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Experienced Member

One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

I purchased QB 2019 for Mac  in Nov 2018 and I am/was sharing my iCloud QB file with my desktop and laptop. The user manual says this is permitted and capable. I am the only user. I noticed today that accessing the the file from my desktop does not show the updates made on my laptop even though I am accessing the same file.  I remember a couple of times after I first set up, I got notification that changes had been made and asked which one I should keep. I have not gotten that message again.  I have installed the most recent updates on both devices. Did the updates disable this one-user sharing feature? I did forget to completely log out of the desktop before using the laptop. Did that permanently end my ability to share the file? How can I fix this?

16 Comments
Established Community Backer ***

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Just answered this question from you on another thread.

QuickBooks Team

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Hey there, @Madcap,

 

I want to make sure you get the answers you need with this company file issue.

 

You're right, you should be able to work with your QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2019 from multiple devices connected to iCloud. 

 

In your case, since the file isn't updated, you can put your company file in an iCloud shared folder (Documents). Open the file through the shared file, this way you can access the updated file on all connected devices.

 

However, if you're still getting the same issue, I'd recommend consulting our QuickBooks Mac Care Team. There they can check account and can help you verify what's causing this odd behavior with your iCloud sharing.

 

Here's how you can get them:

  1. Open this link: https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contact.
  2. Choose QuickBooks Mac Desktop.
  3. Click on the Company File menu.
  4. Scroll-down and click either Get Phone Number.

That should point you on the right track, @Madcap. Let me know how it goes. I want to ensure you're all taken care of.

Experienced Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Thanks! Working on this. Not experienced with iCloud file sharing, so if you could provide a little more detail, that would be helpful.  I searched on how to do it, but still lacks some clarity.  I think a potential problem is that there is somehow "2" files, one with the updates and one without, because even though I access the SAME file on the 2 different computers, they have different information.  I'm pretty sure it is because I forgot to log out of the desktop before using the laptop. If I can get the sharing to work, it looks like I have to manually update the desktop file (my desktop has more transactions) with the newer transactions added on the laptop.  I may need to backup the corrected one. Delete or rename the other one and start over with the backup copy.  What do you think?  I am making myself nervous about the potential of making it all worse.

Experienced Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Thanks! I'm working on it. I am not experienced with sharing iCloud folders or files, so I have to learn how to do that correctly. More details on this would be helpful. I searched on how to do it, but those instructions are a bit vague. Even if I get the sharing set up, I need to figure out what to do about the desktop seeing the SAME iCLOUD FILE differently than the laptop. Each only "sees" the entries it made after the original file. (Profit and Loss Statements for the current fiscal year are different.) Most entries have been made on the desktop, so I will use that as the "working" file. How to erase the "memory" of the laptop? I am getting nervous about making it all worse. 

Experienced Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Sorry about the duplicate reply.  It did not display, then I was asked to sign in, so I thought the first one was lost because I was not signed in.  I am getting accustomed to how this Community thing works. Apologies.

QuickBooks Team

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Hi there, @Madcap.

 

I appreciate you coming back to us for additional support. Allow me to join this thread and share some more information.

 

You're correct. For the iCloud sharing to work properly, make sure to only access one file. In your case, you have to select and update the desktop file (with more transactions) and continue using it, then rename the other file to avoid confusion.

 

That should do it, Madcap.

 

Let me know if you have follow up questions by adding a comment below. I'm still here to help you further with QBMac. Have a wonderful day ahead.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

When you make a change to the file on one computer iCloud will detect that change.  It then copies the file up to the cloud.  On the second computer iCloud detects that the cloud version is newer and will copy the file down to the second computer. 

 

The problem is if you make changes on the second computer before iCloud can complete the copy.  QuickBooks Mac 2019 will detect that and give you the standard iCloud "changed copy" dialog. You get to choose which version to accept: the one coming from the cloud or the one you are modifying locally. 

 

In practice I have my Quickbooks company file open on both my laptop and my desktop.  The laptop is closed.  I'm working on the desktop, adding transactions, etc.  Then I head out to a coffee shop with the laptop. 

 

When I open the laptop up, as long as iCloud has had time to sync, my open copy of QuickBooks Mac will have all the changes I made on the desktop.   

 

If I start entering something on the laptop before the sync has occurred I'll get the conflict dialog and be asked to choose either the copy from the desktop or the copy from the laptop. 

 

In practice I find it works really well - generally the sync has occurred before I modify anything and I can just pick up where I left off on the other computer. 

 

But if you shut down the desktop before iCloud can finish uploading or if you had the laptop unplugged and sleeping (and thus didn't have background updating while sleeping running) you might have more latency in the update.  The same thing can happen if the two computers have masses changes in other files (like a big movie has been added to one that is shared via iCloud).   This kind of thing can slow down the iCloud copying process and cause more latency.

Experienced Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Thank you, but while your answer was basically correct, you assumed I was knowledgeable about working with iCloud drive and getting it set up correctly.  It has taken me a long time, additional research, and trial/error to finally understand how it works and setting it up correctly. I needed to know: 1. System Preferences > Make sure iCloud Drive was checked > Click on Options next to iCloud Drive > Click on Desktop & Documents Folders to check (I was looking for QuickBooks to be listed here). I also used System Preferences to Share > File Sharing > Shared Folders (select the one desired) > and designate Users. While your solution did not totally solve my issue, it did get me headed in the right direction. I am not quite sure about the necessity of "Sharing" but I took that step just in case.  I feel like I still need to check using Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet Reports for a few times to be sure things are working correctly.  It is important to remember to log out of QB on one computer before using on another, and I think it is safest to open QB by accessing the file from finder, but maybe when I am more secure, I won't do that anymore.

Experienced Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Now, I have a new problem.  In the course of setting up the file sharing in the iCloud drive, multiple files were created and I have to figure which ones to delete so I am not updating the wrong files.  In addition to that, I had to share Documents and Desktop to get it to work.  Now the iCloud has ALL my files in Documents and Desktop folders, which I do not want in iCloud. I am seeking to discover if it is possible to only selected files in the iCloud.  I wish there were better instructional details with screenshots about this.

QuickBooks Team

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Thanks for reaching back out to us, @Madcap.

 

I've checked my resources to verify if there's an on-going investigation about multi files created when using the iCloud drive. However, there are none. 

 

Checking the root cause of this requires tools, like screen sharing, that only our phone support team has. They can also create an investigation ticket if there are other customers experiencing the same problem.

  1. Go to https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contactus.
  2. Select your QuickBooks Mac Desktop.
  3. Select a topic.
  4. Click the Get Phone Number button to see the support number.

Let me know how the call goes or if there's anything else I can do for you. Just add a comment below. Have a good one.

Established Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Just answered this question from you on another thread. - Well gzzz that really helps other users looking for the answer to this question! Care to provide the link @IntuitBrooks 

Established Community Backer ***

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Answering MadCap: You don't have to share Documents & Desktops to get iCloud sharing.  You can just move your company file from the Documents directory to your iCloudDrive directory (or any other directory that you are sharing via iCloud).   

 

As far as creating multiple files - if you are on Quickbooks Mac 2019 it should automatically synch the file that is in use.  I'm not sure how you got multiple files but hope you can figure it out - its likely the most recently modified one is the current one (also the largest - QuickBooks files tend to only get larger and never smaller). 

Established Community Backer ***

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

dave949 - I also answered it on this thread in quite a bit of detail.  You can search the threads for other answers (search for iCloud).   Sometimes the same people ask the same question on multiple threads and I don't really have time to answer them twice. 

Established Community Backer ***

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

I searched for iCloud and several answers came up. I think I was referring to this one:

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/community/Account-management/Once-and-for-all-can-I-store-QB-for-Mac-2...

 

iCloud sharing is kind of complicated so I understand the questions.  

Highlighted
Experienced Member

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

Thank you, Intuit Support Team, and especially @IntuitBrooks , for the detailed feedback. Using QB for Mac 2019, the owner is trying to access one QB data file on an iMac during the business day and on a MacBook Pro laptop from at home. iCloud Drive is working fine on both computers. Without question we've only had Quickbooks open on one computer at one time but in the last ten days we've experienced the "conflicted copies" or two versions challenge. When we choose the latest version, we're still finding recently added work missing.

 

My perception is that somewhere in our workflow local versions of the "cloud data file" are created on each Mac computer. If you start a QB work session by double clicking/ launching the app, the app might open the last used data file, which could be the local file, not really touching the data file stored in iCloud Drive.

 

Page 24 of the User Guide states: "Now, whenever you want to open your company file, from any Mac to which you’ve signed in to iCloud, choose Finder > iCloud Drive, and navigate to your company file."

 

I appreciate @IntuitBrooks explaining his workflow of keeping QB for Mac 2019 open on his laptop at all times, and opening and closing the laptop. That exact process probably wouldn't work well for us.

 

For those for whom iCloud Drive syncing of one QB data file between two macOS instances is working very well, can you help me outline the best practices for success? 

 

My initial suggestion might be:

 

1. Confirm that no other user is actively working on the subject data file at the moment you wish to engage with it.

2. Whether QB for Mac 2019 application is actually open or not on the 2nd computer does not matter.

3. Wherever and whenever you initiate a work session with QB for Mac 2019, do not launch the app by double clicking the QB for Mac 2019 icon.

4. The only way to initiate an active work session is to go to macOS Finder>iCloud Drive and double click on the QB data file.

 

We are trying to improve the integrity of our workflow and appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: One user, 2 computers Mac 2019, iCloud

The issue may be that the laptop hasn't been able to upload the file to iCloud after you make changes.  It takes a little time for iCloud to sync the file.  If the laptop is quickly shut down or if it is on battery and the lid is closed it may not have time to write the changed file up to iCloud.  That's my guess... 

 

QuickBooks wasn't designed originally with iCloud in mind of course.  One of the side effects of that is QB will write out information to the file whenever it wants.  So even opening the file will cause some changes to be made (like updating the date, etc).  This means when you open it on the desktop you may have more recent changes on the desktop file than what is in iCloud from the work you did on the laptop.  But in practice I find I just choose whichever file I last entered data in - that's the one you want.   If you just got home and you were working at the office on the laptop choose the iCloud file.

 

The other thing we've seen since shipping is that sometimes people have multiple copies of QB open on a single machine.  Usually its the QuickBooks Server and a QuickBooks client.  That results in some confusing circumstances when sharing the file in iCloud.  But if you aren't doing multiuser that probably isn't the case here.