Dustin Wheeler

Dustin Wheeler
Dustin is a technology-driven CPA in Orem, Utah.

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Customizing the Icon Bar in QuickBooks to Work for You

Do you use the icon bar at the top of your QuickBooks screen?  Do the icons represent the tasks you perform most often in QuickBooks?  If you’re using the default icons, the answer is probably no.

I recently began changing the icons to my most frequently used functions.  It makes a big difference in efficiency when the shortcuts are just a click away rather than three or four clicks away navigating the menus.


Let’s do a quick analysis of a few icons on the icon bar above (in my case, it was the default, though yours may be different).  Let’s say that I don’t use memorized transactions (MemTx) so that icon does me no good.  The register icon (Reg) is a little inconvenient because after I click it a box appears asking me to select which account I want to use the register for.  I don’t really have any use for the add services or payroll buttons (and if you’re worried that you won’t find those options after removing them, don’t worry – you can find them all in the menus).

Take a look at your icon bar.  If you see icons that you have never used or will rarely use, it’s time to give it an extreme makeover.


Now here is an icon bar that I can really use!  Let’s say that my business has two cash accounts that are used frequently, so I put two icons on the icon bar that link directly to the register for each cash account.  As an accountant, I look at balance sheets and profit & loss statements daily, so I have those icons there, as well as the general journal to make adjustments.  I think having a backup icon is good just as a reminder because most people don’t backup their QuickBooks files enough.

There are a lot of different ways to customize the icon bar:

  1. Right click anywhere on the icon bar and then click on “customize icon bar.”
  2. In the view menu you’ll also see “customize icon bar.”
  3. Make a window appear that you want to have on the icon bar, then go to the view menu and click on “add [window] to icon bar.”

In the “customize icon bar” screen, you can change the icon’s picture to whatever you like.  There’s even a funny picture of a pig (see below) among the icons that I’m trying to figure out a use for … maybe transfers to a savings account?

Do you have any ideas for using the icon bar?  Please leave a comment below.

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