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Export and convert your QuickBooks Online data to QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to move your data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop for Windows.

Follow these steps in order to set up Internet Explorer and prepare your data. This ensures a smooth export.

Things will look different after you export your data to QuickBooks Desktop. Learn more about what data does and doesn't export from QuickBooks Online.

Moving to QuickBooks Desktop for Mac instead? Learn how to move your QuickBooks Online data to QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.

Step 1: Log into QuickBooks Online and prepare file for export.

  1. Log in to the QuickBooks Online account you want to convert.  Use your Intuit Account credentials.
  2. Highlight the URL and replace anything after /app/ with exportqbodatatoqbdt.  The URL should say XX  in the URL is a number, (don't edit the number) and select Enter on your keyboard.  Other support task links won't work during this process.
  3. You'll see an Export Overview Window.  Read the Export Overview. You can print it if you'd like. Select Get Started.

Step 2: Download QuickBooks Desktop and the migration tool

  1. If you haven't already, download and install QuickBooks Desktop on your computer.  If you don't have a license to QuickBooks Desktop, you can download a trial to use for this process.
  2. Right-click the QuickBooks Desktop icon and select Run as administrator.
  3. Go to File and select Close Company. Leave QuickBooks Desktop open while you complete the rest of the steps.
  4. Select Download tool to download and install the QuickBooks Desktop migration tool.
  5. Once you download and install QuickBooks Desktop and the migration tool, select Continue.

Step 3: Select your data in QuickBooks Online for export

  1. Choose what data you want to export. You can export all data with transactions or just list and balances.  Select Continue.
  2. Select Learn about the limitations of converting data for QuickBooks Desktop to learn about limitations that can impact your migration and select Continue.
  3. Enter the Name and email address you want the migration confirmation email sent to and select Continue.
  4. Select Close on the  email confirmation screen to go back to your QBO file. Wait for your email confirmation. The email may take some time.  It depends on the amount of data you migrate.
  5. You'll need to get back to the export screen in QuickBooks Online. Repeat the previous steps in Step 1 to get back to the export page and then select Get Started.
  6. On the Prepare to export page, select Continue.
  7. On the Select your data page, choose the same option you chose previously and select Continue.
  8. On the Exporting from QuickBooks Online page, you'll have a message that says you already have a file to download. Select Continue to Download.
  9.  Select Download QBXML file. If QuickBooks prompts you to save the file, choose a location easy to find, like your desktop and select Continue.
  10. In QuickBooks Desktop, make sure you're on the No Company Open screen. If you have a company open, go to File and select Close company.  View your reports to compare your data before and after the export.

Step 4: Run the QuickBooks Desktop migration tool

  1. Launch the QuickBooks Desktop migration tool from your desktop.
  2. Enter (or Browse to) the path to the downloaded QBXML file and select Import.
  3. Choose a location and name for your new QuickBooks Desktop file.
  4. Look for the QuickBooks - Application Certificate.  It may be hidden behind other screens if QuickBooks Desktop is in the background. Select the read/modify rights and if you want to allow personal data access. Select Continue and Done on the confirmation screen.
  5. Select Done once your data has been imported successfully.

Important: It may take some time for this process to finish. Even if it looks like it's frozen, it doesn't mean the export has failed. Give it a few minutes and the progress bar will move again.

If the status bar doesn't appear to move

Check QuickBooks Desktop for an Application Certificate again.

  1. In your Windows Taskbar, select the QuickBooks desktop icon to open it. The Application Certificate will appear.
  2. Select the read/modify rights and if you want to allow personal data access. Select Continue and Done on the confirmation screen.

Step 5: Verify your info exported correctly

After you export your company, use the Profit and Loss report to make sure your books match. Run one in QuickBooks Online and compare it to the same report in QuickBooks Desktop.

Note: When comparing reports, run them in Accrual basis for them to match.

Reports often mismatch because of export limitations and the use of unsupported versions of Internet Explorer.  Check out Limitations when you convert from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop for detail info on what converts and what doesn't.

  1. In QuickBooks Desktop, go to File and select Close company.
  2. Go back and try to convert your file again. Sometimes converting a second time can fix this problem.
  3. After it finishes, check the Profit and Loss reports again. If they still don’t match, enter manual adjustments to fix the issue.

Step 6: (Optional) Cancel QuickBooks Online

If you no longer need QuickBooks Online, find out how to cancel your plan.

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