Did you get yourself a shiny new computer on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Or maybe you just need to get some year-end bookkeeping done on your laptop over the holidays?

If you need to get QuickBooks from one computer to another, it’s not a big deal. Here’s what you do:

1. Computer #2: Install QuickBooks (you’ll need your original install disk or downloaded install file, plus your installation codes that came with the software.)

2. Computer #2: Update QuickBooks: Run QuickBooks and click on Help / Update QuickBooks. That way, you’ll have the same QuickBooks updates on computer #2 that are on computer #1.

3. Computer #1: Backup your company data. You can back it up to any medium that will be accessible to computer #2. That would normally include CDs, USB/flash drives, external hard drives, or online storage services (like Global DataVault.)

The smallest backup you can make is a Portable file. This kind of backup is only about 20-25% the size of your regular QBW company file, yet it contains all your data. (The backup excludes the internal indexing in the file – that’s why it’s both smaller and takes longer to make and restore.)

4. If you made a backup to a physical backup drive, take it to computer #2 and plug it in or insert it. If your backup is online somewhere, download it to computer #2’s hard drive or desktop.

5. Computer #2: Run QuickBooks, and at the opening dialog box select “Open or restore an existing company”, and then “Restore a portable file” (or “Restore a backup copy” if you are bringing over a regular backup copy from computer #1.)

6. Computer #2: Navigate to the drive and folder where your backup is, and select the backup file.

7. Computer #2: Specify where you want the file to be restored to. You can accept the default that QuickBooks suggests, or point to a particular folder that makes sense to you. My Documents is not a bad choice.

8. Computer #2: Finish the restore.

Once your data is restored, everything should be set up for you to work in QuickBooks on your new computer. If you need to take your company file back to computer #1, simply reverse the process for steps #3-8.

What’s your favorite way to move QuickBooks data between computers?

205 thoughts on “How to Transfer QuickBooks from One Computer to Another

  1. When transferring quickbooks back up to new data file why don’t the customer balances transfer as well or am I doing something wrong

    Reply
    • Gail,

      When you restore a backup, everything should come back, including customer balances. But that’s not really a new data file, so maybe I don’t understand what you mean…

      Reply
  2. HAD QUICK QUESTION, CAN i TRANSFER BACKUP DISK OF 2004 VERSION OF QUICKBOOKS ON TO A 2011 QUICKBOOKS PROGRAM ?

    Reply
  3. AM LOOKING TO BUY NEWER VERSION OF QB PROGRAM THAT WILL WORK OK ON MY WINDOWS 7 COMPUTER, WHAT IS OLDEST VERSION OF QB THAT i CAN BUY THAT WILL WORK AND AM ABLE TO TRANSFER THE QB 4 BACKUP DISK ONTO ?

    Reply
  4. I already have QB installed on my desktop machine and also on my laptop. I am getting a new laptop now and want to transfer the installation from the old one to the new one. Do I need to deactivate the old laptop installation first in order to be able to install QB on the new one as QB single user license can only be installed on 2 machines?

    Reply
  5. i have a mac osx lion, i recently installed quickbooks 2014. I am in the process of buying my brothers business from them, but they have windows xp with quickbooks 2013 version. I tried transferring the info off their computer with a flash drive. Everything loaded fine onto the flash drive from windows xp, but the information is not showing up on my computer. I followed what the card said in the box about transferring from windows to mac. Hopefully you can help me

    Reply
    • David,

      So the only thing you need to bring over is the QBW file for the company data. You can copy that from their computer to your flash drive, to the place on your Mac where you want to the file to be. When you run QB 2014, click on File / Open Existing Company, and then navigate to the place on your computer where you copied the file to. It should then show up on the list of available companies.

      Click on it to open it. It will see that it is from an earlier version and ask you if you’re sure you want to upgrade it to version 2014. OK that. It will then convert your file to 2014 format and you’re good to go.

      Thanks for the questions.

      Reply
  6. We have QB 2002 on our OLD XP computer… well it is dying… and I need to install the QB 2002 on the new XP computer… but the only disks I have are the QB Pro 2002 UPDATE cd’s… I do not have the original installation disks anymore…HELP me!

    Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      That’s going to be difficult. Ebay? Craigslist? Otherwise, your best bet will probably be to bite the bullet and get a new version, 2012, 2013, or 2014. Theoretically, your data, as old as it is, should upgrade OK to the latest version.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  7. Can you move a QB Pro 2012 company file from a computer running Vista to one running Windows 8 and QB Pro 2014? From what I have read QB Pro 2012 will not work on Windows 8. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Doug,

      You’re right, the only versions of QuickBooks that Intuit supports under Windows 8 are versions 2013 and 2014. And you read about problems with that combination for emailing documents and other issues. I’d bite the bullet and upgrade to QB 2013, or put Windows 7 on your new computer.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  8. Hi,

    I have Quickbooks 2007 and am trying to move to a newer computer 10.6.8 OSX from my older. It will not let me register and therefore since I have moved beyond my 15 opens will not let me open any more.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Kari

    Thank you!
    Kari

    Reply
  9. Hi,
    I have Personal Plus 2013 installed on an old laptop running Vista. I want to transfer it to a new laptop running Windows 8. I upgraded to Personal Plus 2013 on the old laptop using the supplied upgrade CD and have since thrown away the original install CDs (still have the upgrade CD). I am unable to install Personal Plus 2013 onto the new laptop with the upgrade CD. Everything runs fine up to the “Click here to install” which I do and then nothing happens. Do I need the original install CDs? Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Vicki

    Reply
  10. We have QuickBooks 2004 on a 2006 Gateway computer with Windows XP. Can I load the 2004 version of QuickBooks on to our new 2013 Gateway with Windows 8 and will a backup from the old computer take to the new one?

    Thanks, Marina

    Reply
        • Marina,

          Theoretically, you can just open your 2004 file under 2014 and it will upgrade it to the new version. In practice, jumping that many versions at once sometimes has problems. If that is the case, we can complete the conversion for you as a data repair.

          Reply
  11. I have QuickBooks Premier 2013 installed on pc and laptop. I need to install on new laptop. The new laptop does not have a cd drive. I read to download trial of quickbooks and then use my license number, but I cant get the 2013 only 2014. Can I use it?

    Reply
    • Justin,

      I’ve talked to people who use Windows versions of QuickBooks on Macs by running QB in PC emulation mode. I don’t use a Mac myself, though, so I don’t really know how to do that.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  12. Hi
    I have an old version of QB around about 2001 or 2002. I still have the set up disc for this and I am currenvly using this verion I also run windows XP on this older PC which is on its last legs :(
    Looks like I need a new PC. I have a pretty new laptop running windows 8 which I am thinking I will use instead of buying a new PC.
    I am concerned that maybe windows 8 will not let me run the old version of QB I have or let me install it from the old disc so that I could just back up and transfer my QB files and data.
    Will I need to purchase a whole new version of current QB software and if so, will I be able to tranfer my files from the much older version of QB I have into the new version on my Laptop if that is the way I need to go.
    Any help appreciated
    Thank You

    Reply
    • Hi Elkay,

      Yes, your old version of QB won’t work under Windows 8, so you’ll need to get a current version. You can then move your company file over to the new computer per the instructions in the blog post above. *Theoretically*, you should be able to open the file then with your new version and it will update its format to the current version.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  13. Hello, I used your “how to trans Q/B from one computer to another”, I tried restoring back up file from my desktop to laptop so I could do work while on vaca, it all transferred fine, however every time I closed the program in my laptop and then tried to open again it said password / user was not valid, so i had to make new password/user (I did that 3 times on my laptop, making new password/user). so now that I am back from vaca, I tried to restore the file from my laptop to my desktop and it is saying the same thing about the password/user. I don’t want to have to keep making new password/user ?? please help !!

    what I did to transfer the back up file was – once I had opened the Q/B program I went to “File – open or restore company” then it asked where to save the file, I saved it in the same file as my other back up’s.

    Reply
    • June,

      I would say it is because of one of these things:

      * You are opening a different copy of the same file. When you make the backup, change the filename so that you know for sure that it’s the backup you are making then. When you restore the backup, restore it to a different name that is distinctive, so there will be no mistake about what file is what. Then when you go back in to open the file, don’t let it automatically open the default company. Click File / Open Existing Company, and select the company with that distinct name.

      * The file may be damaged. Problems with user names and passwords are a symptom of data corruption, especially with version 2014.

      Are you able to open the original file on your desktop computer? If your ‘master’ copy of the file now is unopenable, there is a password recovery tool you can download from Intuit’s website to get into your company.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  14. I have QB Premier Acct Edition 2009 and using it on Windows XP (service pack 2). A client gave me a back up of her QB on a flash (jump) drive so I can post invoices to her account but when I try to restore it on my computer it just says no items match your search. Can you help me?

    Reply
  15. Hello, I’m trying to transfer my Aunt’s information from her 2004 pro version of quickbooks to the new computer with 2014 pro but it wont recognize her old profile. It seems the file isnt compatible, any information to help wouls be great, thank you.

    Reply
  16. I have quickbooks pro with Payroll. Can I remove the application from my desktop and save it to a flash drive or external hard drive? also, I will still get updates if this is removed from my desktop?

    Reply
    • Hi C,

      If you mean to uninstall QuickBooks from your hard drive and install it on a different drive, then NO, not on a flash drive, but YES, you can on an external hard drive. If you mean to keep the programs installed on your computer as is, but change the location of your company data, then NO, not to a flash drive, but YES to an external hard drive.

      Updates would be available either way. If I’m not understanding what you are trying to do, please let me know. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  17. I have quick book 2010 in window 7 and recently we bought Mac Pro desk top. So is it possible to download the quick book software online and use it. Because on Mac desktop there is no PC. will it work if we download the software in mac online and can able to activate t

    Reply
  18. My client has a Quickbook Enterprise 2013 Edition in his office. Now, he plans to start a new branch. He would prefer to buy a new QBE 2014 for his new branch and do a two-way monthly backup and integration so that both the branches have the same data by the end of the month.

    Can you tell me if this is possible? If not, what is the cheapest alternative available?

    Reply
    • Hi Anoop,

      If he installed QB Enterprise 2014 at both locations, he should be able to send backups either way. He would want to have 2014 version at both locations, rather than 2013 at the one and 2014 at the other.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  19. Hi Shannon,

    Thank you for your reply. That really helped.

    The client has decided to go with a one-way monthly backup. That is from the older version to the newer one each month. I assume that is possible but I am not sure.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Anoop,

      Yes, that should work fine. When the backup is restored to the newer version, it will ask if it is OK that it be updated to the new version, and then it will restore and convert it. So that will take a little extra time each time you have to restore a new monthly backup, but it will work.

      Reply
  20. My client is running QB2012 on his computer. He has sent me a back up file on a flash drive for year end purposes. I am running QB2014 on my system. Can I restore his 2012 file version to my 2014 version without complications? Meaning will I mess up anything on his end, i.e. payroll subscriptions, etc? I will not be using the file he sent me for anything other than information purposes only. I just need to open his backup file to get information for his financial reports and tax returns. Thank you!

    Reply
  21. I have Quickbooks 2011 and would like to transfer from my net-book to a Surface Pro 3. I have no problem installing the purchased software, however it repeats the 30 day trial period. Is there anything to do to eliminate the 30 day trial besides calling Intuit.

    Reply
  22. i am using Quickbooks Premier2009.My admin has left from the company.Now we have installed 2014 version of Quickbooks.
    Now backup which i have , Taken from Client account .When i try to execute it on 2014 version of Quickbooks.I get message that contact with your admin for updating File.
    is there any one who can help me ? How i run backup taken from Client account on QB 2014?
    i SHALL BE VERY GRATEFULL.

    Reply
  23. Hi,

    I have Quickbooks in my office working on two computers, which I can do under the licence. Can I get it working on our third computer and will it just be a matter of only being able to use one version at a time?

    Reply
  24. I have a client who is currently working with QB for MAC. I have a PC and he would like me to update/enter old information into his QB’s while he continues to work with his QB’s daily. Is there anyway to achieve this task?

    Reply
  25. my new client on mac qb 2014 needs to migrate YTD payroll from a PC computer. Client has been doing payroll via cintrex a remote viewer on the pc computer and then we’ve been importing all payroll data to up the the mac version. Now we want to switch to MAC payroll through the desktop of the new client. How can this take place. I’m assuming electronically MAC payroll can read PC payroll records? any help really appreciated

    Reply
    • Sandy,

      The Mac and Windows versions are two different things, of course. I wouldn’t think that Mac payroll can work from Windows files, but you might check with Mac payroll support to be sure. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  26. My client has QB 2009 on an XP box. He is trying to move it to a new Windows 8 box. QB installed correctly but the backup file from the XP machine won’t open. Says the new machine needs to be updated. Do you have any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Mitch

    Reply
    • Hi Mitch,

      So on the new computer, were QuickBooks updates downloaded and installed? I don’t think that QB 2009 is going to work well under Windows 8, and the problem with restoring is perhaps just the first problem you would run into. But you could try updating QB on the new computer and see if that helps.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  27. our hard drive crashed beyond repair the employees were not backing up quickbooks externally so we have no back up at all, I have downloaded the program again on my computer re entering all business from January to now, once i am done i want to back up the work then install the back up to the quickbooks on the originating computer will this work? Don’t want to waste my time entering it into the second downloaded quickbooks and it not transfer to the other computer.

    thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Shelly,

      Sorry to hear of trouble like that. Well, if you have QuickBooks installed on both computers — the same version on both — then you shouldn’t have any trouble backing your company from the one computer and restoring it to the other. That’s completely routine.

      Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  28. Hello, I have 2011 QB installed on computer #1 with 4 files. I installed QB 2014 on computer #2 and it has 3 files, which are the files we are working on now. We want to install 2014 on computer # 1 but don’t want these files to merge because some files on 2014 are the same name as some of the ones on 2011. How do I prevent this from happening or is that something that just cant be done?

    Reply
    • Hi Vee,

      Just make sure that when you restore the 4 files from QB 2014 on computer #1, you restore them to different names. You can make the name whatever you want when you restore. Just pick names that will be clear to you afterwards what they are!

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  29. Our old desktop computer which ran Vista crashed. Quickbooks Version 8 or QB Pro 2002 was installed. All the quickbooks data is backed up on an external drive. I purchased a new desktop running Windows 8.1 but when I tried to install the original software from the original software disks I am not able. I get a message , Compatibility Issues.
    Is there any way that I can load the older version of Quickbooks and restore the back up data. If not , If I buy and install QB 2013 or QB 2014 will I be able to restore the backed up data to the new version ..
    Your help or suggestions will be much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Dan,

      I don’t think you’ll be able to run QB Pro 2002 under Windows 8.1. Theoretically, QB 2013 or 2014 should be able to restore and update your old version. Sometimes it has trouble jumping across that many versions, though. I’d say your chances are good. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  30. Thanks for your comment. I hope you are right that I should be able to update and restore the data. I will let you know if it works.

    Reply
  31. I downloaded QuickBooks 2015 on a trial basis. I am pleased to tell you that it accepted our old Version 8 files and converted the data accurately. The upgraded QuickBooks 2015 displays the Individual company accounts and their data as well as the older Version.
    Thank you for your help in resolving this problem.

    Reply
  32. The motherboard failed on my laptop but I can remove the hard drive and hook it to my new computer via USB. My question is how I move my company files from the hard drive to my new PC (which I will install QuickBooks on beforehand). Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Hi Jeff,

      I think that the 8 steps given above will work for your situation. You’ll just treat your old hard drive as Computer #1, and your new PC’s hard drive as Computer #2. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  33. We upgraded from QB 2007 to QB pro 2015. We also had to upgrade from windows XP to windows 8. I thought I had safely backed up my QB 2007 on an external hard drive but when I try to restore existing company it tells me that file is in read only mode. I can’t find a way to re open QB 2007 to re back it up properly. Is there a way to restore my files? I’m desperate.

    Reply
    • Hi Sara,

      That may be a drive permissions problem. Hopefully the backup itself is OK. So try restoring it to a place on your Windows 8 computer’s C: drive where you have permission to create files, like Company Files or My Documents.

      If that doesn’t work, you can upload the QB 2007 file to us and we’ll upgrade it and return it to you in QB 2015 format. http://quickbooksusers.com/datarepair.htm

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  34. I bought a disk of 2014 QB pro to upgrade our 2011. Then we got a laptop and I want to put QB on it but alas there is no disk drive–not good thinking on my part :). Any way I can load the QB on the laptop without spending another $249??

    Reply
      • Hi Tucker,

        Thanks for your comment but during the process of upgrading the error was shown as below;

        Runtime error!
        Program…86\….\qbw32.exe
        This application has requested the runtime to terminate it in an unusual way.
        Please contact the application’s support team for more information.

        Do you have any idea?.

        Reply
        • Ste,

          No, I don’t know what that would be. You might have to send that file to Intuit and see if they can upgrade it for you. We can troubleshoot it and convert it if it is from version 2007 or higher, but not going back to 2002, sorry.

          Reply

Leave a reply

required

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>