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Cleaning Up Old Inventory Items in QuickBooks

We have several items on our item list that are no longer used and they have a quantity in stock and on PO of 0. I ran the clean up company data as of 12/31/2007. Yet all the sales receipts and Inventory adjustments for these, and many other items are still in QuickBooks for 2006 and 2007, as well as these old ununsed item numbers I wanted to have deleted. It seems that the clean up process does not do very much, how do I cleanup and condense this old data, so I can remove these unused inventory items?
If an item has never been used in a transaction, you can delete it by right-clicking on the item and selecting Delete Item. If it has been used, you can’t delete it, but you can make it inactive so it no longer shows up on lists. In this case, select Make Item Inactive instead.

If you’re serious about deleting all these old items, the only way to do this is change the Item in all the transactions it was used in to something else. You can get a complete list of transactions by clicking on Reports – Quick Report at the bottom of the Item screen and changing the dates to All.


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This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For further information, please consult appropriate professional advice from your attorney and certified public accountant.

Ruth Perryman - QuickBooks Specialist Written by +Ruth Perryman

Ruth is the an Intuit Premier Reseller that offers great deals on QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Enterprise. She has provided expert QuickBooks help to thousands of businesses all over the world since 1996.

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2 Responses to Cleaning Up Old Inventory Items in QuickBooks

  • Karl Tielman says:

    Dear Madam, my name is Karl Tielman and i have the following question : a client mine is using quickbooks POS version 2013, as they have around 42000 plus items in their inventory list they have ask me as a pos installer, if there is a way to delete certain items based on certain criteria: like the item has to be 0 quantity and the item’s sales history has to be only from 2011. so if it was sold in 2012 or later it may not be deleted. The question is can this be accomplished one way or another?
    I’ll be on the lookout for your answer anxiously.

    • Hi Karl,

      Unfortunately, there’s no way to delete a range of items.

      However, you can sort your Item list by O/H Quantity and then delete the items with 0 on-hand fairly quickly by selecting the item and then the Delete button on the left side of the screen (Delete is also found in the I Want To… button).

      You can add a Last Sold column to the Item List report (Reports > Items) and sort the report to get a list of items that haven’t been sold since 2011.