Tips and Tricks – View Information from Previous Backups

Tenant File Previous Backups

As indicated in our previous blog, we highly suggest that you make backups of your database from time to time.  At any time that you click into BACKUPS (from the MAIN MENU) and make a backup of your current data within the Tenant File program, you are required to tell the system where that file named ‘TFDATAFL.MDB’ is to be stored.  This database is your MAIN database file that holds all of your ‘Active’ Owner, Property, Unit and Tenant Ledgers along with all transactions, checks, deposits, etc.  The file created through the Backup Procedure is a database file only meaning it does not include the entire program and you cannot open that one file to view your previous data.

You should never restore a previous database over your current Tenant File data.  If you were to click into BACKUPS > RESTORE > and choose to restore a backup from a previous date, you would be overwriting your current database.  That means that all transactions, checks, deposits, entries, etc. that were entered into your current program would be lost and your data will revert back to the date and time of that previous backup.

The way to view data from previous days, months or years would be to access one of the Tenant File Folder Backups that you would have created prior to running the Year End Closing.   Our Year End Closing Instructions (as found on our website under SUPPORT) gives detailed step by step instructions on how to create a ‘full program backup’.

If you have not run the ‘Year End Closing’ and/or do not have a second installation of the program required to view previous data and if you need to access the information from previous backups, you should choose to create a copy of your entire Tenant File program folder on your computer’s hard drive.  That way, you can access last year’s files or previous database files without having to restore files over your current data.  Be very careful to follow the instructions below. Depending on the version of Windows that you are using, the procedure may be slightly different for your computer.

Note: This assumes your files are in a folder named ‘TF4WIN’.  If not, substitute the name you assigned instead. To see where your Tenant Files are located, go to the icon or program shortcut that starts the program, then right-click on that item. Go to ‘Properties’, and look for the ‘Start in‘ path of your Tenant File program. The file TF4WIN.EXE is NOT part of the path or location! (Note: The steps below assume your Tenant File is in the folder ‘C:\Tenant File\TF4WIN’ which is the default folder upon purchase – if you changed that default location upon installation, yours may be different.)

Step 1:  Open Windows Explorer (or find ‘Computer’, ‘My Computer’ or ‘This PC’).

Step 2:  Double-click on your local computer hard drive letter. (Such as drive ‘C:’)

Step 3:  Find the folder named ‘Tenant File’ and double-click to open it

Step 4:  Find the folder named ‘TF4WIN’ and click once on the folder to highlight the folder.  (Don’t open it)

Step 5:  Press Ctrl-C (or Control-C) to copy the folder. (You won’t see any change)

Step 6:  Press Ctrl-V (or Control-V) to paste the folder. (You may not see any change)

Step 7:  Find the NEW FOLDER, named ‘TF4WIN – Copy’ (or ‘Copy of TF4WIN’). (Probably at the bottom of your current window)

Step 8:  Right-Click on the new folder, then select ‘Rename’.

Step 9:  Edit the name of the folder to a name of your choice.  If this is a folder that will hold last year’s data (for example), you might want to change the name to ‘TF4WIN2017’ or whatever you want to name it as long as you know that it is not your current data.

At this point, you can choose to create a shortcut to this new folder.  Please note: You would want to make sure that this ‘Backup of the full Tenant File program’ is not accessed for current entries.   It is a full program and will allow new transactions, checks, deposits, etc. but previous data SHOULD NEVER BE EDITED.

NOTE: To create a shortcut for the ‘Backup Folder’: Double-click to open the folder you just created. Find the program file TF4WIN.EXE, and RIGHT-CLICK on the file. Select ‘Create Shortcut’, which should create a ‘shortcut to TF4WIN.EXE’ file in the same folder you are in. Drag that shortcut to your desktop. You should rename the shortcut something that is more descriptive, such as ‘Tenant File 2017’ or ‘Tenant File – Previous Data’.  To do so, right-click on the new shortcut that was created on your desktop and choose ‘Rename’.

Note:  If you are running our current Tenant File 8 Version (and you should be) and you attempt to restore a database from a previous version, you will be required to enter your ‘User Name’ and ‘Password’.  That information is saved in your current database and therefore will be required if you attempt to restore an older database.

If this is a little more that you feel comfortable doing, you can always have one of our experts do it for you. They can connect to your computer remotely, create the desired folders and help locate any backup that you want to look at. Or order, just go to the Tenant File website ( and click on ‘Order Now’ at the top.

As always, be sure to make backups of your current data before you do anything regarding file copying and restoration of data.