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How to fix errors when converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Learn how to fix errors when you convert from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

We’ve made the conversion process convenient, but there are some errors that you may see during or after conversion. Here’s a list of common errors with resolutions.

No errors, but still can't export your company file? Check out these quick troubleshooting steps.

QuickBooks Online sometimes detects that you activated payroll features like Direct Deposit Enrollment and E-Services Enrollment.

How do I fix this error?

For Windows users

You can see this error if your payroll is off in QuickBooks Desktop while it’s on in QuickBooks Online. Or if there’s no payroll info. To turn on the payroll in Desktop:

  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences, then Payroll & Employees.
  2. In Company Preferences, select Full Payroll or Online Payroll.

You won't be charged for payroll in QuickBooks Desktop for changing this preference.

For Mac users

  • Payroll features aren't available for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac. You can’t import a company file to Online that has existing payroll info.
  • If you're using Intuit Online Payroll to export transactions to your file, you can disconnect from QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, then export the transactions to QuickBooks Online.


For users who activated or imported payroll

Copy your data to a new Online account. If you have special discounts for your Payroll Service, contact us to avoid removing them.

Important: starting a new QuickBooks Online account and copying your data isn't convenient. Only consider this as a last resort.

For QuickBooks Desktop users who don’t want to create a new account without E-services

Note: Set up Manual Payroll to complete these steps. If you don't want to replace your existing payroll info, create a new Online account.
  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences, then Payroll & Employees.
  2. Select Company Preferences, then Full Payroll.
  3. Create a test employee then pay it with a paycheck. You can delete these after import.
  4. Retry importing to QuickBooks Online.

File is too big to export QuickBooks conversion error

In QuickBooks Desktop, press F2 or Ctrl+1 on your keyboard to open the Product Information Window. Then check the file size. The file can only have a maximum of 350,000 targets to import.

How do I fix this?

Try condensing your QuickBooks Desktop file.

Problem checking company for import eligibility QuickBooks conversion error

This error is happening because of one of the following:

  • You're not a primary admin, company admin, or accountant user in the QuickBooks Online company.
  • There's an issue with QuickBooks Online Payroll account services.
  • You didn’t sign in to your Online account before you imported data.
  • You didn’t complete the setup interview question in QuickBooks Online.
  • You imported beyond the 60-day timeframe of the subscription start date.

How do I fix this?

  • Have a company admin perform the export or ask the primary admin to grant you admin permissions.
  • Sign in to your Online company and complete the setup interview questions before you import. Important: you don't need to complete any payroll setup interview questions before importing.

Sometimes, re-saving the company address can correct the issue:

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online.
  2. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Account and Settings.
  3. On the Company tab, Edit ✎ the Address section.
  4. Select Save, then Done.
  5. Import again in QuickBooks Desktop.

If you still receive the error, the easiest way to fix this is to create a new Online account. Make sure to cancel your old subscription first. Important: starting a new QuickBooks Online account and copying your data isn’t convenient. Only consider this as a last resort.

You can fix this error by updating your QuickBooks Desktop for Mac to the latest release. Error in processing data for Mac Desktop file QuickBooks conversion error

How do I fix this?

  1. From the QuickBooks menu, select Check for QuickBooks Updates.
  2. Select Install Updates.
  3. Restart QuickBooks.

Sometimes data corruption causes this issue. Resolve this by running the Rebuild and Verify utilities.

Network drive error QuickBooks conversion

The error  happens during export if your company file is in multi-user mode. It may also happen if your company file resides on a network drive, or location other than you’re local or c: drive.

Step 1: Switch to single-user mode

  1. From the file menu, select Switch to Single-user mode.
  2. The select OK.

If you see Switch to multi-user mode, you’re already in single-user mode so proceed to Step 2. 

Step 2: Copy your company file locally 

  1. In QuickBooks, locate your company data file.
  2. If your file is located on a network, or removable media like a flash drive, close QuickBooks Desktop, 
  3. In Windows file explorer, copy the company file to your local or c:\ drive.
  4. Open your company file in QuickBooks Desktop from the new location.

Step 3: Export again

From the Company menu, select Export Your Company File to QuickBooks Online.

Export QBDT data to QBO error QuickBooks conversion

This error occurs when the path to your company file is more than 4 folders deep. For example, C:\My Stuff\QuickBooks files\My Company\2016\Work Files\data.qbw).

 How do I fix this?

  1. In QuickBooks, locate your company data file.
  2. If the location contains more than 4 folders (like the example above), close QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Copy the company file to a single folder in your local or c:\ drive.
  4. Open your company file in QuickBooks Desktop from the new location, then try to import again.

If you still can't export your file, search for, and remove the .nd file using file explorer

If you start using Multi-user mode, QuickBooks creates a file with a .nd extension. This file helps QuickBooks manage your user access settings.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu 
  2. Type File Explorer into the search and open File Explorer.
  3. Select My Computer or This PC from the navigation bar. 
  4. In the search field, be sure to include the asterisk (*) before the extension type (*.nd) to find all corresponding files. 
  5. Delete your [CompanyFileName].qbw.nd file.

Important: the .nd file doesn’t contain any company data. But, before removing any file, you always want to make sure that you have a backup of your data file.

Connection timed out QuickBooks conversion error

Internet connection problems or browser issues may cause this error.

How do I fix this?

Wait for a few minutes or restart your computer, then retry the process. If that doesn't work, add Intuit as a trusted site.

This error occurs when you try to sign in on the company to export to.

How do I fix this?

  1. Add Intuit as a trusted site in your Internet Explorer.
  2. Close and reopen QuickBooks, then try the export again.

FAIL Server returned error 500 QuickBooks conversion

How do I fix this?

Problem copying your company file to QuickBooks Online error

How do I fix this?

If you tried to import inventory from QuickBooks Desktop 2017 or later, you’ll get an email with this subject: Learn more about this import limitation.

Note: This error won't affect your data conversion from QuickBooks for Mac. Don’t worry, our system engineers are investigating this issue.

There’s the possibility that the product payment didn’t go through. Here’s how to check:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the toolbar.
  2. Select Accounts & Settings, then Billing & Subscription.

QuickBooks Online must show a green subscribed status for the migration to work properly. If you purchased payroll before the migration attempt, it must also show the same.

Stop running this script?

Script error during QuickBooks conversion

  • To stop the import from completing, select Yes.
  • To allow the import process to complete successfully, select No.

Screen freezes on making a copy of Your Company File & 503 Error

Instead, choose to  Export Your Company File to QuickBooks Online from the Company menu.

If you have special discounts for your Payroll Service, contact us to avoid removing them.

 How do I fix this?

 Windows users

  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Right-click the Windows taskbar, then Start Task Manager.
  3. On the Processes tab, select the following QuickBooks processes, then End Task.
    Note: If you don't see the Processes tab, select More details.
    • QBDBMgrN.exe
    • QBDBMgr.exe
    • QBCFMonitorService.exe
  4. Add https://*.intuit.com to your browser's Trusted Sites Zone in internet options.
  5. From the Security tab, select Trusted Sites.
  6. Uncheck the Enable Protected Mode checkbox, then set the security level to low.
  7. Select Sites, then add https://*.intuit.com to the list.
  8. Select Close, then Apply and OK.
  9. Close Internet Explorer.
  10. Reopen QuickBooks Desktop and retry importing.

Mac users

  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.
  2. Open Safari, then clear cache.
  3. Close Safari, then reopen QuickBooks for Mac.
  4. Retry importing the data to QuickBooks Online.

These are the common post-conversion issues:

  • Customer balances are off in QuickBooks Online.
  • Invoices or sales transactions converted to journal entries after importing.

How do I fix this?

Customer balances are off in QuickBooks Online

If you used journal entries to apply payments to invoices, the links between journal entry credits and invoices break once imported. As a result, customer balances may be off. To resolve, turn on auto-credits in QuickBooks Online:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Account and Settings.
  2. Select the Advanced tab, then Edit✎ the Automation section.
  3. Select the Automatically apply credits checkbox.
  4. Select Save, then Done.

Don’t want to automatically apply all payments? You can record the payments by matching the journal entry credits to existing invoices. Do this on a customer by customer basis.

Invoices or sales transactions converted to journal entries after importing to QuickBooks Online.

Add percentage symbol after importing to QuickBooks Online

  • Happens if you have flat rates (0.00) for Sales Tax items or groups in your Desktop file.
  • Often occurs in Mac files because you can save a sales tax item without a % symbol.
  • To keep your sales transactions from importing as journal entries, edit the sales tax item rates category.
  • If you have multiple items with flat sales tax rates in them, edit all the item rates to import all your transactions properly.

Need more help?

If you’re still having issues, contact us.

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