Created with Sketch. Visit the QuickBooks Community to find answers and meet other small business owners just like you!

Created with Sketch.

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Install QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to install QuickBooks Desktop.

Once you download QuickBooks Desktop, follow these steps to install it. You can use this article whether you’re reinstalling or installing QuickBooks for the first time.

Hosting QuickBooks on a network? If you’re setting up for the first time, set up a multi-user network and install QuickBooks Database Server Manager before you continue.

Note: If you need to reinstall or move QuickBooks Desktop to another computer, we'll show you how you can do it using the migrator tool.

Seeing an error? We’re here to help. Here’s how to fix QuickBooks Desktop install errors.

Step 1: Prepare for the install

  1. Make sure your computer meets the system requirements.
  2. If you haven’t already, download your version of QuickBooks Desktop. Save the file somewhere you can easily find it (like your Windows desktop).
  3. Have your product and license number handy.
Need help finding product and license number?
  • If you bought QuickBooks directly from our website, you can find this info in the original purchase email.
  • If you purchased it from a retail store, look for the label in the original package.
  • If you're reinstalling, you can find this info from your Customer Account Management Portal.

  • If you lost your license or product number, we can help you recover them.

Step 2: Install QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Open the file QuickBooks.exe you downloaded.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions. Accept the software license agreement and then select Next.
  3. Enter your Product and License numbers. Then select Next.

Step 3: Decide which install type is right for you

You have two options for installing QuickBooks: express, or custom and network.

Express install

We recommend an express if you’re:

  • A first-time user
  • Reinstalling QuickBooks.
  • Going to use QuickBooks on just this computer (not as part of a network of computers).
  1. Select Express and then Next.
  2. Select Install.
  3. When it finishes, select Open QuickBooks to get started.

Custom and Network install

We recommend a custom install if you're:

  • Installing QuickBooks somewhere other than the default location (such as on a server).
  • Hosting your company files on a server.
  • Setting up a multi-user network.
  1. Select Custom and Network Options and then Next.
  2. Select the option that describes how you’ll use QuickBooks.
  3. On the next screen, select Change the install location.
  4. Select Browse to decide where to put your QuickBooks folder. Most people put it in their Programs folder.
  5. Select Next to start the install.
  6. When it finishes installing, select Open QuickBooks to get started.

Seeing an error? We’re here to help. Here’s how to Fix QuickBooks Desktop install errors.

Step 4: Activate QuickBooks Desktop

After you install, QuickBooks will ask you to activate and update it. If you need detailed steps, here's how to activate QuickBooks Desktop.

Learn more about QuickBooks Desktop

Want to learn about using QuickBooks Desktop? Check out our getting started guides.

We also invite you to join our community of experts and ask your questions. We’ll see you there!

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post

Need to get in touch?

Contact us