How to Recover Deleted QuickBooks Files using Auto Data Recovery Tool?

Recover Deleted QuickBooks Files

Auto Data Recovery (ADR) is a feature provided by QuickBooks. If you lose or find the data corrupted, you can use this feature to recover the lost or deleted data of your QuickBooks program. If you are wondering how to recover deleted QuickBooks files, we will help you with the procedure.

Important Points to Remember

QuickBooks Auto Data Recovery helps you to recover the deleted or lost file if you restore the lost transaction with the current Transaction Log File (.TLG) and with a copy of the QuickBooks Company File. Or, you can regenerate the transactions of the last few hours. This will also include the copy of your Company File (.QBW) and the Transaction Log File (.QBW.tlg).

Before you learn how to recover deleted QuickBooks files, there are a few other things that you should consider:

  • Auto Data Recovery feature is only available in QuickBooks Premier, Enterprise Solutions, and QuickBooks Pro for Windows.
  • ADR feature cannot be used in Accountant Editions as it is not available.
  • The file size limitation of ADR is 1.5 Gigabytes. If the backup file is larger than 1.5 GB then you will not be able to generate the ADR file.
  • Your QuickBooks Desktop should be updated to the latest version to maximize the ADR features.

How to Recover Deleted Files in QuickBooks?

Although Intuit services help you to recover the data, the process may take some time, meanwhile, you cannot access QuickBooks for a few days. Using the Auto Data Recovery feature, you can restore your deleted data faster.

Note: QuickBooks Auto Data Recovery feature should be used only after implementing the relevant troubleshooting steps:

There are different ways to restore the deleted data in QuickBooks. For instance, you can recover the transaction using the original Transaction file with the QBW.ADR file or use the ADR version for both TLG and QBW files. Besides that, you can use the QuickBooks Files Recovery tool, restore data from Recycle Bin, or create duplicates to recover the whole data.

Let’s go through the following methods to know how to recover deleted QuickBooks files:

Method 1: Use QuickBooks Files Recovery Tool

QuickBooks Files Recovery tool provides several features with the help of which you can retrieve your data. This tool lets you recover all objects including all types of transactions. You can also check the preview of your files. The tool is user-friendly. It creates and saves the report as well.

All you have to do is download the tool on your computer and run the tool to recover the data. It supports more than 500 file-formats including QBA, QBW, IIF, ND, and more. Once the tool is downloaded, you can pursue the following steps:

  • Scan the hard drive where you removed the data files and other QuickBooks documents.
  • Then, perform a quick scan and deep scan for the files that have been removed from your computer.
  • Now, choose the “QuickBooks Data Files Recovery” program and hit the “Recover” button.

This will start retrieving the data in your QuickBooks account. If you think the tool is not helping to recover the data then you can switch to the next method.

Method 2: Go to Recycle Bin to Restore Deleted Files

Whether you delete the QuickBooks data file intentionally or mistakenly, the deleted file first goes to the Recycle Bin folder on your computer. By visiting the recycle bin folder, you can recover the deleted data files or folders (if you have not cleared the recycle bin folder).

To restore the file from Recycle bin in Windows 7, 8, or 10, you can go through the following steps:

  • On your desktop screen, you can click twice on the “Recycle Bin” folder. This will take you to the “File Explorer” screen.
Go to Recycle Bin to Restore Deleted Files
  • Here, search for the “QuickBooks” folder.
  • Then, choose the “Restore all items” option located on the top right.

If you do not want to recover all the files then hold down the Ctrl key and click on the selected files one after one. Thereafter, you can hit the Restored selected items option.

Method 3: Recover Deleted Files by Finding the Copies

By discovering the copies of the record, there are chances that you can restore the deleted files. Here, you just need to check the copies of the QBW file and check the record. For more detailing, check out the following steps:

  • Launch option search box.
  • Then sort “*.qbw” file.
  • Hit the “Enter” button.
  • Find out the copies available in the ‘Organization Records” list.
  • On the record, click right on it.
  • Go to the “Properties” tab.
  • From the “General” tab, check the record if it is named as “QuickBooks Company File”.
  • Now, use the “Date Modified” option and search for the most refreshed document.
  • When you find the refreshed document, you can duplicate it to the CD.
  • Once the data is replicated, you can delete all the residual files.
  • Thereafter, you can use the “Ctrl + V” and “Ctrl + C” to keep the record in the same area.

This is how you can recover the deleted or lost files in QuickBooks Desktop. All you have to create the duplicate files from the most refreshed document and then save them to the relevant place.

Method 4: Use Original .TLG file with .QBW.ADR File

To recover the deleted transaction, you can use the Original Transaction Log File along with the Auto Data Recovery version of the company file. You can follow these steps to proceed further.

  • Create a folder on your computer desktop.
  • Make sure you name the new folder as “QBTest”.
  • Then, go to the folder where your company files are saved.

Tip: You can check the file location of the QuickBooks company files on the Production Information page; just press Ctrl + 1 or F2 on the keyboard. No Company Open Window can also be used to reach the company file location.

  • Locate the “.TLG file” in the company file folder. (The file you are searching for has the same name as the company file name).
  • If you are unable to search for the .tlg file then you can navigate through the following steps:
    • Use the “Windows + E” key. This will open the “File Explorer”.
    • Click on the “Organize” option.
    • Select the “Folder” and search options.
    • For Windows 8, 8.1, or 10, click on the “View” option.
    • Then, select the “File name extension”.
    • After that, you can click on the “Hide Extension for the known file types” option.
    • Hit the “Apply” button.
    • Then, click the “OK” button to save your actions.
  • Now, copy the “.tlg file”, once found it, and paste it to the folder that you created earlier with the “QBTest” name.
  • Thereafter, go to the “QuickBooksAutoDataRecovery” folder in the same location where the company files present.
  • When you find the “.QBW.adr file”, copy it to paste the file in the “QBTest” folder. Note that your “QBTest” folder has both the files .tlg.file and QBW.adr).
Use Original .TLG file with .QBW.ADR File
  • Now, open the “QBTest” folder.
  • Then, click right on the “.QBW.adr” file.
  • After that, click on the “Rename” option.
  • Here, remove .adr from the file name that is mentioned in the end.

Once you are done removing the QBW.adr file, you can open QuickBooks and access the company file that you saved in the QBTest folder. At this point, you can verify the transactions using the account register. Thereafter, you can run Verify Data in the following steps:

  • Open “QuickBooks”.
  • Click on the “File” option.
  • Select the “Utilities” button.
  • Then, click on the “Verify Data” option.
QuickBooks and access the company file
  • Press the “OK” button.

If there is no issue with the QuickBooks Desktop company files then you can shift the damaged files to some other location. Then, you can move the copy from the QBTest folder to the original location.


All the accounting and financial data in QuickBooks are saved in your QuickBooks folder. However, in some situations, you delete the file or folder mistakenly. To prevent yourself from losing essential files, QuickBooks offers an Auto Data Recovery tool. In addition, you can use other ways to recover QuickBooks lost or deleted data. In this guide, we have taught how to recover deleted QuickBooks files easily using different ways. Hope you find it useful.

Do you want to delete entitlement in QuickBooks Desktop? Read this guide carefully.

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