You bought a new version of QuickBooks, and you’re about to install it on your computer. But you are a little worried about how to transfer your data from the old version to your new version.

No worries. It should be automatic (but see caveats below).

You install and register your new version of QuickBooks. Then you click on Open Existing Company. Navigate to your company file and open it. QuickBooks will see that your company file exists in an earlier version and needs updating.

It will ask you if you’re sure you want to upgrade your file to the new version. The process is irreversible, so QuickBooks gets your confirmation before proceeding.

Once you confirm, QuickBooks will update your company file to your new version. It might take a few minutes if your file is a large one.

That’s it! Your company file has been revised to work with your new version of QuickBooks.


  • Make sure that you make a backup of your data before opening it in the new version. Probably the easiest way to do that is to do so in your old version of QuickBooks, before you install the new version. Just to make things perfectly clear, include in the name of your backup file something like Pre-converted
  • If there is some data corruption in your file, it may fail the process of being converted to the new version. Data repair may be needed.
  • If you are making a jump of many versions (e.g. coming from QuickBooks 2006 to QuickBooks 2014), the chances are greater that the file will have trouble converting.
  • For large files, be patient with the process. It might seem as thought QuickBooks is freezing up, but it might be just “thinking about it”.

RELATED: What to Do When QuickBooks Is (Not Responding)

How to Get Ready for a QuickBooks Upgrade

What If My QuickBooks File Won’t Upgrade?

Should I Upgrade to QuickBooks 2014…Now?

Do you have any experience to share about transferring your company data into your new version of QuickBooks?

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331 thoughts on “How to Transfer Files from Older Version to New Version of QuickBooks

  1. Hi there,
    I have an old QuickBooks 2012 pro and recently purchased quickbook 2017 premier. Is there something I can do to transfer my files?

    I have tried restoring a back up file first and didn’t work and if I try to open a qbw. file in the new version it says I need to update the file.
    Windows 10 operating system
    What Can I do?


  2. Sure,
    The message reads ” This company file needs to be updated. Please ask you quickbooks administrator to update the file”

    Thank you

    • Nick,

      Like I told Mac above, you can try it and see. Chances are less good for your file, though. There was a major database change that happened with the 2006 version, and jumping up 15 versions, plus a conversion to a different database structure, may be too much. But give it a shot. Thanks for your question.

    • Nick,
      Did you get this to work properly?
      If not what troubles did you experience…?
      I’m getting ready to perform the same upgrade and was looking for some direction as well…
      Thank, Jim

  3. I had to have my computer completely wiped due to a terrible virus. Luckily, I have a backup of my QB file on an external drive. Since I had to re-install all my programs, I now have QB2017 (I had 2013). Not sure if I should open company file, restore a backup or restore a portable file. Can you help?

    • Hi Patty,

      What you should do is copy your QB file from your external HD to your computer where you have QB 2017 installed. What you do then depends on what kind of file it is. If that file is a backup file (QBB) then you can restore a backup in QB 2017. If it’s a portable file, then you can restore a portable file in QB 2017. If it is the actual working company file (QBW) then you can open the file in QB 2017. The end result should be the same in any case. When you either restore or open it, it will upgrade it to your 2017 version and you should be good to go. Hope that helps.

  4. I had 2004 QB Pro on a XP system which crashed and burned. Will I be able at worst case scenario be able to manually input years from 2010 onto a new version of QB 2017 operating on Windows 10? Or would you suggest a newer version on Win 7.
    Thanks, pulling out my hair!!!!

    • Hi Bob,

      Sure, if you can get access to those years of data from hardcopy reports, you could enter them into QB 2017. QB 2017 is compatible with both Win 7 and 10. I’d probably choose Windows 10, since it a more contemporaneous version with your new version of QuickBooks. Thanks for your question.

      • Thank You for a nice simple to the point answer to a question that has me wanting to start over but with a different program!!!!!

        • If you can get a good copy of your 2004 file and bring it over to your new computer, you can try opening the file and seeing if QB will be able to upgrade it to the 2017 version. But as you said, the worst case scenario is to do the work manually in 2017. This overall situation would be true for any accounting software, btw.

  5. I have QB 2005 basic. My payroll company helping upgrade my QB. I sent them my old QB 2005, they converted it to 2017 QB. then sent it back me.
    I now need to purchase 2017 QB desktop version but wanted to check it out via the 2016 trail version first.
    Can I do that?

  6. My QB database was created by very old QB Pro Australian version. Now I have purchased US version. So How can i convert my file to US version.



  7. QB 2004 Basic (on Windows xp) has served our small company very well but we are now converting to the simple accounting program that is included in a new scheduling tool program that we have purchased for our tech service business.
    The new program will convert customer history/data from QB but it will only operate on Windows 7 or above. I need to upgrade our QB program to a version that is compatible with xp & 7 so that I can then upgrade to Windows 7.
    Intuit sent me the trial link for QB 2015 that they thought would work but I receive an error message that it is not compatible with Windows xp.
    Any suggestions?

    • Chuck,

      Sounds to me like a new computer is maybe in order. Your computer hardware, Windows, and version of QuickBooks should all be basically contemporaneous with each other. You can avoid a lot of problems that way. So if you get a new computer with Windows 10, then install QB 2015 (or higher) on it and upgrade your data, and run your new service software there as well. Hope that helps.

  8. I am trying to restore a 2003 back up onto a 2010 QB version. I receive an error message that the file is too old to be restored on the 2010 version. Any solution?

  9. how do I convert external copy of windows 7 based files of quick books to new version windows 10 quick books pro 2017?? I paid 200 dollars for new version and some Indian Support guy tells me it cost 200 dollars for him to do it.

    • Dan,

      It’s not about Windows…QB pro 2017 doesn’t care what version of Windows you were running QuickBooks under before. If you can get your QBW files onto your Windows 10 machine, you can try simply opening them with QB Pro 2017. If the files are in good shape, they should upgrade. Thanks for your question.

  10. I have been using QB ’96 on an old computer running windows XP. The company wishes to upgrade the computer I use and the QB program to QB pro 2017. Do you see any problems?

    • Hi David,

      Yes, jumping up 21 versions is likely to be a problem. But you can try it and see what happens; it might work. Good chance though that you’ll have to create a new company and start over (sorry). Thanks for the question.

  11. I need to upgrade a client from Quickbooks Pro 2011 to 2017, will the data convert straight to 2017 without interim version upgrades?

  12. I am opening a new company with the new 2017 Q/B’s. I presently have 2008. Will I need to step up given the new company

  13. Hello- I am currently using Quickbooks 2014 Mac and would like to Upgrade my Mac to Sierra. Since Quickbooks 2014 isn’t compatible with Sierra I Need to purchase 2016. Should I install the 2016 version on my computer first before I upgrade to Sierra? If so, once I install the new 2016 mac version how do I transfer my 2014 versions files over to the 2016 Version?
    Thanks in Advance

  14. Hi
    If I could pick your brain please
    I have a new PC and on this I have installed from a disc quickbooks 2009/10
    On my old PC running XP I have my old 7.4 version of QB I am currently using, the old pc is getting a bit slow etc so before it dies, I want to get my company info fom the old QB and PC over to the new version 09/10 on the new PC
    I also have the upgrade discs so I assume I need to upgrade to windows 2002 trial and then to 2007 trial then to 09/10.
    If I save my company details from the 7.4 as a back up, do I use this same original back up when upgrading to 02 then 07 as I get a message in 2002 trial when I try to back up again that there is over 500 transactions so I cant do it, sorry this is so long winded

    • Hi Elkay,

      I am guessing that this is Australian or Singaporean versions, which I don’t know a lot about. Nonetheless, a few observations:

      * I wouldn’t run QB 2009/10 on a new computer. Only versions from 2015 and up work right with Windows 10.
      * If you are having trouble with making or restoring backups as you progress up through those versions, just copy and open the QBW files and don’t worry about making and restoring QBB files. I don’t know if that will help you get around the 500 limit problem or not.

  15. Hi
    I am using Quickbooks 2002 and need to transfer my data to most available quickbooks. Will i be in the trouble to transfer that?

    • Hi Macjoseph,

      Purchase invoices? Do you mean an invoice that your vendor sends you for your purchase? That is called a Bill in QuickBooks, and there is a screen to enter it. Thanks for your question.

  16. Made a backup of my company in pro 2015 when I restore it then convert to 2017 pro it transfers data but gives me error messages like 30 of them

    • Hi Michelle,

      That means that there is some data corruption in the file that is preventing a clean upgrade to version 2017. You can try rebuilding the file in 2015 and see if that enables it to upgrade to 2017 without errors. If not, you might need us or someone to repair/upgrade the file for you. Thanks for your question.

  17. I am a mac with quickbooks on it from 97, i have a alienware computer now with windows. is there anyway for me toconvert the files from mac to pc and than bring to up from 97 to 2013?

  18. I have QB Pro 2012 on a Vista PC. I have carbonite backup. I am transferring QB 2012 to a new computer and will be downloading QB Pro 2017. After I download QB 2017 software can I log onto Carbonite and restore my files to the new version? Do I need to open a new company or just let it restore?

    • Hi Cindy,

      Sure. You don’t need to create a new company, just download the QBW file, open it up in QB 2017, let it upgrade it to that new version, and you should be good to go. Thanks for your question.

  19. I have a client who has 2009, he sent me a QBB of his file for me to upload to my 2016 Pro. When I restored it, there were no transactions. He has been sending the file the same way for 5 years. The client did send me printouts of his P7L and balance sheet, so the info is there. Any suggestions.

  20. sir i have quick book pro 2009 data file and open in quick book enterprises accountant 2016 version , but i see the error when i open older version file in new version 2016,
    the error message below.
    Problem: could not find an installed version of quickbooks that is compatible with ( D: XYZ )
    what can i do?

    • Hi Israr,

      Enterprise can open Pro files, so if there is an incompatibility between your file and your Enterprise software, then the problem has to be somewhere else. Could it be that the 2009 file was created with a different country edition than your 2016 editon? That would be a problem. For example, a file created with a US edition cannot be opened by a Canadian edition.

  21. Hello,
    Using Quickbooks Pro 2005 and want to upgrade to 2017. What is the best way? I don’t mind first moving up to say 2006 and then to 2017 if that would help. I have access to older versions through our accounting office. Thanks for any input.

    • Tom,

      Yes, I’d open a copy of the file in 2006 and let it upgrade to that. Then open that file in 2017. There was a major change between version 2005 and version 2006 in the database tech that QuickBooks used. So best to jump over that hurdle first, then try upgrading to 2017. Good luck, and thanks for your question.

  22. Believe it or not I need to view or restore QB files from 2001, 2002, and 2003. All I have are backup cds for these years. I am no longer in business and only have a 2009 Pro version of QB available. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks

    • Don,

      You can copy the QBW files from the CDs to your computer (maybe put them on the Desktop) and then try to open them with QB 2009. They may well upgrade without issue. Thanks for your question.

  23. My accountant backed up my qb files on a thumb drive from her 2015 PC program. My MAC version was 2010 so I purchased the 2015 MAC QB program so I could download the thumb drive files. I am not certain that I successfully downloaded the 2015 software as the 2010 files are still showing when I open QB. Am I supposed to update in the 2010 file to the 2015 program then attempt the conversion from my accountants 2015 PC files into my 2015 Mac program?

    • Hi Laura,

      I’m guessing that you downloaded the 2015 software but didn’t install it. If you can find the QB 2015 Mac file you downloaded, you should be able to open it and it will walk you through the install process. After that, you’ll see the 2015 version on your Mac and you can run it, and restore your accountant’s backup. Thanks for your question.

  24. I had a quickbooks pro 2007, french version a long time ago. Now, i have quickbooks pro 2016. I was inable to open my back up file from QB2007 to QB 2016. This message appeared : This file was not created in the US version of Quickbooks.

    If any one can help.

  25. Hi
    I have older version of QuickBooks I am using on my old computer. I just purchase a new computer and have the newer version of QuickBooks on it. I was wondering how do I get my files from the old computer onto the new computer.
    Thank You and have a great day

  26. Hi

    I have QB 2010 and want to transfer data to online
    2010 wont update so how do I go about moving my data over?
    Can I back up on a usb and then open it in new QB?
    What are the steps as what they show online will not work


  27. Shannon,

    If I understand you correctly, in order for me to go from QB 2006 to QB 17, I will need to re-enter all of the date as if new? Is there a way to purchase a version of QB to update from QB 2006, and then update to QB 2017? Thanks.


    • Mark,

      No, you can try to make the jump from 2006 to 2017 just by opening a copy of your company file in 2017. But if it doesn’t work, then you’d have to start over with a new company file in 2017, or send your file to someone like us to see if we can step it up across interim versions. Thanks for your question.

  28. I have QB Pro 2014 currently installed on my computer and am planning to upgrade to 2017 version of the same. I currently have several company files with outstanding Accountants Changes Pending. If I go ahead and upgrade will I be able to import the Accountants Changes into the company files in the 2017 version once they are returned from my accountant?

  29. Our company has Quickbooks Enterprise 8.0, but we don’t use any of the features necessitating Enterprise… and since Enterprise is now a “subscription” service, we decided to purchase Quickbooks Premier 2017.

    Will this database upgrade cleanly?

    I read multiple accounts of people online saying that the best way is to open a Quickbooks Online account… upload my QB8.0 data to it, then use their built in tool to “save for premier desktop 2017″…

    Has anyone you know tried that? Does it work?

    Any suggestions would be great.

    • Hi Brian,

      I haven’t heard of that migration method. I guess the idea is that you’d get some kind of trial subscription to QB Online, migrate into and out of it, then cancel your subscription? I’d also be interested in hearing from users who have tried that. The architecture of QB Online is quite a bit different than QB desktop, so I’m wondering what sorts of data might not make the journey back to desktop…

      Our Enterprise downgrade service migrates your Enterprise file to Premier or Pro without data loss…it is as if the file had been created and used in Premier or Pro from the beginning.

      Thanks for your question.

  30. I believe intuit/QuickBooks is ripping people off.
    I have used qb 2014 for past 3 years and yesterday made a company backup…..installed qb 2017 today and am unable to upload the 2014 saved data onto 2017.
    Qb tech said I have to purchase 200.00 plan that lets them convert it so it can be uploaded.

  31. It said it was some sort of “data” error….can’t be for sure
    What was unusual is they were on my computer
    Remotely and made no attempts to resolve the issue ….
    I was immediately transferred to IT Tech and asked for a
    Credit card to apply 200.00 for 3 mo support to
    Resolve the issue. Very “fishy” because I’ve never had this issue going from ’08 to ’11 or ’11 to ’14

    • I see. It sounds like somehow the data had some sort of latent corruption in the 2014 version that didn’t show up until the upgrade process was attempted. One thing you could try if you want to would be to restore your pre-upgrade-attempt backup (if you have one), open it up in QB 2014, and run File / Utilities / Rebuild Data. If it completes OK, then exit out of QB 2014, open 2017, open the file and see if the upgrade can successfully complete. Rebuild can often fix stuff like that, but that process would need to be undertaken before the file upgrade was attempted.

      Thanks for your comment.

  32. I have quickbooks premier contractor edition and it will not run properly on windows 10. So I want to purchase the new quickbooks what version hold I be buying please advise.

    Thank you,


  33. I just purchased the qb pro upgrade through your site. How do I incorporate the 3 company programs. It downloaded my one company so far.

    • Hello Feurowse,

      First, just to be clear, we don’t have any QuickBooks software for sale on our site or otherwise — you must have purchased it elsewhere.

      OK, so if you mean that you have 3 companies to be upgraded, you can just open them one at a time using the QuickBooks software you purchased. Each will be upgraded when you open it. Hope that helps. Thanks for your question.


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