First of all, it won’t look exactly the same. But you can make it look a lot more like QuickBooks 2012 (or prior) than it does by default, which looks like this:

Here’s what you start with

Some (many?) folks don’t like the monochromatic look that was one of the most obvious changes in the 2013 version.

To make it look more like it used to, first of all make sure that you have R6 update (or later) installed. Prior to R6, you were pretty much stuck with the black/white/gray mode. To check for updates, just click Help / Update QuickBooks… and let it check for more current updates than you currently have installed.

So after getting R6 or later installed, click Edit / Preferences. Click Desktop View in the left pane. You’ll see this:

Click the checkbox for “Switch to colored icons/light background on the Top Icon Bar” and then click OK.

Now click View, and click “Top Icon Bar”.

Voila! This is what your QuickBooks desktop will then look like:

Looks a bit more familiar, doesn’t it?

It’s a beauty, ain’t it? Nice, colorful icons up top, just like you’re used to. They changed the graphics for the icons, and I think the font is a little different, but it’s a lot more like the look you had in 2012 and prior versions.


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12 thoughts on “How to Make QuickBooks 2013 Look More Like Old QuickBooks Versions

  1. Please return the ability to change Desktop View – Color Scheme – Riviera Tile etc.
    1)Much more pleasing to the tired eyeballs constantly peering at QB all day long.
    2)Its much easier to distinguish which company file I’m looking at instantly.
    QB User Since 2006

    • Arnold, you can still change the color scheme through Edit / Preferences / Desktop View, although the available choices are different now (e.g. Riviera Tile is gone). But you could still have a different scheme for your various companies to help differentiate them. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Nice! Thank-you for posting this. Now, I would like to see the Bill To and Ship To address boxes larger so the address isn’t cut off when viewing an invoice. Also, for invoices, would like to get rid of the Online Pay option in my screen view and move Cust Message and Memo fields up or into the large white space in the middle at the bottom. Intuit are you listening???

    • Wendy, I thought that maybe turning off online payments in payment preferences would make those controls go away from the invoice entry screen, but it doesn’t seem to. Thanks for your suggestions.

    • I would like to be able to view and print my order on Quickbooks website. So far have gotten no results even after writing to the company and contacting the MN attorney general!

  3. I have Windows 10, and both Quickbooks 2010 and 2014 – both are running fine. But in the computer taskbar at the bottom of the monitor, the icons for 2010 and 2014 look the same. Is there anyway to change their appearance? Previously I had 2009 and 2010 – 2009 was gold and 2010 was green – made it very easy to know which program I was clicking on.


      • That’s what I figured – but yes, it sure would be nice. I’m a big fan of QuickBooks but lately I’m not too happy with things like this! Thanks for the quick reply – makes me want to ask another question!


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