

Solution 8: Change Property Section of File

The failure of a QuickBooks POS restoration backup may be due to incorrect application properties. Following are the steps to change it:

  • Tap on the File tab and select Open.
  • Select the file in read-only format.
  • Right-click on the selected files and then tap on the Properties option from the menu. 
  • Untick the read-Only box under the Attributes section of the window. 
  • Click on Apply button and then tap on OK

Solution 9: Run as Administrator

Running your application as an administrator bypasses many required permissions. If you are unable to restore your backup file in QuickBooks due to insufficient permission. Running as an administrator gives it required permissions and fix the issue. Follow the 3 steps:

  • Tap on the Windows Start button.
  • Right-click on it and select Run as Administrator.
  • Now try to restore your backup. 

So we hope now you understand what shall be done when the “QuickBooks Restore failed Invalid Format” error appears on your screen. If the error message still appears on your screen, we would suggest you to get in touch with our experts by giving us a call on QuickBooks Data Service Solutions Helpline Number +1(855)-955-1942

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Lily Evans

Lily Evans is a Certified Accountant with Expertise in QuickBooks, Sage and Quicken Accounting Software. Lily has been working with Data Service Solutions for the last 3 years as a QuickBooks Expert and is Helping Accounting software users with their day to day accounting tasks and issues.

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