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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456 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?

        • Hi Suezone,

          Yes, you can just enter your original license codes in the new installation. When you register it, you’ll need to know your original registration info. Thanks for your question.

  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.


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