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?

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

  1. I’ve just bought a new pc running Windinws 8.1 and installed QB2008. But, I cannot load the company file as it is a later version. I am unable to update the QB2008 as I get error message #12007. I’ve checked the Intuit help and changed all the firewall settings it suggested to allow QB access to te update, but still get the same error message.

    Can anyone help or offer any insight / suggestions?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Joe,

      If I understand that you want to open a file with QB 2008 when the file was created with a later version, that won’t work. You can only open the file with a version that is at least as current as the version the file was used in previously. Sorry no magic bullet.

      Thanks for the question.

      • Hi,

        Thanks for the reply, but I think you slightly misunderstood my message. The company file was created in QB2008, both PC’s are usung QB2008, but the older pc had automatic updates applied. The QB2008 on the new pc would not allow online update, so the company file could not be opened.

        The issue has now been resolved, as Intuit sent me a manual update, so all is now well.

  2. I bought a new laptop and installed QB Pro 2015 on both my pc and laptop. Now I want a new laptop and want to delete the file from the old laptop – not enough features
    Any hints on the procedure?
    Thank you

  3. Hi, I am a general IT company and a business nearby had a system crash, but the hard drive reads just fine. Is there any way I can back up from just the hard drive itself or does it have to be a running system?

  4. Hi…searching for help to transfer my quickbookpro 2016 to my mac from my window…. is the possible? I went to utilities copied “quickbooks for Mac’ saved it (or it saved the location automatically) then ejected hardrive, plugged into mac and found file then all I saw was a black screen icon with ‘exec’ on it. did I do something wrong?…

  5. HI … again…;->… also… it is saying I don’t have an application to open this. (QB)… this is a business and I lost everything two weeks ago when my hard drive quit… switching to Mac for everything trying to transfer off windows….thank you…again ;-/

    • Hi Debra,

      I don’t know anything specific about QB for Mac (sorry), but I’m assuming that you installed QB for Mac on your Mac, right? And you can open the program just fine on your Mac? But that you can’t then open your company that was saved for Mac? Just trying to make sure I understand your situation.

  6. Dear Shannon Tucker,

    We have purchased quickbook pro 2015 canadian version from the local reseller. it works perfect. lately we purchase another set of Quickbooks pro 2016 canadian version via internet on line download mainly for viewing purpose. we have install it to my laptop. Now my question is how to restore data from quickbooks pro 2015 to Quickbooks pro 2016.

    Please advice.

    Chua kuyjow


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