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Level 2

Error: Quickbooks cannot convert your Windows file to a Mac file

For many years, I had a Windows virtual machine on my MacBook Pro and ran Quickbooks for Windows Desktop.  Since Quickbooks is the main program or app I use on the Windows side, I decided to try to switch to QB for Mac Desktop.  I followed the instructions on how to convert, including upgrading the QB for Win files to the latest QB software before I made a backup copy of the file in Utilities.  However, I ran into glitches, including:  1) in some instances (particularly files for earlier years), my QB for Win files did not have Administrator passwords.  Therefore I couldn't enter one when asked for one in the QB for Mac app as a part of the conversion process.  2) Once in the QB for Mac app, it asks me first for the Administrator password on the Win side.  Despite the fact that I keep notes on passwords and actually know what the Win passwords are, I get one of these two messages after entering the Win password:  "Error:  Quickbooks cannot convert this file". OR "The password you entered is incorrect".  After I got the first message, the app appeared to go ahead and create a .qb2020 file.  Then when I tried to open the .qb2020 file and give the Win password, I got the second message.   This does not happen with all QB for Win files.  What could be going wrong?  

1 Comment 1
QuickBooks Team

Error: Quickbooks cannot convert your Windows file to a Mac file

Hi there, cbmattick. 


Thanks for stopping by the Community. Below I'm going to include some in depth steps for you to try as well as a helpful article. Follow along below:


Step 1: On your Windows emulator

  1. Update QuickBooks for Desktop for Windows to the latest release.
  2. Open the file as the administrator.
  3. Go to the File menu, then select Utilities. Select Copy Company File for QuickBooks Mac, then follow the onscreen instructions. QuickBooks will create a MAC.qbb (backup) file.
  4. You’ll see a message that says "It looks like ‘QuickBooks for Windows’ might be a better fit for your company," Make sure to check what data isn’t converted from Windows. If you want to continue, select Yes.
  5. Go to the folder you want to save the file in. Name the file, and select Save. Make sure to not use special characters in the file name.
  6. Move the file to your Mac by using any storage device such as USB flash drive, etc.

Step 2: Restore the MAC.qbb backup on your Mac

A MAC.qbb file is a copy of a QuickBooks Desktop company file that you can restore in QuickBooks for Mac. Here’s how:

  1. Update QuickBooks Desktop for Mac to the latest release.
  2. Close QuickBooks.
  3. Copy the backup to the Documents folder on your Mac.
  4. Reopen QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, then select File, then select Open Company.
  5. Select the MAC.qbb file, then select Open.
  6. Select OK when asked if you want to restore a QuickBooks for Windows file.
  7. Enter a name for the restored file, and then select Save.

You can find these steps as well as more info on data that doesn't convert, unsupported reports and filter at the following link: Convert a QuickBooks for Windows file to QuickBooks for Mac.


If you're still experiencing trouble and cant get your Mac version working right, I suggest reaching out to our support team, they have the tools to dive into your account and see exactly what's going on. 


If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach out below. Thank you for your time and have a nice afternoon. 

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