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Community Solutions: Transferring from One QuickBooks Desktop Version to Another

QBDT transfer.png


The beginning of your business's accounting year is a great time to switch between QuickBooks platforms. If you follow the normal tax year, your books for the previous year are now (or are soon to be) closed, which means there’s less data to work with now than there will be in six months.


Depending on which version you’re using, transitioning from older versions of QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release may require specific steps.


Community member Theo (@albersweb) recently posted what he learned when switching from the QuickBooks Desktop 2016 version to QuickBooks Pro Desktop 2018. 


Thank you for your awesome advice, Theo! - 


“First of all, when upgrading to 2018, an error message 'QuickBooks could not update your company file' appears.


One of the problems is that QB 2018 replaces your old QB app and you need that old 2016 version to take a fresh backup in the down level version. You cannot just use a copy of the QB file, you actually need to do a Back-Up in (QuickBooks Desktop) 2016 first.


Once that is completed, you can 'restore' the back up in (QuickBooks Desktop) 2018, convert the file to the new version and you'll be up and running.


You can only do a Restore if you have an actual back-up file and not a copy.


So keep an old instance of QB 2016 on hand.”



Here’s how you can learn from Theo’s experience
and avoid potential roadblocks:


1. Make a Back-up of QuickBooks Desktop in the older version before you begin the upgrade.


2. Keep a copy of your older software until the transfer is complete.


3. Once you install the newer version of QuickBooks Desktop, do not do a Restore from a QB file. Instead, use the Back-up.



If you’re considering a transfer, follow the Learn and Support Center’s recommended guidelines and reach out to the support team if you need help with your particular version.



Now it’s your turn


In your experience, what has been the most difficult part of transferring to new software?

1 Comment 1
Level 15

Community Solutions: Transferring from One QuickBooks Desktop Version to Another

First when you install a newer version of QBDT, always choose the custom option, a couple of screens after that insure the save path shown ends in the year of the new version. That way both the old year version and new year version will be installed on the computer, other wise the new year will over write the old. That allows you to run both versions on the computer.


I have never found a need to create a back up file for the purpose of moving to a new version.. I do make a back up before doing so, but is for archival purposes. Insure the old version is not running (especially as a back ground program) and open the new version. QB will search for company files and offer to open and update the ones it finds. BUT if the old version is more than 3-4 older than the new, that is when there might be problems.

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