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Upgrade your company files after switching to a new version of QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to upgrade your company file so it works in newer versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, or Enterprise.

If you’re upgrading to a newer version (year) of QuickBooks Desktop, you’ll also need to upgrade your company files so you can keep using them. You only have to upgrade a company file once.

Note: You don't need to upgrade your file when you switch to a different edition (Pro, Premier, Enterprise).

This process is separate from updating your QuickBooks Desktop software to the latest release.

Here’s how to upgrade your older company file to work in a newer version of QuickBooks Desktop.

Important: Do you use an Intuit hosting service to run QuickBooks? If so, you'll need to reach out to them directly to upgrade your files.
Important: If you're subscribed to QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, Premier Plus, or Enterprise, you can skip these steps. Here's how to automatically install and upgrade newer versions of QuickBooks when they're available.

Step 1: Install QuickBooks

  1. Sign in to Windows as an admin user.
  2. If you haven't already, download your new version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Follow the steps to install your new version.

Step 2: Prep your company file

Follow "Step 2: Prep your company file" and "Step 3: Upgrade your company file" for each company file you want to upgrade:

  1. Open your original version of QuickBooks. Then open the company file you want to upgrade.
  2. Press F2 to open the Product Information window.
  3. Look in the File Information section. Note where your company file is saved on your computer.
  4. Run the Rebuild Tool for your company file. This preps it for the upgrade.
Important: Do you keep your company files on a server?

Move your company files to your computer's local hard drive. You can move them back after you upgrade.

Step 3: Upgrade your company file

QuickBooks asks you to upgrade your company file the first time you open it in your newer version. Keep in mind, you won't be able to open your company file in your original version of QuickBooks after you upgrade it.

  1. Make sure all users are logged out of your company file.
  2. Open your new version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Select Open or Restore Company if you don't have a company file open. You can also go to the File menu and select Open or Restore Company.
  4. Select Open a company file, then Next. If you have a backup company file (QBB) instead of a company file (QBW), select Restore a backup copy and then Local backup.
  5. Browse your computer for your company file. You wrote down the file location in Step 1. Select it and then select Open.
    Note: If you can't find your company file, open the Windows Start menu and then File Explorer. Search for your company file by name or the .qbw file extension.

    If you still can't find it,make sure it's not hidden.

  6. Sign in to your company file as an admin user.
  7. Before you upgrade, QuickBooks automatically creates a backup of your existing company file. You can select Change this default location to save the backup in a specific folder.
  8. Select Update Now to start the upgrade.
  9. When QuickBooks is finished, select Done.

You can now open your existing company file in your new version of QuickBooks Desktop. If you keep your company files on a server, you can now move them back.

Step 4: Update QuickBooks Desktop

After you upgrade and open your company file, update QuickBooks so you have the latest software release.

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