Did you just get yourself a shiny new computer? Or maybe you need to get QuickBooks onto your laptop so you can get caught up on your bookkeeping?

If you need to get QuickBooks from one computer to another, it’s not a big deal. Here’s what you do:

1. Computer #2: Install QuickBooks (you’ll need your original install disk or downloaded install file, plus your installation codes that came with the software.)

2. Computer #2: Update QuickBooks: Run QuickBooks and click on Help / Update QuickBooks. That way, you’ll have the same QuickBooks updates on computer #2 that are on computer #1.

3. Computer #1: Backup your company data. You can back it up to any medium that will be accessible to computer #2. That would normally include CDs, USB/flash drives, external hard drives, or online storage services (like Global DataVault.)

The smallest backup you can make is a Portable file. This kind of backup is only about 20-25% the size of your regular QBW company file, yet it contains all your data. (The backup excludes the internal indexing in the file – that’s why it’s both smaller and takes longer to make and restore.)

4. If you made a backup to a physical backup drive, take it to computer #2 and plug it in or insert it. If your backup is online somewhere, download it to computer #2’s hard drive or desktop.

5. Computer #2: Run QuickBooks, and at the opening dialog box select “Open or restore an existing company”, and then “Restore a portable file” (or “Restore a backup copy” if you are bringing over a regular backup copy from computer #1.)

6. Computer #2: Navigate to the drive and folder where your backup is, and select the backup file.

7. Computer #2: Specify where you want the file to be restored to. You can accept the default that QuickBooks suggests, or point to a particular folder that makes sense to you. My Documents is not a bad choice.

8. Computer #2: Finish the restore.

Once your data is restored, everything should be set up for you to work in QuickBooks on your new computer. If you need to take your company file back to computer #1, simply reverse the process for steps #3-8.

What’s your favorite way to move QuickBooks data between computers?

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490 thoughts on “How to Transfer QuickBooks from One Computer to Another

  1. Hi
    I’m still in the Dark ages using Widows XP and i’m about to upgrade to
    a New Desk Top with Windows 10, with Quickbooks Ver8.1 . If I buy QB Desk Top Pro
    17 will i be able to Transfer my old Accts Data across to the new QB

      • I’m getting a new PC. I’m not worry about the data but the license itself. How can I installed Quickbook to the new PC without interfering with the License that is already on my old PC. Can I just simply type in my product key on the new PC and will that deactivate it from my old PC?

  2. I’ve installed quickbooks 2017 but i cant restore the company file since they are to old.How can I update them?
    The previous version was for 2003. Please help

  3. Hello
    We have an old version of quickbooks 2006. This version was provided to us by our IT person and therefore have no codes for it.
    We have quickbooks 2011 and wish to upgrade. How do we do it.
    Also, can i install the new version of quickbooks on a new computer and simply use a backup file saved on a usb stick. Will it update to 2011.

    • Hello Dora,

      Several issues here…

      * I don’t see how the QB 2006 program (and the lack of codes) matters in any of this since you don’t want to use that program.
      * You can install QB 2011 on your new computer, and then try to restore your backup (made with QB 2006?). QB 2011 will try to upgrade the data to QB 2011 when you restore it. If the upgrade fails, we might be able to do it for you. https://quickbooksusers.com/quickbooks-data-repair/
      * Before you try the upgrade yourself, you should copy the backup file from your USB stick to your Windows Desktop, and try to restore the file from the Windows Desktop. That will increase the chance of success, compared to restoring directly from the USB stick.
      * If you install QB 2011 on a Windows 10 computer, there will be problems, because QB 2011 is not fully compatible with Windows 10. So if you have a Windows 10 computer, you might want to be using a more current version of QuickBooks. See https://blog.quickbooksusers.com/quickbooks/windows-10-older-quickbooks-fail/

      Sorry no simple answer to everything here. Thanks for your question.

  4. Hi I have 3 user license …already installed on a desktop computer… i want to re-install in my new computer.

    how can i uninstall from the old one so that i can install QB in the new one and register it.

    • Hi Zubair,

      You can uninstall it from Windows Control Panel / Programs if you want to, but you don’t have to do that before you can successfully install it on your new computer. Thanks for your question.

  5. Hi.
    I have Accountant 2015 version. My computer crashed and have to buy a new one. I installed using license and everything needed, complete a restore from the back up I already have. My concern is that I only have access IF the USB that has the back up on it, is attached. If I eject the USB, it says “company file not found”. PLEASE HELP!!!!

    • Hi Blanca,

      You should restore the backup from the USB drive to an appropriate folder on your new computer’s hard drive, like the \Company Files folder, or even your Windows Desktop. Then open the file after that from your computer. You won’t need the USB drive to be plugged in anymore. Thanks for your question.

  6. We have a 2-user QB Pro 2016. One user’s Win 7 PC has been replaced with a new WIn 10 PC. I installed QB Pro 2016 on the new PC and it is able to get to the company data file on the newtwork OK. When the user prints checks, the alignment is not correct. Is there a way to copy the check template settings from her old PC or from the other user’s PC?

  7. Okay here goes not sure what kind of an answer I will get….
    I have my QBPro on my desk top PC computer in my home office. I also run a Mac computer in this same office. But I purchased a new Mac lap top computer for travel purposes. I would like to be able to access my QBPro from that computer as I travel. Is that possible at all?

  8. Hi Shannon,

    I have a QB99 on an old XP. I want to transfer it to my “new” XP. I have installed it with the original software disc, and used the Key Code from that disc. Restored the files. Everything looks good. But it’s on a 25 day trial mode and it’s prompting me to register. However, when I look at the numbers it’s giving me to register with, the Key Code is showing different from what I have on the original jacket and which I used in the setup process. How can that be??? When I look at “About QuickBooks” in the old computer, it carries the original Key Code. Will I be OK registering with this new Key Code?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Hi Stephanie,

      Honestly I can’t remember for sure how QB99 did it, but in versions for the last 10 years or so, the registration process doesn’t want your key code. In fact, “key code” hasn’t been a thing in QuickBooks installation or registration for a long time. Back in the bad old days,
      most of the time you’d have to register QuickBooks by phone, which was not very fun.

      If you have a key code you snagged from the screen on your old computer, try it and see! What’s the worst that could happen? Thanks for your question.

  9. Purchased a new computer and QB 2017. We currently are using QB 2015 on old computer. On the new computer do I first install QB2017 ( license etc) and then restore the backups from QB 2015 to the new computer or do I move QB 2015 to new computer and then upgrade.

  10. I recently purchased a laptop as a second computer to hold quickbooks on. I downloaded quickbooks on the laptop just fine and backed up the file on a thumb drive from desktop, restored it to the laptop and all seems great.. until i take the thumb drive out of the laptop in which a few minutes later an error message pops up saying to abort the file and must shut down. when I reopen the file it goes back to which i believe is the first restoed file. Why isn’t the laptop able to hold the restored file?
    Any help would be great .. Thanks!

    • Hi Bill,

      Make sure that you copy or restore your data from the thumb drive to your laptop’s hard drive …don’t try to work on the data directly from the thumb drive. I think that might fix the problem you are having. Or let me know if I’m misunderstanding you.

  11. My soon-to-be-ex husband purchased the 2015 QB Desktop. As I was doing the books before I have my own QB2014 desktop. There are problems with year end numbers and questionable entries, so the bookeeper is going to send me an accountant’s copy on a flash drive to work on. Can I open this backup 2015 to 2014? If I can, will it likely be able to be uploaded back into 2015?

  12. I currently have Quickbooks Pro 2012-2013 on my old computer. I can’t locate the original discs and codes. I want to upgrade to a new computer. How to acquire a new version of Quickbooks that will allow me to transfer data across? (i.e. if a get a current version will it be compatible with the old version etc).

    • Hi Lee,

      I’m guessing you are using an Australian edition of QuickBooks, and so I can’t give you a definitive answer there. If it were a US or Canadian edition, then yes, you’d be able to get a new version and it should upgrade your 2012-2013 data up to the new version just fine. I would guess that the same would be true for Australian, but I don’t know for sure. You can search for or ask the question on the Australian subforum of the QuickBooks Forums at http://forums.quickbooksusers.com. Thanks for your question.

  13. I have a quick books back up file which was produced in a computer with windows 10.

    How do I transfer this data into a computer with quick books running in windows 7

  14. Hello,
    I have a QB 2013 program on my old computer-I have completed uploaded the program onto my new computer and when it asks for the code it claims the code is invalid. Why? I still have the box with the code on it and the old computer is still working and when I press F2 the code is the same as the box.

    • Hi Diana,

      In US versions, there is both a ‘license number’ and a ‘product number’ that you have to enter. Is that what you are being prompted for? You’ve got to enter them both in order to be able to install QuickBooks.

  15. Thanks Shannon, for your response. I have the Canadian version and yes I did enter both. It claims that I’m using the wrong license number. I have installed numerous QB programs and I have never encountered this issue.

  16. Hello Shannon!
    According to this forum, you are the guru that I need to consult with, as I cannot find the answer to my questions..
    I have QuickBooks Pro 2013 for Mac, which is on my desktop Mac, and I use it for basic accounting. I don’t need the extra ‘services’ – I am happy with it.
    I recently got a Windows laptop computer which is much more convenient than the massive desktop. So I want to know if I can ‘transfer’ my QuickBooks (for Mac) to my new Windows computer..?

  17. we bought Qb 2013 and installed in our computer by an IT person and we buy a new pc when we install it says to put PREVIOUS registration info. but we do not have , how can we find?

    • Hi Erasmi,

      Install codes codes are different from registration info. Registration info for version 2013 would have been contact info. that you used when the software was originally registered. That’s what it means by ‘previous’. So if you put in the original registration info. you should be OK. If you don’t know what it was, then you’re probably out of luck. Thanks for your question.

  18. I recently transferred a file from a client computer to mine using Gotomypc. Quick Books 2016 file. I did not have the passwords so I deleted them using “Passware Password Recovery Kit Standard Plus – Quick Books Key.” When I was done with the file, I could not reinstitute the passwords, or any passwords for that matter. It either refused to take the new passwords, or it got set up in the endless loop of always requiring the password to be changed, never letting me actually get the file. What happened with that and how can it be avoided?

    • Hi Tom,

      Sounds like a 3rd party password reset utility was used? You can check with the developer for help if you haven’t already. Admin passwords are a bigger deal in the last few versions of QB because of beefed up internal file encryption that is based at the user level. If an admin password gets damaged, the file is toast a lot of times. Sounds like that may have happened to your client’s file. Probably your best bet is to get another copy of the original file and the password for it. Not trying to be flippant. Thanks for your question.

  19. long ago i bought original quickbooks pro 2013 and installed on my pc which has windows xp and now i bought another pc which has windows 7 professional. To restore the backup on windows 7 pro the screen says file exists and restore the back under different name which i did but now backups from old to new or new to old is not working. is it due to
    2 different windows ? pls guide me how to do it.

    • Hi Asifawan,

      OK, so you did manage to restore the backup to your Win 7 computer by using a different file name. Great. So what is the problem now? You say you can’t restore backups going either way now…what error do you get when you try? Are you able to make the backups, but just not restore them on the other computer?

      • Thks for yr quick reply. In my old pc the
        Window xp the quicbooks pro 2013 file name ‘M.A.Awan’ and on new pc window 7 pro same backup cant be restored in same file name of M.A.Awan so in new pc i changed the file name as ‘M.A.Awan NEW’ and restored. I started working on new pc and made 2 tranaction/entry and take the backup and restored in old pc but i dont see these 2 entries of new pc into old pc.
        Because of 2 diff file name ? Or 2 diff windows ? Pls guide me how to keep same record or data in old and new pc ? I want to restore all backup of new pc into old pc just for extra protection

        • This doesn’t have to do with Windows.

          You understand that you have to make a new backup after you make new entries, right? Let the backup name include today’s date so that you know what backup has what information.

  20. I had quickbooks Pro 2010 on my computer. The hard drive crashed over the weekend so I now got it fixed with new hard drive. My question is I did a backup of the work I’ve done for this company on a usb flash drive and now have installed quickbooks 2015 in the new computer and want to restore the files from Pro 2010 to Pro 2015 . Is this possible
    Thank you


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