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IIt is Just Me
Level 1

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

I now have QB Premier pro-2020 and wish to upgrade to 2021. Do you suggest the online version or the desktop version? Why? Thanks

10 Comments 10

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

Thanks for contacting us, and I'm here to help you with QuickBooks, IIt is Just Me.


Choosing the version of QuickBooks depends on your business needs. To give you an overview of each product, you can browse this link: See which version of QuickBooks is right for you.


If you choose to upgrade to 2021, here are the improved features of the system: What’s new in QuickBooks Desktop.


When ready to upgrade, you'll get a message when you open QuickBooks.

  1. Click Upgrade Now.
  2. Select the Keep old version on my computer checkbox if you also want to keep your current version of QuickBooks. Then select Let’s go.
  3. QuickBooks downloads, installs, and registers the new version for you. It also creates an updated version of your company files.
  4. When the upgrades finished, select Open QuickBooks.

Learn more about this through this link: Upgrade to newer versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus, Premier Plus, or Enterprise.


If you choose QuickBooks Online, you can join our blog. This will keep you in the loop with what's new and coming on the program. And, here's to pick the version you want for your business:


Then, your next step is to move your Desktop file to the online version.


Stay in touch with me if there's anything else I can help you with QuickBooks. I'm always right here to help you.

Fiat Lux - ASIA
Level 15

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

@IIt is Just Me 

Just to clarify your question. Any specific concern why you consider upgrading to QBD 2021 or migrating to QBO?



IIt is Just Me
Level 1

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

Thank you for a quick response.

I can receive either of the 2021 single-user versions from my employer at no charge. Though the data is intact, the 2020 desktop program freezes at the opening screen. Because my version is over one year old, Intuit would not support troubleshooting without a fee. It would be cheaper to replace it with 2021 as free one-year support would be included with a new version.

I hope this helps in making a recommendation.

Thanks to all!

IIt is Just Me
Level 1

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

Thank you for your reply. I have been using QB for more than 20 years and I notice that there are many, many QB-related files all over the place. Many reference older versions. This does not include qbw and qbb datafiles/backups files.  Many have zero bytes and are others dated many years ago. If I replace my QB version can I copy and backup only the qbb and qbw files and remove all other QB related files?

Thank you in advance.

QuickBooks Team

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

Thanks for adding more details about your concerns, IIt is Just Me.

Based on the scenario, you can save a copy of the company. Then, use a differen folder when you create one to easily delete and clean old files.

Also, the QBBackupTemp folder is used as a holding area for QuickBooks file components during the QuickBooks Backup (.QBB) file preparation process. It’s automatically deleted once the backup file is completed.

Check out this article for more details. It provides detailed instructions on how to adjust your backup settings, set up the automatic backup, etc: Back up your QuickBooks Desktop company file.


Additionally, the following guide contains solutions when you experienced any hurdles saving a copy of the data file: Fix backup company file issues in QuickBooks Desktop. 

If you have other QuickBooks concerns or questions, feel free to post a comment below. I’ll get back to answer them for you. Have a great rest of the day.

Ashley H2
Level 1

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

We upgraded and are being charged yearly, but still haven't update the payroll portion to do the deductions automatically.  We have QuickBooks Pro Plus 2021.  HELP.  I do not have the license or product code.  I'm sure it was sent in an email.  The correct email is [email address removed].  This is the owner's e-mail.  Please advise.



QuickBooks Team

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

Hi there, @Ashley H2.


Thanks for reaching out in this Thanks for taking the time to join us here in the QuickBooks Community and sharing your concerns.

Are you trying to update your payroll service in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll? If so, you don't have to use your license or product code. All you need to do is to follow these steps to get the newest payroll tax table and stay compliant with paycheck calculations:

  1. Go to the Employees tab, and click Get Payroll Updates.
  2. Select the Download Entire Update checkbox.
  3. Click Download Latest Update. An informational window appears when the download is complete.

In case your payroll subscription was already expired, you can still reactivate it to continue running your payroll again. All you have to do is follow the suggested steps in this article: How to renew your QuickBooks payroll subscription.


Please take note that the steps in reactivating your payroll service will vary on the type of subscription you're using with. Also, before you begin, make sure you have a supported version of QuickBooks Desktop.


Additionally, you can run through payroll setup again to review your payroll data, including employees and tax setup. Here's how:


  1. Go to Employees and select Employee Center.
  2. From the Employees tab review each employee. Confirm their info, including deductions, W-4, sick/vacation, etc.
  3. Go to Lists, then click Payroll Item List to review your tax payroll items.


Once everything is fixed, you can now pay your employees.

Please don't hesitate to reach back out if you have further questions or concerns. Take care and have a wonderful day!

Level 1

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

I have a problem - I have QuickBooks: Premier Plus Contractor Edition 2020 on my desktop.  It prompted me to upgrade my company files (I have 4 different company files) to 2021 version, so I agreed and it upgraded the files.  Now when I try to open up my company files, it says that I can no longer open my company file since I only have the QuickBooks: Premier Plus Contractor Edition 2020 on my desktop and the file is now in 2021 version.  It says I can upgrade my Quickbooks to the latest version, but I can't even get into a company file to do an upgrade.  How do I upgrade my Quickbooks desktop file to 2021?



Fiat Lux - ASIA
Level 15

Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?


Login to CAMPS and check your license information in there. Do you see QB Desktop 2020 Premier or QB Desktop 2020 Premier Plus? 



Upgrade from 2020 to 2021 desktop or online?

I'll take of this issue about the QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT) update for you, @AnnevR


The prompt to upgrade your company file shows up when you open it using a newer version of QBDT. Say, for example, you open a 2020 version company file using a 2021 version. After this process, you're no longer able to open the updated company file using the 2020 version. 


At this point, you can either go back to using the 2020 company file if there's a backup available. Otherwise, download the newer version of QBDT


Keep this article for future reference: Company file compatibility with QuickBooks Desktop when upgrading. It contains a table that shows which QBDT version can open which company file. 


Feel free to let me know in the comments below if you have other questions about the upgrade process. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Enjoy the rest of the day!

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