Learn how to move QuickBooks Desktop to another computer.
If you need to reinstall or move QuickBooks Desktop to another computer, we’ll show you how you can do it using either the Migrator Tool or manually. Here’s how.
Note: To use the Migrator Tool, you’ll need to be the Company Admin.
Move QuickBooks Desktop using the Migrator Tool
If you’re using a US version of QuickBooks Desktop 2018 or newer as a single user, you can use the Migrator Tool to move QuickBooks Desktop and up to three company files to another computer.
How the Migrator Tool works
- You’ll create a complex password to unlock everything that is copied to your new computer. This is used once and only by the Migrator Tool. Write the password down so you don’t forget it. You’ll only need this password once.
- The tool will copy up to the last 3 company files opened (and all supporting files) to a USB flash drive.
- You’ll use the USB flash drive to move the files, but the Migrator Tool does all the technical work.
- The tool will download the correct version of QuickBooks Desktop to your new computer and sets it up with your files.
- The tool won’t reformat your drive or erase any of your other files.
What you’ll need
- Have your new computer connected to the internet.
- A USB flash drive with enough free space to hold your QuickBooks files. The Migrator Tool will tell you how much free space you need. Most people need between 150 and 250 MB.
How to setup and use the Migrator Tool
Step 1: On the old computer
- From QuickBooks, go to the File menu, select Utilities and then select Move QuickBooks to another computer.
- Select I'm Ready, then create a one-time password.
- Follow the instructions to choose the USB flash drive you’ll use. Then wait for the files to be copied.
Step 2: On the new computer
- Insert the USB flash drive. Due to Windows security restrictions, the Migrator Tool won’t automatically launch.
- Open the flash drive to view its files and double-click the file Move_QuickBooks.bat to start the migrator.
- Enter the password you created, then select Let's go.
- Wait for the Migrator Tool to finish. Note: This will depend on the speed of your computer and internet, and the size of your company file(s).
Note: If the migrator doesn’t start after selecting and running the file, you may need to update your version of Windows 10.
Your migrator files will be automatically deleted from your USB flash drive when you’re done. Your QuickBooks files will still be on your old computer. We strongly recommend that you change the name of the file(s) on the old computer to avoid using the wrong file.
What to do next
Since the tool doesn’t copy some information, you might need to take a few more steps to get up and running on the new computer.
Depending on what you have on the old computer, you might need to:
- Sign in to your payroll & payment services.
- Sign in to Intuit Data Protect (IDP) and set up your backup schedule.
- Move over any additional company files from your old computer to your new computer.
- Create a backup file: Making a backup of your company file on your new computer is always a good idea.
We’ll copy all the data needed to get QuickBooks Desktop up-and-running on your new computer. None of your data will be deleted from your old computer.
The tool will copy:
- QuickBooks Desktop details: This includes the version & others details needed to install QuickBooks Desktop on your new computer.
- Recent company files: QuickBooks will copy up to the last 3 company files that you opened on the old computer, including sample files.
- Related files, custom templates & forms
- QuickBooks letters and templates
- Scheduled & memorized reports
- Local attachments
- Printer Setting (PrintEng.ini, wpr.ini, and QBPrint.qbp)
- Spell Checker (spell.ini and UserDictionary.tlx)
- Financial Statement Designer (FSD clients)
- Financial Statement Designer (FSD data)
- Cash Flow Projector (.cfp)
- Business Planner (.bpw)
- Loan Manager (.lmr)
- Statement writer (for QuickBooks Accountant)
- Advanced reports (for QuickBooks Enterprise)
The tool won’t copy:
- Multi-user setup: If you are using QuickBooks Desktop in a multi-user setup, the configuration won’t be copied to your new computer.
- Payroll & payment setup: If you have payroll or payments services set up on your old computer, you will have to log in again on the new computer as part of our effort to protect your data.
- Intuit Data Protect (IDP): If you have Intuit Data Protect, you’ll need to uninstall it on the old computer, sign in again on the new computer and go through the setup process. All previous backups will still be available.
- Older Company Files: Any company files that you haven’t recently opened won’t be copied. QuickBooks will copy only the 3 most recently opened company files. Any others will have to be moved manually or restored from IDP.
- Backup files: Any manual backups that you created won’t be copied.
Reinstall or move your QuickBooks Desktop installation
- Have your product and license information available.
- Uninstall the existing QuickBooks program before attempting a reinstall.
- On the computer where you want QuickBooks Desktop installed, download the installation files or insert the CD.
- Install QuickBooks Desktop as you normally would.
Common questions about reinstalling or moving an existing installation
What if I don't have my CD?
If you have your license and product number but need the installation files, you can download your version of QuickBooks. See Download & Install QuickBooks Desktop for steps to access a download.
What if I don't have my license and product numbers?
Will I need to register QuickBooks after I reinstall or move it?
If you move your installation to another computer you will need to register again.
- Go to Help and select Register QuickBooks to start the process.
- After you enter your business phone and zip/Postal code, Intuit will detect that your copy of QuickBooks was already registered and will record the registration information for the new computer. Note: If you reinstall QuickBooks on a computer where it was previously registered, you’ll not be required to register again. QuickBooks will detect that your copy of QuickBooks was already registered and won’t prompt you to register.
What about my company file(s)?
- Moving your QuickBooks installation doesn’t move your company files. Your company files must be copied to the new location separately. See Move your company file from your old computer to your new computer.
- Reinstalling QuickBooks over an existing installation doesn’t affect your company files. You can open your company files with the reinstalled copy of QuickBooks as you normally would.