Getting Started Guide

Running QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise for the first time? Follow these step-by-step instructions to install the software and get set-up.

Step 3: Set up sharing

Provide access to company files

To share the folder containing your QuickBooks company files across your network, make sure that all users have read/write access and create/delete rights to the directory where the files are stored. Consult with your network administrator to learn about sharing folders and providing sufficient access.

Install Enterprise software on all workstations

  • Close all running programs, including anti-virus programs.
  • Double-click on the file you've just downloaded.
  • Note: if you ordered the optional backup CD, you can also install from that; however, we recommend installing from the download in order to make sure you have the latest version.

  • Follow the onscreen prompts until you reach the Choose Installation Type window.
  • Choose the option you want to install:
    • Choose Express to let the installer automatically make the best choice; or Select the Custom and Network option to customize installation and location.
    • You'll be asked to select one of the following three options for how QuickBooks will be installed. Note that the option you choose is likely to change depending up on whether you're installing on a server, terminal, or workstation.
    • I'll be using QuickBooks on this computer, but the company file will be located on a different computer.
    • I'll be using QuickBooks on this computer and storing our company file here so it can be shared over our network. This may be a server that is also actively used as a user workstation. In a peer-to-peer network, this should be the fastest user workstation. Choose this option if you're installing Enterprise on a server that also serves as a workstation computer, or if you're installing on a terminal server, with software and company data stored on a remote computer.
    • I will not be using QuickBooks on this computer; but I'll be storing our company file on it so the file can be shared over our network. This computer is typically the server. Selecting this option will install the QuickBooks Database Manager only and does not require an additional user license.
  • Follow the onscreen prompts until installation is complete. If you receive an error message during installation and rebooting your system doesn't resolve the problem, go to the QuickBooks support site at for help.

Set up multi-user hosting

The computer storing the company file (usually a dedicated server) should be set up to "host" multi-user access. In a multi-user environment, only one computer can host multi-user access. On all other installations of the software, multi-user hosting should be turned off to avoid conflicts.

If you've installed just the QuickBooks Database Server Manager on a file server, there's no need to enable multi-user hosting on the server. However, you must make sure that all user workstations have multi-user hosting disabled.

To determine whether you should have multi-user hosting enabled, use this guide:

Multi-User Hosting Status
Workstation which has Enterprise installed and which stores the company file (peer-to-peer environment)

ON on server

OFF on workstations

Remote Desktop Services Server

ON on server

not applicable on workstations

Central Server

ON on server

OFF on workstations

Verify that multi-user hosting is enabled on the server:

  • Start QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise on the server (the computer which stores your company files).
  • Go to the File menu and click Utilities
  • Verify that Stop Hosting Multi-Access is displayed in the Utilities menu (the option displays "stop" because the service is already running).

If Host Multi-User Access is displayed in the Utilities menu, the computer is not currently the host for the company files and you'll need to follow the steps below:

  • Click Host Multi-Access to turn the service on.
  • Click Yes when prompted to confirm starting multi-user access.
  • Click Yes when prompted to close and reopen the company file.

Make sure that your user workstations have multi-user access turned off. Follow the procedure above on each computer which will be used for Enterprise.

Proceed to the Next Step

You've finished with your Enterprise installation, now it's time to move on to Step 4: Set up your company file and import your existing data.