Upgrading your version of QuickBooks is supposed to be easy: You install the new software, open your QuickBooks company file, and voila! Your data converts to the the new version, and you carry on.

But sometimes you hit a bump. You open your data file with the new version and you get an error. Sometimes it says you have to rebuild your file first — but it fails the rebuild. Or sometimes it just freezes up and never completes the upgrade process.

That’s a tough place to be. Sometimes your QuickBooks data file appears to be healthy in your day-to-day use of it, but there is a data integrity issue under the surface that isn’t revealed until you try to upgrade it.

If you find yourself in that spot, you have a couple of options.

1. You can just keep using the version of QuickBooks you were using before. This is obviously not a great option, because there was a reason that you are trying to upgrade — you want some of the new version’s features, or you’re trying to maintain payroll support, etc. So not upgrading has some disadvantage for you. But this is the cheapest alternative. If you were not having problems in the previous version, you can probably keep using that version for awhile (or maybe even indefinitely) without encountering data errors. You’ll have to restore a backup of your company to use under your prior version; the semi-converted copy of your file won’t be usable by either version.

2. You can get your data repaired and converted. This can be done overnight or over a weekend, so there shouldn’t be too much downtime for you. There have only been a couple of instances over the years where we couldn’t correct the data problem and convert the file.

Most upgrades have tweaks to the underlying database structure, which is why the file has to be upgraded in the first place. Does the new version have new features in it? Then there are new places for data in the file to support those features. The underlying structure has to be modified to account for the changes. Sometimes the version of Sybase (the underlying database QuickBooks uses) changes, and so the database has to be updated.

Hopefully, in your case, everything will update just fine. But if you are reading this blog post to its end, there’s a pretty good chance everything is not fine in your situation. Give us a call for options.

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36 thoughts on “What If My QuickBooks File Won’t Upgrade?

  1. I have qb 2006 pro edition for windows 2000/xp. Will this run on a new – used laptop that is running windows 7? I like and am use to this program, so would like to stick with it, and not upgrade.

  2. I have not been able to get my 2013 version of quickbooks to upgrade to the 2015. I have the 2015 version on my computer, but none of the data has transferred over. I have tried several times to get the job done, but no luck. The 2013 version is still usable, but I have paid for and planned to use the 2015 version.

  3. Should I be worried about trying to upgade from 2006 version to 2015? As long as the 2006 file is not corrupt, I wouldn’t have to puchase a version in between those years (2007-2011) correct?

  4. We updated from version 2013 to 2016…when going to access the database we get this error”This company file needs to be updated..please ask admin to update”

    What are our options?

      • I recently had QB2014 using Win XP and now installed QB 2016 Premier for Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit. I backed up my Company file and did a back up of the data…when I tried to start up QB 2016…it can’t use the files and I get an error message of ( -6176, 0 )….Id still be using the XP version….but Intuit shut off my Merchant Services ability to process payments….Any idea how I can get my older version files to work??? This is my business….this is ridiculous that it shouldn’t work…..Thanks…David

        • Hi David,

          Sounds stressful. So you can you still open your file, or restore one of those pre-upgraded backups in QB 2014? Version 2014 is still a supported version, and you can have both the 2014 and the 2016 versions installed on your computer at the same time.

          Another question: In QB 2016, can you open the sample companies?

  5. I just purchased Accountant 2016 as our QB Enterprise Solutions 13.0 support has been discontinued. But Accountant 2016 doesn’t want to restore the backup file and gives a -6000 , -832 error. Our enterprise version is UK purchased, Accountant 2016 we’ve bought in South-Africa.

    • Tim,

      At least with US versions, Accountant is actually a Premier edition, and can’t read Enterprise files. We can downgrade Enterprise files to Accountant (or other Premier or Pro editions) for US and Canada, but not for UK. Unfortunately. Sorry no solutions.

  6. We have been using Quickbooks Pro 2011 on Windows 7 for years. Microsoft updated our computer (against our will) to Windows 10. Our Quickbooks program worked for a while, and now we can’t open the program or any of the files. I’ve read that QB 2011 doesn’t work with Windows 10, and it’s too late to revert back to Windows 7. I’ve read that I can buy Quickbooks Pro 2016 and import the files from QB 2011. Is that correct? Will QB Pro 2016 work with Windows 10 without being upgraded after I buy it? If it won’t, then will it still import the files from 2011 after it works with Windows 10? This is so frustrating. I’m not sure what to do. We need to access our records to prep our year-end info for taxes. Help! Thanks!

    • Hi Tricia,

      The short answer is yes, If you get Pro 2016, it should be able to upgrade your file and work fine in Windows 10. Shouldn’t lose anything, so no worries about end of year reporting. Thanks for your question.

  7. Hi, I had been using QuickBooks 2014 on my Mac and recently upgraded the OS to Sierra. In the process, I learned that QuickBooks 2014 is not compatible with Sierra, and so was advised to purchase QuickBooks 2016. I have now purchased and installed QuickBooks 2016 and am unable to upgrade my business file. When I try, I get a warning saying,

    “The original file will not be able to be renamed. Please select a new name and/or location for the converted file.”

    Regardless of whether I rename the file or not, or whether I choose a new location or not, I invariably get the error message:


    I desperately need to migrate this file. Please advise.

  8. Hi,
    I have been trying to update my 2008 to 2016/17. It stops the data update at 99% completed then “QB stops working and has to shut down”. I’ve gone through days with QB support, they tell me my file is corrupt beyond repair. However, it works in my 2008, I Have been able to upgrade to 2010 and 2011 unfortunately when I try to upgrade to 2012 or higher I have the same problem. As it updates my file and its on the last part of the data update it stops working at 99% as says “QB has stopped working and has to shut down,Windows is looking for a solution” .
    Are you able to help get this resolved and updated to 2016/17 version?

    Thank You

  9. What is the version upgrade path to move files from Macintosh QuickBooks Version 4 to Macintosh QuickBooks 2013? I am a 1 person business and have kept my files separate each year. They are between 2 and 8 meg. I started with it 1995 so I have 43 files as we have a final one we save for taxes and another copy where we have applied invoice payments from prior years.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  10. I had to download Quickbooks 2010 to convert my files from 2007 to 2017. It worked but now I cannot uninstall the 2010 trial as it says the files are open? Any ideas?

  11. I am currently running Quickbooks Premier 2009 Manufacturing/Wholesale Edition on a laptop that runs Windows XP. I plan to acquire a new laptop with Windows 10. Will the 2009 QB version work on the new laptop? If not, what is the oldest version of Premier that will work? I can run Windows 10 in compatibility mode to replicate Windows 7/8. Thanks for any ideas/solutions. I went on a chat site with Intuit, all they wanted to do was sell me 2017.

  12. Shannon, thanks so much for all your help, I’m not a tech-savvy guy and was overwhelmed with all the choices, comparison, parameters. Your site and the comments from other users made the task much less daunting. Praying for an issue-free conversion.

  13. Hi,
    I’m trying to convert from 2006 Pro to 2017 Pro.
    When I tried to restore the 2006 QBB file, I received error code 6123.0

    I downloaded 2010 (trial) and restored the 2006 back up to it. Opened the Company in 2010, and all Company data is there and works great. I made a backup, and after restoring this 2010 version back up to the 2017, it seems to work fine…but there is NO DATA in the 2017 company file??

    Any suggestions?

  14. So, I have quickbooks 2004 – I just purchased quickbooks 2018 will it convert?

    My computer just quit working this morning and my last back up was thanksgiving this year 2017.

    I might be able to install qb 2004 on my 2009 computer if the conversion doesn’t work??


    • Hi Anita,

      You can try upgrading it to 2018, and it might work. You’d just have to try it and see. That’s a lot of interim versions to jump through, but sometimes it works.

      If it doesn’t work, yes, you could try installing QB 2004 on your 2009 computer and restore your data there. You’d just need to have your original install codes.

      Thanks for your question.


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