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Upgrade to a new QuickBooks Desktop version

Learn how to install your new QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, or Enterprise and update your company file.

Just got a new version of QuickBooks Desktop? We'll help you upgrade from your previous version, so you can start using more and smarter QuickBooks features in no time.

Or, watch our video tutorial:

Step 1: Install and activate your new QuickBooks

  1. Get the correct installer for your new QuickBooks from our Downloads & Updates page.
  2. Follow our installation guide for full walkthrough of installing and activating your QuickBooks.Note: You’ll be asked to enter the new license and product numbers we sent to your email.

Having trouble activating QuickBooks? Get in touch with us.

Step 2: Prepare your QuickBooks file for update

  • Take note of where your QuickBooks file is saved. Press F2 on your keyboard. Then, find your file's exact location under "File Information."
  • Do you access your QuickBooks file from a server? Updating your file is faster if you save it on your own computer's drive. Save a backup copy on a flash drive, then restore it to your computer.Note:  After upgrading, move your file back to the same folder location on the server computer.
  • Run the Rebuild tool before upgrading to avoid data issues during or after file conversion.

Step 3: Update your QuickBooks company file

QuickBooks updates your file to the newest version before you can use it. Once your file is updated, you can no longer open it in older QuickBooks versions. Don’t worry though: QuickBooks always asks you to run a backup before converting a file, just to be safe.

  1. Make sure all other users are logged out of the company file.
  2. From the File menu, select Open or Restore Company.
  3. Select Open a company file or Restore a backup copy, then Next.Note: Select Local backup if you need to open a backup copy.
  4. Find and select your company file, then click Open.
  5. Log in as the company admin. Only the company admin can update a company file.
  6. QuickBooks lets you know that it needs to update your company file. Select Update Now to proceed.Note: QuickBooks runs a full backup before updating your file. If you want to change where the backup will be saved, select Change this default location.
  7. Select Done once QuickBooks has updated your company file.

If you have Payroll for QuickBooks Desktop, here’s how to activate the service in QuickBooks:

  1. From the Employees menu, select My Payroll Service, then Manage Service Key.
  2. Enter your 12-digit Payroll service key.
  3. Select Next, then Finish.

  • Keep the backup you created in a safe location, unless you’re sure you’ll no longer need it.
  • Had to copy your file from the server to your computer before updating? Be sure to move it back to the same folder location in the server computer.
  • If you can’t find the updated file, try to display hidden files and folders in Windows. Or search your drive for *.QBW files using Windows Explorer.
  • Get the latest tax tables, security updates, and keep QuickBooks running at peak performance. Turn on automatic updates.

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