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Level 2

Read only version of QBD

We have receive an email regarding a read only version of QBD to use after the discontinuation of QBD. The email contain a link to this: Download your QuickBooks Desktop data to your computer with the data export tool ( To be honest we have all found this link to be very confusing. What we expected a 'read-only version' to look like was to keep our QBD and for you to just change our access to read only when we logged into it. So everything looks exactly the same except we cannot edit/add or delete anything in there. However, the link you have added is talking about downloading our data to our computer and then uploading them to a QBO company. Why can’t you just change the access our logins give us for our current QBD?


I have many questions about the process. I understand that we take a copy of our QBD, just like we would if we were taking a normal back-up, but then the link asks us to upload to QBO.... so
1)will we get all our COA, transactions, classes etc imported into a new QBO company?
2)What QBO company? Will this process create a new company within QBO?
3) How will this be hosted into the future, will it be free to access for forever?
4)Most importantly, how will this work with our multi – currency transactions considering it is not possible to migrate these for our actual QBD-QBO migration.

We have two essential requirements for our read only:
1)We need to have access to all our transactions, especially our multi-currency transactions. This will be legally required if we have a UK Tax inspection. Our home currency is EUR so all our GBP transactions (our non home currency transactions) are required for any UK Tax inspection.

2)We access prior transactions regularly, many times every day. We must have immediate and easy access to these, as we do currently. We need any read-only version to enable this.

Once we have use this data export tool and uploaded into QBO, can we repeat the process? I would like to do this soon to test if it works and then we would like to do a real transfer on the day that we move our data properly to QBO.

QuickBooks Team

Read only version of QBD

Hello Katie92, thanks for posting on the Community page, thanks for sharing this information with us, management and the team dealing with this have decided that this is the way it has to be done, we have passed all your information on what you have said though as feedback. So the link you were provided ( gives you read only access to your data via your company file.

This needs to be imported into the link to give 8hrs of read only access, its 8hrs due to nothing being stored online and would need to be reimported each day if you need access to the data each day.

A QBO account is not created or used to access this data, it is purely for read only access to historic data that HMRC might need in the future, this feature will only be live for the next 7 years and will not go on forever unfortunately, it is purely so that HMRC can access the data for any future audits as we are aware that data needs to be stored for a maximum of 7yrs.

The read only access will give you access to basic reports, which you can drill down into to view transactions etc. This process can be repeated as many times as you like for a maximum of 7yrs when this system will cease, but this will be plenty of time to view, print and export any data you require.


Level 2

Read only version of QBD

So, if I understand correctly, we keep a copy of our company file stored on our computer. Then, when we need to view anything, we have to input the file into your link which acts like a 'viewing portal' which enables us to run the reports we have saved. We can drill down in the reports to see transactions. This viewing platform will only run for 8 hours. Is this correct?

After the 8 hours what happens? will it crash, or give us a warning that we are to be kicked off the platform? Could we then immediately re-input it, thus creating continuous access? 


Are we limited to what reports we can run, or can we only run reports we have saved at the point we download the company file? Will we be able to see multi-currency transactions?

Why can't you figure out a way to change all our logins to QBD to have read-only rights and we keep the whole of QBD and its functionality as it is? It is hosted on our computer, it is nothing to you. If you are able to change our logins to no-access on the 1st July surely you can just change our access to read-only. We need constant access to our historical transactions and what you are proposing is not a workable solution for our company.

QuickBooks Team

Read only version of QBD

Thanks for getting back to us, Katie92. Allow me to chime in and share additional details to get things sorted out for you.


Yes, you're right. You're able to view in read-only access to all of the transactions, reports, and other data for 8 hours of the viewing session. Also, you'll be automatically logged out from the system once you've consumed the allocated span of hours to view your data. However, if you need more time to work on your file, you can still log back in and start a new session.


Also, you can run different reports and transactions from your data. However, you can only view them and can't make any changes. 


Additionally, with the discontinuation notice released by QuickBooks, I'd suggest taking into account what my colleague has shared above. Since after the said discontinuation deadline, you'll only have read-only access. I understand how challenging this would be for you and other users. You can also use other accounting software that best supports your business needs.


Moreover, I've added this link to guide you with other QuickBooks tasks you might need: Help articles for QuickBooks Desktop.


Let us know in the comments below if you have additional queries about the desktop discontinuation. We'd gladly assist you further with any questions you have. Take care.

Level 2

Read only version of QBD

I've started to use this export tools for read only version. I have got into QBO and selected my company file as per step 2 on the instructions. But instead of seeing anything like what is mentioned in step 3, I have a screen asking me if I want to upgrade my company file for QuickBooks 2021 and it says it'll take 2-6 hours to do. Is this normal? Is this just an extra step because my company file is not from 2021 version of QBD?


QuickBooks Team

Read only version of QBD

Hello Katie92, so yeah if the file isn't a 2021 version, it'll need to be upgraded each time, and yes this is normal it usually doesn’t take that long to upload however it does depend on the file size if you have a big file size then it will take longer than if you had a smaller file size. 


Level 1

Read only version of QBD



I'm trying to do the same kind of thing. I've cancelled my QBD subscritpion and would like to be able to just see my data from the last 15 years that's been through Quickbooks (desktop versions only). 


From the post above it seemed like this link:


might be the answer but just takes me to some oversimplified directions which if followed get me nowhere. 


Is there a better document I can read so that I can do what's necessary to be able to 'read-only' my company files? I have 3 days before I can't even open Quickbooks. 



Rob H. 

QuickBooks Team

Read only version of QBD

Hi there, @RobH2.


Allow me to provide you with an alternative resource that can guide you through the process.


To obtain a read-only version of your company files, please visit the following link: Download your data with the data export tool. This resource will provide you with detailed instructions on how to download your data and access it on your computer.


I understand that time is of the essence for you as you mentioned you have only three days before you are unable to open QuickBooks. Therefore, I encourage you to review the instructions in the provided link promptly to avoid any interruptions in accessing your data.


Additionally, you'll want to check out this article: QuickBooks Desktop Discontinuation Support. It offers guidance on understanding the discontinuation policy, how it affects users, and steps to take if you are using a product or version that is being discontinued. It also provides links to additional resources for further assistance and support.


If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to let us know. We are here to assist you in any way we can.

ECS Jeff Jones
Level 1

Read only version of QBD

Sorry to say none of the above helps me.

my company year end on 31st July, and QBD turns off at the end of the June.. so i will not be able to complete and finialise my accounts before it discontinues.

my QBDesktop has all my company transactions data going back to 2006.
i have extensvely researched QDO and its a cheap dumbed down version of Desktop - not what i expected from QB DESKTOP has all the functionality that qbo hasnt...i have been reading user experiences on this forum tonight and i am shocked to say they have been asking for SALES ORDERS for 4 years, these companies and mine run manufacturing businesses where sales orders are expected by our client to acknowledge order received and to control stock levels... the QB Tech posters could only suggest using ESTIMATES ....clear they do not know who business accounting and bushiness operate.

i would move to QBO if it had the fuctionality but it doesnt, the fact INTUIT has thrown its long standing desktop customers under the bus is testiment to your customer support.

i note from your company account your spent 140million on sales and marketing and 44 million only on product development and tech support.

Quickbooks Desktop i HAVE BEEN PROUD TO SAY I USE to my business owner friends, the business forums i am member of and the FSB and sang its praises to the British Bank but i cant say that now.

So how can i complete my year end when you locked the software that i actually bought out right ?

Finally, QB say its because of HMRC MTD and you couldnt connect to an offline pc, well this morning you expired my desktop and i had to ring tech support for 45mins to get it re-synced. Up and till today my product didnt have a expiry after the fear lockout this morning its showing the 1/7/2023...what did you do?

ps, other reasons QBO is not suitable, No sales order, restrictive templates for documents, DBDT data DOSE NOT transfer over, MTX are lost, proper stock control, custom data fields lost, only 3 data fields per document (inc, est, bill)   all the 17 years of transaction history lost... 75% is re-occurring business with existing customer for what they bought before. [Removed] (in UK)

Fiat Lux - ASIA
Level 15

Read only version of QBD

@ECS Jeff Jones 

They have developed QBO platform with a different approach compared to the QBD. If you are running a manufacturing company or workshop, you need to have a manufacturing app to integrate with QBO.

QuickBooks Team

Read only version of QBD

Hi there, Jeff.


I recognize how you feel about being in this situation. Please know that this isn't what we want you to experience when using our products. I'm here to ensure you'll get all the data that you have inside QuickBooks Desktop (2020). Since the 2020 version's phased out, the option to get your data out of the program, you can either backup your company data or download them by batch and have them stored in folders.


For more information, and to help you get around this, feel free to check this article: QuickBooks Desktop discontinuation support.


Also, I'd like to clarify if you can't access the data because you're fully locked out of your company file or encountered an error when accessing the program. If so, I'd recommend contacting our dedicated Customer Care Team. This way, they can check on your end to determine the root cause of the problem and provide you with an appropriate resolution to your concern. See this article for more information: Contact QuickBooks Desktop support.


Furthermore, here's an article to help you in case you encounter any error inside your company file: Verify and Rebuild Data in QuickBooks Desktop.


Please let me know how it goes, Jeff. I'll be here if you need further assistance accessing your data in QuickBooks. You can also leave a comment below if you have any additional QuickBooks-related concerns. Stay safe, and have a nice day! 

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