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

  1. Just updated from 2016 Pro US multi user to 2019 Pro US Multi user trying to get the second laptop up and running and it will not recognize it. Saw where you have to purchase a service agreement to concert your data ant truth?

    • Hi Thomas,

      What do you mean that the second laptop will not recognize it? Are you saying that you can’t register your software on the second machine? Or that you can’t access the company data simultaneously from the two computers? Please provide more explanation.

  2. Hi, I have an iMac desktop computer, I am running Paralles with windows 10, I had a 2014 version of QB pro, I now have a new computer (also an iMac desktop) which does not have an internal disc drive so I purchased an external Mac drive, works fine EXCEPT for downloading older version of QB pro 2014 backup to new version QB2018 pro. I cannot figure out how to download and restore the backup from old computer, I have never used this version of QB pro so this is brand new QB. Please give me an answer, as I do books from my home and want to be finished with QB 2014 for good! Plus it’s coming on tax season and I need to square this away before I send data to accountants.
    Thank you
    I tried contacting QB but that was a huge JOKE!

    • Hi Melanie,

      OK, so you are trying to upgrade your QB Windows 2014 file to QB Windows 2018, right?But running under Mac emulating Windows 10? And running QB there on an external HD?

      So have you gotten QB 2018 installed and running on your new Mac? Can you successfully open a sample company? In that environment?


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