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Use multiuser mode in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Desktop for Mac2Updated July 28, 2021

Learn about multiuser mode and how you can set it up in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.

Multiuser mode lets multiple users work on a company file all at once, from different workstations. It works on a shared network environment, and needs a host computer to share the company file.

You can use multiuser mode in one of two ways: through server-workstation setup or server-only install. We’ll show you how to set up both.

Before you begin, make sure you have:
  • A main computer to host your company file.
  • Workstations with QuickBooks to work on your company file.
  • A QuickBooks multiuser license. For example, a 3-user license would cover 3 people who are using QuickBooks.
To find out how many user licenses you have, go to the QuickBooks Menu, then select About QuickBooks 20XX. You should see your user license info. If you want to, here’s how to buy additional licenses:

Note: You must be connected to the Internet.
  1. Open QuickBooks.
  2. Select QuickBooks, then Manage licenses.
  3. Select Buy Additional Licenses.
  4. Follow the screen instructions.
  5. Go to QuickBooks, then Manage Licenses.
  6. Select Sync License.

Set up server-workstation network

With the server-workstation setup, you can turn on multiuser mode on the host computer to share your company file.

If you haven’t yet, install QuickBooks on the host computer and workstations.

Set up sharing permissions on the host computer.

  1. Go to the Apple menu, then select System Preferences.
  2. Select the Sharing icon, then select the File Sharing checkbox.
  3. On the Shared Folders column, select +, then look for the company file’s folder location.
  4. Select Add.
  5. On the Users column, set the permission to Read and Write for Everyone.

On the host computer and workstations, set up your Mac’s firewall to allow incoming connections.

  1. Go to the Apple menu, then select System Preferences.
  2. Select Security & Privacy, then select Firewall.
  3. Select Firewall Options. If it’s grayed out, select the Lock icon to unlock it.
  4. Select Allow Incoming Connections.

Every QuickBooks user must have a username and password to sign in to the company file. Here’s how to create one. You can also limit user access in specific areas in QuickBooks to help protect your company file data.

Turn on multiuser mode on the host computer to start sharing the file. Here’s how.

  1. On the host computer, sign in to your company file as the admin.
  2. Go to File, then select Enable Multiuser Mode.

The workstations can now access the company file on the No Company Open window or Shared Files section.

  • You can switch back to single user mode. Here’s how:
    1. Go to File, then select Enable Multiuser Mode. You should see a checkmark next to it.
    2. Select Enable Multiuser Mode again to switch to single user mode. The checkmark should disappear.
  • You can’t share the company file with other remote workstations. All workstations must be on the same network to access the company file.
  • You might run into another user, and that’s OK. When this happens, you get a message that says another user is trying to do the same thing at the same time. Wait and try again later.
  • You can set up each workstation for Merchant Account Services.
  • While in multiuser mode, the admin user can turn on multiuser admin mode. This disconnects all other users from the company file, and lets the admin update Preferences.
    • To turn it on: Go to File, then Enable Multiuser Admin Mode.
    • To turn it off: Select Disable Multiuser Mode, or sign out.

Set up server-only install

QuickBooks Server is an application that lets you share your company file with other users on the same network. This is ideal if you want to share your company file without using QuickBooks. Here’s how to set it up.

Note: QuickBooks Server should only be installed on the main computer that hosts your company file.

Every QuickBooks user must have a username and password to sign in to the company file. Here’s how to create one. You can also limit user access in specific areas in QuickBooks to help protect your company file data.

  1. Open your QuickBooks CD installer, or if you downloaded QuickBooks, open the .dmg file.
  2. Select the Multiuser folder.
  3. Drag the QuickBooks Server icon to your Applications folder.
  4. If prompted, select Authenticate, then sign in as an admin.

Set up sharing permissions on the host computer.

  1. Go to the Apple menu, then select System Preferences.
  2. Select the Sharing icon, then select the File Sharing checkbox.
  3. On the Shared Folders column, select +, then look for the company file’s folder location.
  4. Select Add.
  5. On the Users column, set the permission to Read and Write for Everyone.

On the host computer and workstations, set up your Mac’s firewall to allow incoming connections.

  1. Go to the Apple menu, then select System Preferences.
  2. Select Security & Privacy, then select Firewall.
  3. Select Firewall Options. If it’s grayed out, select the Lock icon to unlock it.
  4. Select Allow Incoming Connections.

Start QuickBooks Server to share your company file.

  1. Open QuickBooks Server.
  2. If prompted, select Authenticate, then sign in as an admin.
  3. If your company file is under NOT SHARED, select the file, then Start Sharing.
    If you don’t see your company file, select + to add it.
  • You don’t need to run both QuickBooks and QuickBooks Server to share your company file. Only QuickBooks Server shares your company file.
  • You can automatically start QuickBooks Server every time you sign in.
    1. Right-click the QuickBooks Server icon on your dock.
    2. Select Options, then Open at Log In.
  • You can start and stop sharing a company file.
    1. Right-click the QuickBooks Server icon on your dock.
    2. Select the company file on the left column of QuickBooks Server.
    3. Select Start Sharing or Stop Sharing.
  • You can view company file stats like the number of changes made, and the duration since you shared the file, the file location, and the users working on it.
    1. Right-click the QuickBooks Server icon on your dock.
    2. Select the company file on the left column of QuickBooks Server.
  • You can disconnect a user.
    1. Right-click the QuickBooks Server icon on your dock.
    2. Select the company file name, then the username you want to disconnect.
    3. Select Disconnect.
  • You can chat with the other users working on the company file.
    1. Right-click the QuickBooks Server icon on your dock.
    2. Select the company file name, then the username of the person you want to chat with.
    3. Select Chat.

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