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?

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

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

  1. “We have been using Quick books for small business 2002 for many years. However, our old computer is about to give out and we need to think about getting a newer version and transferring our data to our laptop which runs on windows vista. I need to know which older version will support QB 2002 and vista. I am thinking Quick books 2007 or 2009. What would you suggest?”

  2. How much for the upgrading? Currently, we are using Intuit Quickbooks Accounting Pro Edition 2011.

    • Hi Pacific,

      Do you mean upgrading your program, or your data? We don’t sell software so I can’t answer the question if it means buying the software. If you mean upgrading your data, you can do that yourself just by opening your company file under the newer version. Make sure you have a good backup of it made in QB 2011 before you try the upgrade, in case something goes wrong. Thanks for your question.

  3. I have QuickBooks 2015 on my iMac and purchased QB2016 for my laptop for when I’m out of the office. Can I input info on my laptop (QB 16) and use a flash drive to update my iMac (QB 15)?

  4. Someone may have asked this one before but here goes anyway. I have QB Premier 09/10. It runs very well but my computer is giving me grief and I’m considering dumping it and buying a Mac desktop. I’ll probably need to purchase a new version of QB.

    1. Do latest version of QB work with latest Mac OS?
    2. Will backed up data have any issues transferring from an XP platform?
    3. Last time I did an update of my version of QB, my whole program went kaput and I lost all my existing data. It took over a week to fix it with my backed up data. Any such problems still out there of which you are aware.

    In a nutshell, is the latest version of QB worth it and will my backed up data from Premier 09/10 transfer to it if I purchase a Mac?

    Love your work – cheers…

  5. Hello ,
    I am looking to upgrade from a copy of Quickbooks Pro 2009 to Quickbooks Pro 2017 .. Will the company file convert or should I be looking at a older version of quickbooks? Thanks for your time .

    • Hi Mike,

      If the file is healthy, there’s no reason to expect that it won’t convert to version 2017. I don’t think it would matter if you tried to upgrade to 2017 versus 2015 (the last supported version). Just make sure you make a backup of your data before you attempt the upgrade. If for some reason it fails, you’ll need that backup…

      Thanks for your question.

  6. Cannot get Quickbooks Pro 2012 to restore data from Quickbooks Pro 2006. Is 2006 too old for backups to work with 2012 version?

    What is the step-by-step process to make it work?

  7. I have quickbooks 2006, been working great but old laptop decided to die. I thought it would be good idea just to get another old laptop & install the 2006 version that I have on disc then transfer data from old hard drive. Doesn’t work states quickbooks that i installed from cd needs updating but fails to update if I try. Any ideas? Perhaps get a newer version of quickbooks then transfer data? If I install quickbooks 2010 would it he the data from external hard drive & convert?

  8. Try as I might, I cannot upgrade my 08 company files to 16. But only on one of the companies I use, the others are fine. So I have tried to have both qb versions on my pc but installing 16 overights and deletes 08. What can I do please?

    • Hi Lisa,

      Sounds like there is something in that one file that prevents it from upgrading properly…data corruption, perhaps. We can repair/upgrade it for you, see

      You should be able to have both versions on your computer at the same time. You might have to do the custom install option instead of the default option when you install 2016. There’s nothing that says you can only have one version installed.

      Thanks for your question.

  9. Hi, my client is working with QB2008 US Edition and needs to upgrade for Vat in UAE. now he needs to upgrade the same version to QB2016 UK Edition to cop-up with vat. will it work??? how can i migrate his QB2008 data to 2006. in UK edition. what is the best way to handle>>>

    • Hi Muhammad,

      Unfortunately, you can’t migrate from one country edition to another. The taxes and other things are too different. You’ll have to create a new company in QuickBooks 2016 UK. You can export/import some of the lists, but there will probably be quite a bit of manual work. Thanks for your question.

  10. Pingback: Our Top 10 QuickBooks Articles for 2017 « QuickBooks and Your Business

  11. We’ve been using quickbooks 2013 Pro. Our accountant gave me a USB stick with our data. When I try to restore my files from this stick it prompts that the stick was prepared using a later version of quickbooks. How can I find out which version it used? The accountant is no longer accessible.

  12. Hi,
    I have a QB Pro 2010 Canada version, running on Windows 7. I just got a new computer with Windows 10 so I need to upgrade my quickbooks.

    I will be installing to QB 2016 Pro Canada, I made a backup of my company file and followed the upgrade procedure. Everything seems fine, but my employee list is empty. Do you know why? I restored the company file a second time, and it seems to be fine. I am just a bit confused.

    • Hi Alex,

      I’m not quite tracking whether the problem was in version 2010 or version 2016, or under Win 7 or Win 10. Version 2010 under Windows 10 is usually problematic.

      Empty lists are indicative of data corruption. But if you restored it again and it’s all there, then you should be fine, right? Not sure why you’d get two different results. Thanks for your question.

  13. My computer died, but l have a backup of my Quickbooks on a jump drive. If I buy a new version of Quickbooks, will I be able to convert the files on the jump drive to the new version?

    • Hi Judy,

      Sorry your computer died. If your backup file on your jump drive is not corrupted, and there aren’t too many versions difference between the version of QuickBooks you were using and the new version, it should probably upgrade OK. Good luck!

  14. I have been using QB PRO 2004 on Windows XP. Recently bought new computer with windows 10; what version of QB Pro should I purchase to transfer QB 2004 file to new computer Windows 10? Thank you!

    • Hi Mary,

      Any QuickBooks version 2015 or later will work with Windows 10. Jumping up that many versions at once with your 2004 data may or may not work…you can only try. Make sure you try it on a copy of your data in case it doesn’t work. Thanks for your question.

  15. Hello,

    I have been using Quickbooks 7.4E for many years successfully. I updated my Mac from 10.6.8 to 10.11.6. recently and found that Quickbooks does not work anymore and I cannot open it. If I use Quickbooks 7.4E 2017 will that be compatible?
    Please reply as soon as possible as g.s.t. will be due and I have to learn the new format.

    Kind regards

  16. Hello I recently got a new desktop and I have 2014 QuickBooks on my old computer and need to get 2017 on my new desktop how do I do that ? I did download the 2014 QuickBooks to my new computer but the license number and product code will not work

    • Hi Sarah,

      If I understand you, you should purchase and install QB 2017 on your new computer. Then transfer your QB 2014 data to your new computer per the details in this blog post. When you then open your file in QB 2017 (on your new computer), it should automatically upgrade it to the new version, and you’ll be ready to go. Thanks for your question.

  17. Hello,
    Need to replace my old PC, so purchased a new laptop with Windows 10 and trying to install QB 2010. I’m having trouble transferring the files from portable backup to the new laptop. I uninstalled internet, still won’t install. Do I need to install newer version like QB 2018? Don’t really want to spend the money, since the old version works fine for my small business.
    Thank you.

  18. Hi.
    I am running a very old version of quickbooks (Version 5.0) on an old win XP pc
    I bought quickbooks 2016 but cannot get old company file to restore.
    How do I go about converting the older file to work with 2016.
    I have been told by a pc guy that I need to update to older versions before getting to 2016.
    Where do I get these older versions from.
    Does anyone do this that I can pay. How much would it cost.
    I am based in Ireland.

    • Hi Fiachra,

      That’s likely just too many versions to jump up (about 18 versions, right?) Unless you have a person that has been running QB since the mid 90s and for some reason has all those versions still installed and accessible somewhere, I think the best bet will be to create a new company and move on. Sorry no magic bullet. Thanks for your question.

  19. We had a client bring us a backup file from QB Enterprise 1999 (I don’t know man…). Do you know what the newest version of QB Enterprise is that can be used to open this? We found 2011 licenses but but haven’t had any luck with it.

  20. We currently have QB Pro 2104 running on a Win 7 PC. We are looking to upgrade to QB Premier 2018 AND upgrading the operating system to Win 10. Ideally, which should we do first? Upgrade QB first, then follow with the Win 10 upgrade, or vice versa?

    • Hi Mark,

      If this is all happening on the same computer, then you’d want to upgrade to Windows 10 first, then install QB 2018, then upgrade your data to the new version. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of backups off your computer, since upgrading Windows will wipe out everything you have on that computer. Thanks for your question.

  21. My QuickBooks Pro 2015 told me I need to upgrade to the newest version (PRO 2018). I purchased and downloaded 2018 to my computer, nothing transferred over. 2015 is still on my computer with all of the information. Why would it have not transferred? I basically now have 2 versions running on my computer. What is the easiest way to get the information to 2018? A portable copy?

    • Hi Andrea,

      All you need to do is to open your company file in QB 2018, and it will upgrade it to that version. You can keep version 2015 or remove it, it doesn’t matter. QB 2018 will work whether you have the old version still on there or not. The main thing is to run QB 2018, open your company, and it will convert it. Hope that helps.

  22. I just updated to the 2018 quickbooks and nothing transferred from my 2015 file. I opened payroll, nothing… I opened the accounts and they all had zero balances and no transactions.
    I was unaware that we had to save a copy of the old version of quickbooks to transfer to the new quickbooks. I just thought it would automatically transfer everything. Help! I need that information back…

    • It did ask me what company to chose and there were 3 to chose from. Can I chose a different one and it will covert that one?

      • Hi Alison,

        Yes, hopefully you simply picked the wrong one, and one of the other companies is the one that actually has your data in it. You are right, it will automatically transfer everything. Just make sure that you make backups of your data before you open the companies in the new version, in case the upgrade doesn’t complete successfully. Thanks for your question.

  23. I just started working for my family’s business and they never updated QuickBooks once I got them on it. We have our network computer on Windows 10 home, Quickbooks is 5.0, with logic my brother did to fake it into thinking it was earlier Windows version either 95 or XP. Am I out of luck updating or do you think since it’s on our network which is on a Windows 10 computer, it may update and not loose everything?

    • Sandy,

      That’s a pretty rough jump to make…about 20 versions; I am not optimistic. But you could try upgrading to a current edition of QuickBooks. I would try it on a copy of your file, rather than the original, in case it doesn’t work. Just try opening the copy under the new version and see what happens. Good luck!

  24. We are currently using QuickBooks Pro 2008 on a laptop running Windows Professional 7 at our office for basic bookkeeping. We are considering switching to QuickBooks 2018 on a new computer (may be either desktop or laptop) running Windows Professional 10. Any thoughts on how/if we can transfer our bookkeeping records? Thanks!

  25. Hello Shannon,

    I have a 2001windows qbb and need to move it to 2016 mac. How do you suggest to step it up so to the 2016?


    • Hi Rob,

      That’s not going to work for several reasons. You can export some lists out of QB Win and see if they will import into a new company you create in QB Mac but you’ll have to reenter most stuff. Sorry.


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