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 2012 to QuickBooks 2019), 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

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

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468 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.

  26. Perhaps you can help me as Intuit has not been able to help out. I had been using for MAY years quickbooks pro 6 2004 for the mac. All was good until I upgraded our mac to capitan and the qb wouldn’t open. I purchases a qb 2016 for the mac but the old company file would not convert. I have been sending to intuit tech support the company files but they say that there is no data on the file (I see that it has 32 mb). There is also no extension name, but mac never required an extension name. Can you tell me how to do it or what extension at least I have to put in? Thanks.

  27. HELP, we have a company on QB 2009 and we saved a back up copy to our server.
    Then we are wanting to update it to 2017, so we are restoring the backup copy from server in 2017 and it states that ” The company file that you are trying to open was created with a newer version of QuickBooks. Please upgrade your copy of Quickbooks.”

    So we tried just updating from 2009 to 2017 and it gives the same message.

    What do you suggest to getting this company file from 2009 to at least QB 2016

    • Hi Rachel,

      That’s strange, there’s something wrong with the equation, isn’t there? Have you tried updating QB 2017 by checking for latest updates? Then try restoring that file again. We can probably get it updated for you if you need that help.

      Thanks for your quesetion.

  28. Hi Shannon,

    Great Site. So I have a bit of a head scratcher. Recently had to reinstall quickbooks 2006 due to infection. We are trying to restore .qbb backup file (all we have). The application seemed to install ok however we now cannot restore the backup file as the program says there have been a number of updates since backup created. Downloaded the 2006 R12 webpatch but no luck with that as it says the correct version of quickbooks is not installed. Any idea where we might go from here? Not easy to get great support from Intuit themselves so hoping you guys might have some ideas. We’re a small family business so it’s difficult to explain to ppl why we have a licensed product with backups that don’t work although we have the application up again. I know the version is quite old but it seems an odd predicament for a user/customer all the same. What are our best options to get up and running again?

    • Hi John,

      I’m guessing you were previously running on a computer using an older version of Windows, and now you’re trying to run QB 2006 on Windows 10? Even much more recent versions of QB don’t work right under Win 10. So you might try running it on another old computer (running Windows 7 or prior) and see if that helps.

      Or, if you are open to upgrading, you could download a trial copy of QB 2018 and see if it will restore and upgrade the file. Then buy QB if it works.

      Thanks for your question.

  29. I have QB 2011 old version.Can I convert to QB enterprise accountant edition 2015.
    How to do it !
    Please reply me soon.Appreciate you.

    Thanking you


    • I’m currently using QB pro 99 3 user and I’m think to buy QB pro 2012 3 user to install in to my entire Win XP computer. But I’m really worry that the data unable to transfer because the database is so old. Please help? Thank you

      • Hello John,

        Yes, that is a lot of versions to jump up. It might work, it might not. You’d just have to try it and see. Of course, version 2012 is pretty old too and not for sale through regular channels. You could get a trial copy of version 2018 and try the upgrade on a copy of your data, and go from there.

        Thanks for your question.

    • Hi Hazaran,

      Yes, if your QB 2011 data is not corrupt, you should be able to upgrade it to Enterprise 15 just by opening it in Enterprise 15. Make a backup first in version 2011 though!

      Thanks for your question.

  30. hi john,
    we have a QB 2015 enterprise version without VAT now we need a new QB with VAT which
    version should we use and will it be possible to migrate data from QB 2015


    • Hi Sadik,

      I think that the UK version of QB is the only one with VAT features. So unless you have been using the UK version up until now, I don’t know of a way to get your data into the UK version. Sorry.

      Thanks for your question.

  31. Hi Sir I can’t restore the .qbb file in to my Quickbooks Premier Multi User 2006/07, May you help me regarding this?

  32. I have been using a 2004 version of Quickbooks on an old computer with Windows xp, which is still working. What are my chances that my data would backup to the new Quickbooks 2019? It is not worth $450 for me to get data repaired or converted. Have you had any success with 2004 upgrades by 15 years?

    • Hi Liz,

      My gut feeling is that the chances are not too great. I would suggest that you get a trial version of QB 2019 and open a copy of the 2004 company and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be lucky and it will upgrade just fine. If not, you’ll probably be looking at creating a new company from scratch in the new version.

      Thanks for your question.

  33. Hi shanon
    Hope you are doing fine !!!

    We are using quickbooks enterprise solution 2009 US version, we are located in saudi arabia.
    Just to make sure if we could migrate all data from 2009 version to 2018 version…we plan to buy 2018 qbks.
    Need your suggestion
    is there possibility to convert from older version to newer ??
    hope the files wont be damaged or corrupted
    let me know the whole process pls….

    • Hello Shadab,

      If you aren’t having any data corruption problems in version 2009, it should probably upgrade OK. You might want to download a trial version of version 2018 and then you can test that before you buy it. Thanks for your question.

  34. I’ll give this a try…
    Old laptop is dying, have a newer one with same OS (Vista) thought I had it easy.
    Installed QB 2009 on it and it says it needs to update from release 1 to 14. using the update as it says works but all updates are Errors and the program doesn’t really update.
    Might be a good time for an upgrade to 2019…
    Thanks for any insight, Eric

    • Hi Eric,

      Hmm, that’s hard to say. Maybe a problem with Vista? Or the old hardware? Yes, I think that upgrading to a current version is worth looking at. Sorry no magic bullet. Thanks for your question.

  35. HI I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO RESTORE QUICK-BOOKS FROM QUICK-BOOKS PRO 2014 TO QUICK-BOOKS DESKTOP PRO 2019 BUT HAVE FOLLOWING ERROR message ; you must update your company file before you can open it in this version of quick-books

  36. Hi I have a Mac mini that is running Windows 7 and QuickBooks 2011. I am transferring now to anotjer mac mini but only with el capitán running in it. If I wanted to move from Windows QuickBooks 2011 to a Mac running El capitán. What would you recommend I purchase?? What version of QuickBooks for Mac?

  37. I Have Intuit Quick Books Enterprise Solution 11.0 Original Soft Ware And Key But The Validation Code Is Not Working

    Few Years Ago It Works But Now It Doesn’t Work
    Can You Help Me
    Thank You

  38. Good day
    I am trying to move many companies on a windows 7 machine with quickbooks 2008 pro on to a windows 10 machine with quikbooks 2017 pro when importing the companies i get the error 6123,0 not sure if this was covered yet.

    • Hi Malcolm,

      So are you bringing those companies over to the new computer and new version by making a restoring a backup? Or by copying over the QBW files by themselves? And do you get that error immediately, or during restoring or conversion, or when trying to open the company afterwards?

  39. hi. i was using quickbooks 2016 accountant edition and i backed up a copy on a portable device. i wanted to restore the company file on quickbooks pro 2016 but it says the back up was not created on a US version. how can i solve this problem?

  40. Hi Shannon,
    I have QB Contractor Edition 2014 backups and need to restore. Will these files properly restore to 2018 or 2019 editions? I presume they will convert OK, but perhaps you might know for sure…

    • Hi Andy,

      Assuming that your 2014 data has good data integrity (will verify OK, for example), then chances are good they will restore to version 2018 or 2019 just fine. Can’t know for sure until you try though. Thanks for your question.

  41. Hi,

    Hope this forum is still running.

    I’ve just installed Quickbooks 2016 Pro desktop (Windows) and unable to transfer data/company files from old Quickbooks 1999-2000 (which has served me faithfully for years but new UK HRMC online automatic filing regulations dictate updating).

    When I try to Restore Company from a backup (from the old Quickbooks), I get message: “This company file is too old for Quickbooks 2016 to upgrade directly”.

    Can you help please?

    • Hi Nicky,

      Yes, that’s too many versions to jump up successfully, it seems. You might check with QuickBooks UK support and see if they have any options. Or if you can find a UK QuickBooks consultant who has been supporting QB for a long time, perhaps they could upgrade it in smaller steps for you. Thanks for your question.

  42. Hi Shannon,

    Is there a way to convert company file from quickbooks 2002 pro – UK version to quicbooks 2017 – US version?

    Thank you

  43. Hi,

    I have just purchased and installed the Quickbook Premier 2019. I backed up from my old QuickBook which is the 2010 version and it didn’t let me to restore it saids the data was from a non US version QuickBook, how do I resolve the problem?

    • Hi Gordon,

      You can’t upgrade or convert data between different countries’ versions, sorry. You have to start from scratch of do some exporting/importing into a new company. Thanks for your question.

  44. Hi. We bought new QB Canadian Premier Edition 2019 – desktop version, the old version is Reckon Australian Premier Edition 2012/2013, how can we do data migration from old to new version ?

    • Hi Crystal,

      You’d have to export from AU version and import into the Canadian version. There are tools out there that allow for exporting/importing of Canadian version data, but I’m not sure about Australian…

      Thanks for your question.

  45. Dear Shannon,

    I was trying to import customers data from excel, but it saids that Quickbook Premier Edition 2019 does not support our excel version. I have tried to save it as different excel format but it never work. How can I solve this problem? Many thanks.


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