QuickBooks is one of the leading accounting software used by small and medium-sized businesses for their financial management. But, sometimes, you may want to start fresh and delete everything in QuickBooks. Whether you’ve made too many mistakes in your company file, haven’t used QuickBooks in a while or you’ve started a new business, deleting everything in QuickBooks and starting over can be a useful option for you.

However, before you proceed with this task, it is important to know that once you delete everything, you cannot retrieve it back. Therefore, it is highly recommended to take a backup of your data before proceeding with this task. In this blog, we will discuss various methods to delete everything in QuickBooks, including the methods to fix any errors that may occur during the process.

Video Tutorial:

Why You Need to Delete Everything in QuickBooks

There could be several reasons why you may want to delete everything in QuickBooks and start over. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • You have unused accounts or lists that are no longer required.
  • You have made too many errors or made errors while setting up your QuickBooks account.
  • You want to start fresh with your new business and want to clear all the old data.

No matter what the reason may be, deleting everything in QuickBooks will help you to start over with a clean slate.

Method 1: Deleting Lists and Templates Via QuickBooks Desktop

Deleting lists and templates are the two most critical components to start over in QuickBooks Desktop. Here’s how to delete it through QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Open QuickBooks, then go to the Lists menu.
  2. Click the list you want to delete
  3. Select Edit and click the Delete option from the drop-down menu.
  4. If you want to delete the templates, select Edit -> Templates, select the template, then click Delete.


  • No need for internet connectivity to delete lists and templates.
  • Easy to follow without any technical knowledge


  • It only deletes the lists and the templates. The rest of the data, like transactions, needs to delete separately.
  • The process may take a long time for businesses with a lot of lists and templates.

Method 2: Starting a New Company File Via QuickBooks

Another way to delete everything in QuickBooks and start over fresh is to create a brand-new company file. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open QuickBooks and click the File menu, then select New Company.
  2. Fill in the necessary information, that is, company file type, company name and details, then click Create Company.
  3. QuickBooks prompts you if you want to add setup information or not, choose accordingly, then click Create Company.


  • QuickBooks creates a brand-new company file with no data, preventing the need to delete it.
  • No complications associated with deleting and managing lists and templates.


  • You need to recreate all information, including your chart of accounts, customers, vendors, and all other relevant data that was previously in the old company file.
  • Requires additional setup time, especially for larger businesses with complex financial information.

Method 3: Using QuickBooks Clean Install Tool

If you’re still unable to delete all data in QuickBooks and start over, QuickBooks Clean Install Tool is the last option. It is designed to completely remove all QuickBooks files and settings from your computer.

  1. Before downloading the QuickBooks Clean Install Tool, take a backup of your company file as it will be deleted.
  2. Download the QuickBooks Clean Install Tool from the official Intuit website.
  3. Complete the installation process and accept the agreement.
  4. Select your QuickBooks Version when prompted and then click Continue.
  5. Click OK to the message "Please install your copy of QuickBooks to the default location."
  6. Click Clean Install to start the reinstallation process.


  • This method will remove all files and settings of QuickBooks from your computer, including the software itself, and there’s no risk of any remaining data.
  • It’s the quickest and the most effective method.


  • You need to take a backup of your company file before deleting it, and the process of backup and restoration can take time.
  • You need to reinstall QuickBooks after deletion using the installation CD or downloading it from the QuickBooks official website.

What To Do If You Can’t Delete Everything in QuickBooks

If you are still experiencing issues while attempting to delete everything in QuickBooks, consider the following tips:

  • Create a dummy account payable, leave it open, and then void it.
  • Clean your logs and utilities.
  • Disable advanced inventory tracking.
  • Disconnect any bank feeds and match all the transactions before deleting them.

Bonus Tip:

After completing any of the deletion methods discussed, ensure that you remove the company file from QuickBooks Online Backup as the file will start backing up again when the automatic schedule starts. To delete the company file from the backup, log in to your online backup account, click Backup Sets, and delete the file.

5 FAQs About Deleting Everything in QuickBooks And Starting Over:

Q1. Can I undo my QuickBooks file after the deletion?

A: No, once you delete everything in QuickBooks, you cannot undo it, which is why it is highly recommended to take a backup of your data.

Q2. How do I backup my QuickBooks file before deleting it?

A: You can take a backup of your QuickBooks file by going to File -> Backup Company -> Create Local Backup, and then follow the prompts to save it to a safe location.

Q3. Are there any risks of deleting everything in QuickBooks?

A: Yes, deleting everything in QuickBooks will permanently erase all data and is irreversible, which is why it should be done with caution.

Q4. How long does it take to delete everything in QuickBooks?

A: The time taken to delete everything in QuickBooks depends on the method you choose and the amount of data present in your company file.

Q5. Can I delete everything in QuickBooks but keep my customized templates?

A: No, when you delete everything in QuickBooks, it includes deleting templates, lists, and everything else in the company file.

Final Thoughts

Deleting everything in QuickBooks and starting over is a step to take when there isn’t any other solution. It’s a delicate task that requires caution, and it’s always better to take a backup of your data before proceeding. With the various methods discussed in this blog, you can efficiently delete everything in QuickBooks and start over with a clean slate. Consider weighing the pros and cons of each method before proceeding and choose one that’s the most appropriate for your business.

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