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How would I automatically download QuickBase tables and their attached files using Microsoft Access?

QuickBase Desktop is a Microsoft Access database with some VBA code that mirrors QuickBase databases to MS Access tables and their attached files to your hard drive. It also features a sync button that posts changes made to the mirrored tables back up to the QuickBase server. The sync button also pulls down changes from the QuickBase databases to the local MS Access tables.

NOTE: QuickBase Desktop does not yet support application tokens. To use this tool, you must leave application tokens disabled for the application you want to download. If tokens are required, disable them manually. For more information, please see our Application Tokens and Disable Application Tokens help topics.

QuickBase Desktop is packaged as a zip file:

for MS Access 2000 users

or as an mdb file:

for either MS Access 2000, 2002, 2003 or 2007 users

The zip file will install MDAC 2.8

For users of MS Access 2000,2,3,7 you can use the QuickBaseDesktop.mdb file and then just open it in MS Access 2000,2,3,7.

For users of MS Access 2000,2, if you don't have MDAC 2.8 installed then you'll get an error message about a missing reference for "MSADOX.DLL - v 2.8". This means that you have to install MDAC 2.8.

MDAC 2.8 gets installed automatically for MS Access 2003 and later. For MS Access 2000 or 2002 users you'll find in the file a file called Mdac_typ.exe. Double click this file to run the installation of MDAC 2.8. Winzip knows how to open up .CAB files as well as zip files.

You can also get Mdac_typ.exe directly from Microsoft for free over the Internet.

MS Access 2000 users please open up the attached file below with WinZip and double click on setup.exe. This will take you through the install process and even install an icon in your Start menu. The icon on your start menu will run QuickBase Desktop in MS Access runtime mode where the database window is hidden and inaccessible. If you want to run in the normal mode then don't use the icon and open the QuickBaseDesktop.mdb file directly by double-clicking on it. It lives in the C:\Program Files\QuickBaseDesktop folder.

New features include:

QuickBase Desktop now runs from the command line for unattended scheduled backups. All you have to do is invoke QuickBase Desktop with a command line something like this:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\ART\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "C:\Program Files\QuickBaseDesktop\QuickBaseDesktop.mdb" /cmd MyPassword

or if you want to supply both username and password you can do this:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\ART\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "C:\Program Files\QuickBaseDesktop\QuickBaseDesktop.mdb" /cmd password=MyPassword username=MyUsername

After you install QuickBase Desktop you'll have a shortcut to it on your "Start" menu. If you right-click on this shortcut and choose "Properties", you'll see the command line that works for your system. Just append to this command line

/cmd YourPassword

where "YourPassword" is actually your password. If you run QuickBase Desktop with this command-line then it will perform a "Sync All" and shut itself down. You can use "Windows Scheduler" (built-in to most versions of Windows) to run this command line for you automatically every week or every day!

QuickBase Desktop now downloads file attachments.
A Sync All button syncs all your local QuickBase databases instead of just the highlighted one.
QuickBase Desktop will mirror QuickBase databases with restricted fields as long as you have read access to restricted fields.
QuickBase Desktop will sync QuickBase databases with restricted fields as long as you have read and modify access to restricted fields.
QuickBase Desktop allows you to use your views. Click on the "One Record" button and select your view from the drop down list at the top of the form.
If you click on the "Many Records" button without closing the form you will see the view selection criteria and sort order applied to the grid view as well.
QuickBase Desktop enforces required fields through the "One Record" and "Many Records" editing of records.
The MS Access tables named "qdb_dbid" that mirror your QuickBase databases have field descriptions that represent the actual field labels in QuickBase.

QuickBase Desktop does not delete records stored locally if they have been deleted on the server. This was designed this way for two reasons. If in QuickBase Desktop you have spent alot of time updating a record and you sync then it would be deleted if the copy on the server was deleted. Instead you are shielded from accidental loss of data entered in QuickBase Desktop. Also it is expensive to determine if a record has been deleted as every record has to be retrieved to make sure it still exists for every sync.

User fields have not been modified when the user changes their profile by changing their first name or last name. The user field still contains the same user. So records that contain a user field that contains a user who has changed their user profile, do not have their Date Modified field changed as a result of the a user changing their user profile. As a result QuickBase Desktop knows of no change affecting such records. Any subsequent synching will not retrieve the user's new first or last name until some other change is made to the record. NOTE: User fields display in MS Access as User IDs instead of names. This is only a display issue and does not affect the resynching of data back to QuickBase.

Remember that all QuickBase text fields are Memo fields in QuickBase Desktop.

If you want to join tables in QuickBase Desktop use the Queries that are named with the same name as your QuickBase tables. However if you want to do a join on QuickBase text fields, you'll have to change the field type of the corresponding QuickBase Desktop memo field. Let's say this field's FID is 16 in your QuickBase table with a dbid of bbxmlkjhl. Go to the QuickBase application and create an application variable called

"Field Size of FID 16 in DBID bbxmlkjhl"

and set its value to


To learn about application variables please read:

Then redownload the QuickBase database to QuickBase Desktop. The field with a field identifier of 16 is now a text field with a size of 255 characters.

Most fields used for joining tables have fewer than 256 characters in them so this should not be a problem.

You're all set to do joins. The field type will stick to "Text" even if you sync back to QuickBase.


Error Number: -1


I am getting error number: -1 (Communications with http.... was interrupted or timed out when I hit the Refresh button of this tool. can you help please?





Hi Rani, In this situation it

Hi Rani,


In this situation it would be best if you can open a support case by logging in to QuickBase and clicking Help from any screen, and then choosing Manage Support Cases.  That way one of our support reps can take a look at your setup and see what's going on there.




Intuit QuickBase

QuickBse Desktop Version 2.54

It seems this file was never updated for a 64 bit system. I am getting the error, The expression On Open you entered as the event property setting porduced the following error. The code in this porject must be updated for use on 64-bit systems. Please review and update Declare statements and then mark them with Ptrsafe attribute.

Is there something i am missing? If so thanks in advance.

Hi Mike,Yes, unfortunately

Hi Mike,

Yes, unfortunately QuickBase Desktop does not currently support the 64-but version of MS Office. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.




Split a documents table



I have a pretty large documents table that I need to download to QB Desktop.   Is there any way that I can split the download, e.g. say if I want to download 10,000 records per run.





RE: Split a documents table

Hi John,


If you open a support case at they can work with you on that.




QB Support

Quickbase Desktop to Extract an attachments table

Hi guys


I need to extract attachments from one of our tables in QB.  I have a copy of MS Access and have downloaded QB desktop.  However I am unsure where to go from here.  Is there is step by step guide on this that would be available? (I am somewhat of a novice).  Any help would be greatly appreciated.





RE: Quickbase Desktop to Extract an attachments table

Hi John,


Details on how to use QuickBase Desktop can be found here:


If you get stuck please visit to open a support case, and a support rep will be happy to assist you with this.




Intuit QuickBase

Custom Reports

I have downloaded the QuickBaseDesktop application.  I just want to use it to develop different reports that I can't build in Quickbase.  I only want to synch one way (the server to my local desktop), is this possible?  If so how?  I don't want to take a chance of altering data from my desktop



RE: Custom Reports

Hi Jose,


If you can visit and open a support case, we'll be happy to help you get the one-way snycing set up.







Can this tool be used to automatically import files to quickbase apps. So I have like 20 excel tables I need to upload weekly into quickbase, I do not want to have to import each one individually each week so my thinking is that hosting these excel sheets within quickbase dektop would automatically sync with quickbase, is this correct?

re: Automation

Hi Patrick,


My name is Brian from QuickBase Support. QuickBase Desktop is an MS Access database, so you would not be able to directly host Excel spreadsheets within it. But yes, the information within QB Desktop will automatically sync with QuickBase.




QuickBase Support


This is fantastic! Great way to do a backup of data and to purge data from bloated files

Does QB Desktop work with Office 2010?

I had difficulty running in a Windows 7, Office 2010 environment.

QB Desktop not supported with Office 2010

Hi Melissa --

I'm sad to report that the QuickBase Desktop tool is not supported for Office 2010. It does still work with Office 2007, though.



QB Desktop not supported with Office 2010

Hi Sybil,

Can you please update us on if and when it will be supported?

The need for it is demonstrated on our end and we are on the verge of migrating to a Windows 7/ Office 2010 environment.



Hey Patrice,While I can't

Hey Patrice,

While I can't speak to if or when this will be compatible with Office 2010, I did want to let you know that there are a number of third party partner tools that work great for backing up QuickBase applications.  You can see a list of available add-ons here:


I hope this might help!



This is a great option for

This is a great option for us.  We were afraid that there wasn't a good way to download all the attached files in a database without clicking each one individually, but this should work like a charm.  

if you use this, Let it be known , or it will just disapear

This is an excellent tool and I wish it would be supported.


So If anyone uses this or sees value in in please let it be known!

QB Desktop - Very Useful

The desktop is very useful in my organization.  I use it to archive data and to update data from unconnected devices.

Don't Let it disappear

I just found this little charm and think it will solve some of my issues in creating a timesheet management app... Don't let it go!

Sync on startup

Is there a way to run the cmd lines that automatically run the pswd and username that doesn't result in the system shutting down?  We use the Quickbase Desktop to create custom reports that we cannot in QB alone.  I would like to be able to run QB Desktop, have it automatically sync, then open with my report switchboard.



When will it support application tokens?

When will it support application tokens?

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