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System requirements for QuickBooks Desktop 2021

Find out what your computer needs for the best experience in QuickBooks Desktop 2021.

Here’s helpful info about the operating system, hardware, software, and other requirements to run QuickBooks Desktop 2021.

Note: Need to check your computer's specs? Here's how to get your system info for Windows.

  • Windows 10, all editions including 64-bit, natively installed
  • Windows 8.1, all editions including 64-bit, natively installed
  • Windows Server 2019, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows Server 2016, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Essentials

Note: QuickBooks requires you to use Windows natively and not through an emulator or virtual environment.

Windows (natively installed)
  • Windows Server 2019, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows Server 2016, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Essentials
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
Linux (when using QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Database Server-only installation)
  • OpenSuse Leap 15.1, 15.2
  • Fedora 31, 32
  • Red Hat Enterprise 8 (RHEL 8)

QuickBooks Desktop 2021 requires internet access and Internet Explorer 11 (32-bit).

 

Processor 2.4 GHz minimum
RAM 4GB minimum, 8GB Recommended
Server RAM requirements
  • 1-5 Users: 8GB RAM
  • 10 Users: 12GB RAM
  • 15 Users: 16GB RAM
  • 20 Users: 20+GB RAM
Disk space
  • 2.5GB of disk space (additional required for data files).
  • Additional software: 60MB for Microsoft .NET 4.7 Runtime, provided on the QuickBooks CD.
  • Additional requirements for Intuit Data Protect in QuickBooks Connected Services offerings:
    • Require minimum 4.0GB RAM
    • Twice the size of the largest file set to back up + 100MB or twice the size to restore. The space is only required from the work folder LocalApplicationData+"Intuit\Intuit Data Protect".

Note: For the best performance, store your QuickBooks data file on a solid-state drive (SSD).

Windows
  • US version of Windows.
  • Regional settings are supported when set to English.
  • Administrator rights are required for the server computer when hosting multi-user access.
  • Natively installed and doesn't need to run in a virtual environment or emulation software.
Optical drive A 4X DVD-ROM drive is required for physical CD installations.
Screen resolution
  • Display optimized for 1280 x 1024 screen resolution or higher with up to 2 extended monitors.
  • Best optimized for Default DPI setting for a given computer.

Other hardware devices

  • Zebra TC20/TC25/TC51 Mobile Computer is recommended (Android 4.4 & above)
  • Zebra MC40 Mobile Computer (Android 4.4 & above)

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 21.0 also supports:

  • Honeywell Voyager 1602g Pocket Barcode Scanner
  • Socket Mobile CHK 7CI
  • Symbol CS3070

 

QuickBooks integrates with hundreds of other apps. Here’s a list of the most common apps you can use. You can also find more at the Intuit App Store.

Note: Additional RAM can enhance the use of these features.

  • Microsoft Office:
    • Office 2019.
    • Office 2016 (including Outlook 2016) both on 32 and 64-bit.
    • Office 2013 and 365 (including Outlook 2013) both on 32 and 64-bit. Note: Microsoft 365 is only supported when it's locally installed, not the web version.
    • Email estimates, invoices, and other forms with Microsoft Outlook 2016-2019, Microsoft Outlook with Microsoft 365, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook.com, other SMTP-supporting email clients.
    • Preparing letters requires Microsoft Word 2019, 2016, 2013, or Microsoft 365 (includes 64-bit).
    • Exporting reports requires Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, or Microsoft 365 (includes 64-bit).
    • Contact Synchronization with Microsoft Outlook requires Outlook 2019  (32-bit), 2016, or 2013.
    • Syncing with Outlook requires QuickBooks Contact Sync for OutlookNote: Contact Sync doesn’t work with the Microsoft Business Contact Manager Outlook plug-in, so syncing could cause duplicate records.
  • QuickBooks Point of Sale V19.0, V18.0, and V12.0.
  • TurboTax 2020, 2019, and 2018 (Personal and Business).
  • Lacerte 2020, 2019, and 2018.
  • Pro-Series tax years 2020, 2019, and 2018.
  • Quicken 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.
  • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2016.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader: Business Planner, Payroll, and viewing forms require Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0 or later.
  • Payroll and other online features and services require Internet access with at least a 56 Kbps connection speed (1 Mbps recommended). DSL or cable modem is recommended.
  • Gmail, Yahoo Email, Windows Mail, Hotmail and AOL (i.e Mozilla Thunderbird Email Client which supports the plain text version).
  • Internet Explorer 11.

 

We tested QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier 2021, and Enterprise 21.0 with the following antimalware and antivirus programs.

You may need to adjust some settings in these programs to get the best QuickBooks performance.

Antivirus software

  • McAfee
  • Avast
  • Bitdefender
  • Norton
  • Kaspersky
  • Trend Micro Security
  • Webroot
  • ESET
  • Panda Dome
  • Sophos
  • Avira
  • Symantec
  • F-Secure

Antimalware software

  • Bitdefender
  • AVG
  • Malwarebytes
  • Spybot
  • Emsisoft
  • McAfee
  • Avast
  • Webroot
  • ZoneAlarm
  • Kaspersky
  • F-Secure

Note: QuickBooks will work with systems running RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) but it’s not recommended because it may cause QuickBooks to operate slowly.

QuickBooks Desktop 2021 requires internet security protocol TLS 1.2 for the connected services to work smoothly.

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