How to Restore Sage 50 Company File Backups?

Last updated: March 7th, 2024

Complete Guide: Sage 50 Unable to Create or Restore a Backup


Sage 50 is a powerful accounting software that stores all your financial data in a company file. However, sometimes you may encounter issues while creating or restoring a backup of your company file. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to troubleshoot and resolve the "Sage 50 Unable to Create or Restore a Backup" issue.

Understanding Sage 50 Backups

A Sage 50 backup is a copy of your company file that contains all your accounting data, such as transactions, customer and vendor information, and financial reports. Creating regular backups is crucial to ensure the safety and integrity of your data in case of system failures, data corruption, or accidental deletions.

Sage 50 allows you to create backups manually or set up automatic backups. It is recommended to store your backups on an external drive or a cloud storage service to protect them from local hardware failures.

Common Reasons for Backup Issues

There can be several reasons why Sage 50 may fail to create or restore a backup:

  • Insufficient permissions: If you don't have the necessary permissions to access the backup location or modify files, Sage 50 may not be able to create or restore a backup.
  • Large file size: If the backup file size is too large, it may exceed the maximum file size limit imposed by your operating system or storage device.
  • Corrupted company file: If your Sage 50 company file is damaged or corrupted, it may prevent the backup process from completing successfully.
  • Antivirus or firewall interference: Sometimes, antivirus software or firewall settings may interfere with Sage 50's ability to create or restore backups.

Steps to Create a Sage 50 Backup

Follow these steps to create a backup of your Sage 50 company file:

  1. Open Sage 50 and log into the company you want to back up.
    • If you have Sage 50 Premium or Quantum, ensure the software is set to Single-User Mode under System Admin.
  2. Click on File and then Backup.
    • Alternatively, you can use the Backup icon (a file cabinet) from anywhere on the Home screen.
  3. In the 'Sage 50 Accounting – Backup' window, enter a file name.
    • For a date-named file, include the date as part of the name (e.g., UC141222).
  4. Select the directory where you want to save the backup.
    • Do not put the file location in the .SAJ folder, as it is where Sage 50 stores all backup files.
    • The last-used backup file path is saved and becomes the default backup for the next backup.
    • Avoid replacing an existing backup unless you're absolutely sure you want to do this.
  5. Click OK to start the backup process.

Steps to Restore a Sage 50 Backup

To restore a backup company file in Sage 50, follow these steps:

  1. Create a second copy of the backup file before starting the restore process as a precautionary measure.
  2. Click on File from the main menu.
  3. Select Restore.
  4. Click on Browse and select the backup (.PTB file) of the company file.
  5. Select Open, then Next.
  6. Choose one of the two options provided:
    • Overwrite existing company data or An existing Company
    • Create a new company using the restored data or A New Company
  7. Click on Next.
  8. Select the options based on your preferences:
    • Customized forms
    • Company Data
    • Business Intelligence Reports or Intelligence Reporting Reports
  9. Click on Next.
  10. After verifying that all data has been restored, click on Finish.
  11. The company will open once the restore process is complete.

Note: If you choose to overwrite the company file data, all data recorded after the backup was created will be lost permanently and cannot be recovered. Create a copy of that data and enter it manually later if needed.

Upgrading Company Files

When restoring data to a newer edition of Sage 50, you'll need to convert or upgrade the company file. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Sage 50.
  2. Click on the File menu, then Open Company.
  3. Select the Company file you want to open.
  4. Click on the conversion wizard.
  5. On the Introduction page, click on Next.
  6. Click on Next to open the company file.
  7. Click on Next, and Sage 50 will automatically create a backup of your company file.
  8. The conversion process will start. Once it's complete, click on Finish.

Note: Upgrading a company file is necessary because newer versions of Sage 50 use a different file structure. While upgrading is simple, downgrading is impossible. Always save the backup created by Sage 50 before importing the accounting data into the new version.

Troubleshooting Backup Issues

If you encounter issues while creating or restoring a backup in Sage 50, try the following solutions:

Solution 1: File Size Too High Due to Backup in Working Folder (.SAJ)

  • Close Sage 50.
  • Press the Windows key + E to launch Windows Explorer.
  • Navigate to your data file's location.
  • Open the .SAJ file for company files.
  • If there are backups in the .SAJ folder, move them to a location outside the .SAJ folder.
  • Open the .SAJ folder and look in the "simple" and "My SQL" folders inside it.
  • Back up your company file.

Solution 2: Insufficient Permissions to Back Up Data

  • Locate the Sage 50 icon on your desktop and right-click it.
  • Run Sage 50 as an administrator.
  • Create a backup and select "Restore from backup".
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  • Sage 50 will check if you have a limited version installed.
  • Uninstall Sage 50 and reinstall it with administrator rights. Ensure any antivirus software is turned off.

Solution 3: Backing Up Directly to a USB Flash Drive

  • Open Sage 50 on your computer.
  • Start the Sage 50 backup in the backup window.
  • Create a folder on the desktop or C: drive.
  • Move the backup folder from the USB flash drive's location to the new folder.
  • Select OK to change the driver.
  • Check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 4: Backup Files Saved in Restricted Program Files Folder (Windows 8)

  • Open Sage 50 and start a backup.
  • In the Backup Window, change the backup location from C: Program files to a folder on the desktop or C: drive.
  • Set the new location and press OK to back up.
  • Verify if the issue is resolved.

Solution 5: Backup Restoration Failed Using Winzip Software

  • Download a ZIP file to undo the conversion from a cab file to a tgz file.
  • If the restore fails, the backup data may be incomplete.
  • Try a different backup strategy.
  • Reinstall QuickBooks if you need WinZip to open all your files.


Creating and restoring backups in Sage 50 is a straightforward process. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure the safety and integrity of your accounting data. If you encounter any issues, try the troubleshooting solutions provided. Remember to create regular backups and store them securely to minimize the risk of data loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take to restore a backup file?
    Restoring a backup file in Sage 50 is a quick process that usually takes just a few minutes, depending on the size of the backup file.

  2. Will my settings be restored upon restoring the company file?
    No, your settings will not be restored when you restore a company file. The backup file only contains the accounting data. You'll need to reset your preferences in Sage 50 after the restoration.

  3. How long does it take to create a backup file in Sage 50?
    Creating a backup file in Sage 50 is a fast process that typically takes about a minute to complete, depending on the amount of data being backed up.

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