Maybe you’ve found yourself in this situation:

* You use QuickBooks 2016 and your client uses QuickBooks 2017. They want to send you their file for review.

* You have an old computer with an old version of QuickBooks on it, and you want to open up your current QB file on that computer.

* Your computer crashes and dies. You buy a new computer. When you go to install QuickBooks, you can only find your install disk for an earlier version. You install it anyway. You restore the backup you made to the cloud (whew!), but it was made by a later version of QuickBooks.

In all of these cases, you are trying to use an old version of QuickBooks to open a new file.

It doesn’t work.

QuickBooks is backwards compatible — it can open and convert files made from earlier versions — but it is not forwards compatible. If you think about it, there’s no way it could be. The version of QuickBooks you have installed on your system today doesn’t know what future releases of QuickBooks will be like, including their revised data structures.

You see, most new releases of QuickBooks come with internal changes to the database. That’s why the size of your QuickBooks file changes when you upgrade to a newer version. It almost always grows. And that’s why, when you upgrade your file to a newer version, QuickBooks gives you a warning that that change to your file is irrevocable.

So the bottom line is that, unfortunately, you can never use an older version to open a newer file. You can never open a QuickBooks 2017 file with QuickBooks 2016, as one example.

The solution is simple, if not free: get a version of QuickBooks that is equal to or later than the version of the QuickBooks file you are trying to open.

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Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you. But it does happen to many: You try to open your QuickBooks file, and it won’t open. It either hangs up, or you get a fatal error.

What then? You generally have two options.

1. Restore your last good backup and rekey some work to get caught up. This is the normal method. You might want to explore an online backup option, if you don’t have confidence in your current backup plan.

2. Get your damaged data repaired. This is not cheap, but it is easy and fast. And at least with our data repair services, the repair is guaranteed successful, or there is no charge.

Here is what a couple of our data repair clients said about their experience:

“I am an IT Director for a large Florida company that has offices throughout the state.  We have been a long time QuickBooks user on an enterprise level for as long as I can recall.  I experienced nothing but frustration when dealing with Intuit and as an organization we were very close to moving away from QuickBooks totally.  We may have outgrown what QuickBooks offers but there is a lot to be said with familiarity, user training and deployment of a new system companywide.

When we encountered numerous issues and problems with our large company file,  Shannon provided the fix overnight by repairing errors within our file and markedly improving performance.  It is great to have him and his team as a resource and as our go to expert.  Don’t waste your time going anywhere else.” — Keith Lucier, Girard Environmental Services, Inc.


“One of my customers had a QB data file that was totally unusable.  And they had not been performing their backups like they should.  They were in big trouble and were going to have to recreate everything.  They did have an old backup from over a year ago.  That along with the transaction file allowed AccountingUsers, Inc. to save the day.  They restored everything and we were back in business.  No re-entry required, at all.  THANKS FOR A FANTASTIC JOB!!!” — Dan Gray, DGE Automation, Inc.

As a business person myself, I understand that finding one’s self with a bad data file is no fun. So I hope it doesn’t happen to you. But if it does, we’re here to get your accounting department back to work ASAP.

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There’s a certain kind of data corruption that can happen to QuickBooks data files that prevents you from being able to add new users, or change existing ones.

We’ve seen this the most in version 2012 and 2013 files. The scenario plays out like this:

* Errors when trying to add new users
* Errors when trying to save changes to existing users
* One user can perform functions in QuickBooks, but another user with equivalent privileges cannot.
* One user cannot log in (but others can)
* One user cannot save customer credit card information, or employee social security numbers, or vendor tax IDs

All of these are symptoms of  corruption in the user data in the file.

The options are to restore a pre-corrupted backup of the data, or to get the file repaired.

Have you run into this problem? How was it manifested?

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The short answer: Yes. Here’s what people say who have had their file converted recently.

We converted from Enterprise to Pro a month ago & the file is working great. I don’t think that the conversion could have been more seamless. Thanks!” — Daniel Moss, Olympus Packaging LLC

I really appreciate how fast and easy you made the transition from Enterprise to Pro for me. Thank You!” — Peter Garza, Scantech Utility Detection Service, Inc.

Thank you very much! Just had our bookkeeper compare the data this morning, and she said everything matches and transferred well as far as she could see. Great job and done in a timely manner!” — Raj Phangureh

There are only two scenarios that prevent a file from being converted from Enterprise to Pro or Premier: 1) If the file has more than 14,500 names in it (press F2 in QuickBooks to see how many names your file has) or 2) If your version of Enterprise is higher/later than the version of Pro or Premier you want to convert to. In other words, we cannot convert an Enterprise 13 file to Pro 2012.

Otherwise, your Enterprise file should be convertible. For details and service ordering information, see this page.

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Sometimes we just forget things. Or we write it down and then misplace the piece of paper! That happens with passwords sometimes.

Or one trusted person knew the password, and then leaves or is fired…and can’t or won’t share the password with you afterwards.

If that happens to you with your QuickBooks company password, don’t fret. The problem is solvable. There are two ways to tackle it:

1. If you are using QuickBooks 2011 or later, you can reset it within QuickBooks itself. At the log in screen, click the link next to the password prompt that says “I forgot my password”.

If you had set up a challenge question, it will ask you that, and if you remember the answer, you’re back in business. If not, click “I forgot my answer”.

You’ll then see this screen.

quickbooks password recovery screen

QuickBooks makes you confirm that the file’s password is going to be released to the authorized party on record. An email will be sent to that address with a temporary code. (See below if that email address is now unavailable to you.)

You enter that code at the prompt, and then you’ll be able to enter a new password for the file.

Having done that, it takes you back to the original log in screen. You can enter the new password and you’re in like Flynn.

2. Download the QuickBooks Automated Password Reset Tool. This is a free, downloadable tool to reset your password. You have to provide the same kind of information as per the method above, to confirm that you are authorized to reset the password:

* QuickBooks license number
* First and last name
* Email address of record
* Business phone number of record
* Zip code

You’ll then be able to download and run the utility to reset the password.

Fortunately, Intuit provides this even for unsupported (old) versions of QuickBooks. It’s only available for Windows versions, however. It doesn’t work on Mac versions or, of course, online editions of QuickBooks.

What if your QuickBooks installation is associated with an email address you no longer have access to, like an ex-employee’s personal email? You can jump through some hoops to update your e-mail address here. And then use one of the methods above to reset the password.

Have you used one of these methods before? How did it work out for you?

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Short answer: Yes. Here’s what people have said after having sent corrupted QuickBooks files to us.

Sent them a file from a company that called and needed help on their QuickBooks file. Read a lot of forums and reviews and found you people. On Saturday at noon I uploaded this file.  At 2:00 pm I was downloading the fixed file. Nothing was lost and the upgrade to the new version was good.  Thanks!” — John Horsley, Computer Medik

File is much faster and stable now! Thanks!” — Shawn Spears, CFO Network

I’m more than delighted after I tested my database and knew it was back to normal. Our accounting department is very happy with the outcome and performance of the file.” — JC Marin, Trusteecorps

Fantastic!  Thank you so much for the quick turn-around.  Well worth the money for the peace of mind seeing my data again!!!” — Jill St.Aubin King, Monarch Gardens LLC

Thank you for your help on this! You guys did a great job.  Everything looks perfect.  I wish I would have used your service first.  I will definitely recommend you to others.” — Brett Jensen, CDFA

Of course, the best course of action when a file gets corrupted is to restore yesterday’s backup and move forward. But sometimes good backups aren’t available, or the problem doesn’t become immediately known. In that case, data repair services can be handy.

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What if you need fewer licenses of QuickBooks than you used to?

One Enterprise 11 user had this scenario. She tells her story:

“AccountingUsers saved the day! After over a decade of dedicated QuickBooks use, I started my own business from home. I no longer needed the Enterprise version I had been using at my previous company.

But there was no way to “downgrade” to a fewer licensed version. Unacceptable! Thank goodness I found AccountingUsers’ services to make the necessary edits to my company file. Highly recommend this!”

— Sara Carter, The GKW Company, Inc.

So the solution we had for Sara was to convert her Enterprise file to QuickBooks Premier format. Then she was able to just purchase and use the number of Premier licenses she needed…and save the difference in annual upgrade and support fees over continuing to maintain lots of Enterprise licenses.

This situation might also help a business who outsources some of their accounting operations and doesn’t need as many users and licenses of QuickBooks as before.


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When we convert an Enterprise file to Premier or Pro, all the information in the file is retained…transactions, accounts, lists, balances, memorized reports, custom templates, user preferences, payroll details…everything.

Have you ever considered moving from Enterprise to a lower edition?

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You might want to rename your QuickBooks company file for one of several reasons:

* You are making major changes to your file and want to have a copy of your original file handy for reference purposes.

* You are getting your file supercondensed, and want to keep the original, renamed file for historical reporting.

* Your legal name or DBA has changed and you want your file to reflect that.

So how do you change it’s name? It’s pretty easy.

First of all, exit QuickBooks, and have all other QuickBooks users exit the program.

In Windows, open My Computer, or your network drive, or wherever you keep your QuickBooks file. (If you don’t know where it is kept, run QuickBooks and open your company, then press the F2 key. It will tell you where your file is. Then exit QuickBooks.)

Drill down to the folder where your QuickBooks file is located. It might be somewhere like Public Documents /Intuit / QuickBooks / Company Files

You’ll see your company file there. QuickBooks maintains one or two folders that include your file’s name (depending on your QuickBooks version) and a handful of auxiliary files with your file name.

For each of those, right-click on the file and select Rename. Give it the new name you want. Avoid the use of special characters except for hyphens or underscore characters. Rename each folder or file with the new name.

You may have a folder like “Your company name – Images” and “Restored_Your company name_Files”. Rename the “Your company name” part to your new company name.

That does it as far as renaming the file at the Windows level.

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When you run QuickBooks, rather than opening the company from the first screen, click the QuickBooks menu for File / Open or Restore Company / Open a Company File. Select the NEW company name.

You probably want to change the file’s internal name too, so that no one gets confused about which file is which. So click on at the QuickBooks menu for Company / Company Information…

You can then easily change the internal name of the company to match what its file name is. That way, whenever you open the company and it displays the name at the top of the QuickBooks window, it will show the new name.

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You want to get your QuickBooks file problem remedied, but you can’t do without it; what to do?

We schedule most of our supercondense work, where we cut large QuickBooks file sizes down by 60-80%, on weekends. It’s just what we do.

As client Beth Sampson of MB Seafood Company Inc. put it, “I was happy that there was no interruption or ‘down time’ to business, and that it was able to be done over the weekend.”

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Typically, the client will finish up their regular work in QuickBooks on a Friday, and then upload a copy of their file securely to us Friday afternoon or evening. We supercondense the file and return it to them later on that same weekend, usually Sunday sometime. So on Monday morning, their team is ready to use a small, clean, stable version of their file that will perform much better than their original one. And no downtime needed.

We know that your use of QuickBooks is a mission-critical aspect of your business operation, so we work on your file when you don’t.

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send a fileLet’s say you need to get a copy of your QuickBooks file to your bookkeeper…or business partner…or CPA. Easy, you say. Just attach it to an email.


You should consider a couple of things first.

1. Security. Sending and receiving email is not the most secure thing to do on the internet. If your email account gets hacked, of if your email receipient’s email gets hacked, you don’t want your QuickBooks file sitting out there for the taking. And you don’t want your file to sit out there in someone’s inbox forever either.

It’s more secure to use a file sharing or file sending service. Services like,,, and others have secure means of sending files. Most of these services allow you put an ‘expiration date’ on the file you send, so it will automatically go offline after a week or two. That’s a good thing.

Or, if you have a cloud-based drive you can share, like IDrive, you can securely upload a backup of your file and give access to someone else.

2. Efficiency. Attaching large files to emails is not very efficient; email wasn’t designed to carry heavy data loads. If the file you attach to your email is bigger than, say, 10MB, it may fail to send at all, or may not be receivable on the other side.

Even if you create a portable copy of your data — which would be perhaps only 20% the size of your regular QBW file — most company’s files are still going to be too big to reliably send by email.

Keep it secure, and keep it efficient when you transfer someone your QuickBooks data.

How about you? What’s the best method you’ve found to send someone a QuickBooks file?

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