Intuit

Install QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to install QuickBooks Desktop.

Once you download QuickBooks Desktop, follow these steps to install it. You can use this article whether you’re reinstalling or installing QuickBooks for the first time.

Hosting QuickBooks on a network?

If you’re setting up for the first time, see set up a multi-user network and install QuickBooks Database Server Manager before you continue.

Seeing an error? We’re here to help. Here’s how to Fix QuickBooks Desktop install errors.

Step 1: Get ready to install QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Make sure your computer meets the system requirements.
  2. If you haven’t already, download your version of QuickBooks Desktop. Save the file somewhere you can easily find it (like your Windows desktop).
  3. Have your product and license number handy.
Need help finding product and license number?

If you bought QuickBooks directly from our website, you can find this info the original purchase email.

If you purchased it from a retail store, look for the label on the original packaging.

If you lost your license or product number, we can help you recover them.

Step 2: Install QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Open the file you downloaded (QuickBooks.exe).
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions. Accept the software license agreement and then select Next.
  3. Enter your Product and License numbers. Then select Next.

Step 3: Decide which install type is right for you

You have two options for installing QuickBooks: express, or custom and network.

Express install

We recommend an express if you’re:

  • A first-time user
  • Reinstalling QuickBooks.
  • Going to use QuickBooks on just this computer (not as part of a network of computers).

To express install:

  1. Select Express and then Next.
  2. Select Install.
  3. When it finishes, select Open QuickBooks to get started.

Custom and Network install

We recommend a custom install if you're:

  1. Installing QuickBooks somewhere other than the default location (such as on a server).
  2. Hosting your company files on a server.
  3. Setting up a multi-user network.

To custom or network install:

  1. Select Custom and Network Options and then Next.
  2. Select the option that describes how you’ll use QuickBooks.
  3. On the next screen, select Change the install location.
  4. Select Browse to decide where to put your QuickBooks folder. Most people put it in their Programs folder.
  5. Select Next to start the install.
  6. When it finishes installing, select Open QuickBooks to get started.

Step 4: Activate QuickBooks Desktop

After you install, QuickBooks will ask you to activate and update it. If you need help with this, see Activate QuickBooks Desktop.

Learn more about QuickBooks Desktop

Want to learn about using QuickBooks Desktop? Check out our getting started guides.

We also invite you to join our community of experts and ask your burning questions. We’ll see you there!