You can migrate your QuickBooks desktop data from old to new computer using the migration tool that comes built into the desktop accounting software. However, this utility is available only in QuickBooks 2018 and later versions of this accounting software. So to transfer your QuickBooks 2017 or earlier data from the old computer to the new computer, you have to rely on one of the solutions mentioned in this post. First, you need to install and activate QuickBooks desktop on your new system and uninstall it from the old system. You can then transfer your accounting data by simply transferring the company files or restoring on the new system a backup file created on the old system.
In this post, you’ll learn how to transfer your QuickBooks desktop 2017 or earlier data from old to new computer.
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Transfer QuickBooks from old to new computer in QuickBooks Desktop 2017 and earlier versions
While you can rely on the migration tool to transfer data to a new system in QuickBooks 2018 and later editions, you have to manually transfer all this data to the new system.
What you’ll need to transfer QuickBooks 2017 to a new computer?
Here’s all that you need to move your QuickBooks desktop 2017 and earlier, and company file data to a new computer:
- Both the license and the product numbers to activate the software on your new system.
- QuickBooks Desktop 2017 setup to install on the new system.
Before you move your data, you have to uninstall QuickBooks desktop from the current system and install and activate it on the new system.
Move QuickBooks Desktop from old to new computer
Wait for the process to complete and verify that a new backup copy was created in the location that you selected. You can even transfer this backup file to another system to keep it safe and secure.
Step#1: Uninstall QuickBooks Desktop 2017 from the Old System
You’ll require an admin windows account to uninstall QuickBooks desktop 2017 from your old system. You have to uninstall the program before you can activate it on your new system. Unless you remove the program from the current system, you won’t be able to activate the accounting software on your new system.
Steps to uninstall QuickBooks Desktop 2017 from your current system:
- Log into an admin account on windows.
- Go to the Control Panel.
- Choose Programs and Features > Uninstall a Program.
- Choose QuickBooks Desktop, then click on Change/Uninstall.
- Choose Uninstall and follow the on-screen instructions to remove QuickBooks Desktop 2017 or earlier from your old system.
- Restart your system after uninstalling QuickBooks Desktop.
Even when you uninstall QuickBooks desktop from your system, your company files aren’t deleted because they’re saved in a separate directory than the program files.
Step#2: Install QuickBooks Desktop 2017 on the New System
Now move on to your new computer in which you have to install the correct version of QuickBooks desktop. You can go to the download and setup page for QUickBooks and download the setup for your version of QuickBooks desktop.
Steps to install QuickBooks Desktop 2017 on your new system:
- Download the setup for QuickBooks desktop 2017 or earlier version.
- Launch the setup and accept the terms and conditions.
- Click on Next, then input the product and license numbers for product activation. Click on Next.
- Choose between the two options given below:
- Express install.
- Choose Express Install, then click on Next.
- Click on Install, then wait for the process to complete.
- Click on Open QuickBooks, then Finish.
- Custom and Network Install.
- Choose Custom and Network Options, then Next.
- Choose the options as per your preferences.
- Click on Change the install location.
- Click on Browse, then select the directory in which you’d like to Install QuickBooks Desktop.
- Click on Next to start the installation.
- Mark Open QuickBooks, then click on Finish.
- Express install.
Step#3: Move company files from old to new computer
After you’ve moved the software to the new system, you can transfer the company file – which contains all of your accounting data – to your new system. When migrating QuickBooks 2017 and earlier versions manually, you have two options to move your company file:
- Option #1: move the folder containing the company files.
- Option #2: restore the backup of the company file on the new system.
I’ll discuss both of these options in more detail below. For now, you should know that the first option is the easiest one because it transfers all of your accounting data to your new system.
Option #1: move the folder containing the company files.
After you move the company file to the new system, you can simply launch it in QuickBooks desktop, which will take care of the rest for you.
When you use this option, all your accounting data such as customer and vendor lists, purchase orders, invoices, chart of accounts, sales tax data, payroll information, etc is migrated to the new system.
Steps to move your entire QuickBooks data folder to a new system:
- Launch QuickBooks Desktop.
- To launch the Product Info window, Press F2.
- Look for the location of the company file under the File Information section.
- Launch the File Explorer from the start menu.
- Right click on the Folder that contains the company files.
- Click on Copy and paste into the USB flash drive.
- Plug in the flash drive into your new system.
- Open the folder for the USB flash drive.
- Right click on the folder containing the company file and click on Copy.
- Paste in the desired location where you want to store the company file.
- Launch QuickBooks Desktop on your new system.
- Click on Open or Restore an existing company.
- Browser and select the company file that you transferred from your old computer.
You have successfully moved all your company files to your new system. When you open the company file using QuickBooks desktop on your new system, QuickBooks will automatically:
- Migrate customer and vendor data
- Import all the sales tax data
- Transfer your chart of accounts from the old company file
- Import rest of the data into the software
Option #2: restore the backup of the company file on the new system.
You also have the option to rely on a backup file to transfer your QuickBooks 2017 company file to your new computer. This method is inferior because it takes more time and doesn’t transfer as much data as the first option. Yet I mention this option because it transfers all the essential data without the extra fluff.
When you migrate using the backup file, only the essential data such as invoices, purchase orders, customer and vendor list, etc is moved. The templates that you created won’t be transferred when you migrate QuickBooks 2017 to a new computer using a backup file.
To create a backup of the QuickBooks 2017 company file, follow the steps given below:
- First, go to the File menu, then click on Switch to Single-user mode.
Note: the backup feature works only in the single user mode.
- Click on File > Backup Company > Create Local Backup.
- Click on Local Backup, then Next in the new window that appears.
- Choose browse, select the company file, choose the number of backups to keep, then complete verification.
- Click on Ok, then Save backup copy automatically when I close my company file.
Steps to restore a backup file to transfer QuickBooks 2017 data to a new system:
- Log into QuickBooks 2017 or earlier on the new system.
- Click on the File menu.
- Choose Open or Restore Company.
- Click on Restore a backup copy, then choose Next.
- Click on Local Backup, then Next.
- Click on Browse and choose the backup file that you transferred from your old system.
- Click on Open.
- Go through the instructions and click on Save to start the restore process.
Remember that QuickBooks will overwrite all the data in the new company file and replace it with the data from the backup file. You can avoid overwriting your company file data by renaming your backup file. The restored company file will have the same name as the backup file.
How to transfer specific QuickBooks data types from old to new computer?
Maybe you don’t want to transfer all of your accounting data to your new computer. Maybe you want specific data such as customer list, sales tax information, etc transferred to QuickBooks 2017 or earlier on the new system. While this is possible, it may take longer because you’ll have to export the data from QuickBooks on the old computer, then import it into QuickBooks on the new computer.
Let’s get started with the process.
#1. Migrate customer and vendor list from old computer to new computer
Customer and vendor lists can be migrated separately from the rest of the list items. These lists are generally very important because they contain personally identifiable and contact information for your vendors and customers. Using this information, you can send invoices to your customers and purchase orders to your vendors.
Steps to export the customer and vendor list from QuickBooks 2017 on the old computer:
- From the Customer/Vendor center, click on the Excel drop-down menu.
- Choose one of the two options:
- Export Customer/Vendor list: this will let you export data – name, contact information and balances – for selected customers and vendors.
- Export Transactions: this will let you export transactions on the basis of various parameters.
- Click on Create a comma separated value (.csv) file when the Export window appears.
- Click on Export.
- Input a name for the file that you’ll export, then choose a location to save the exported CSV file.
Steps to import customer/vendor data into QuickBooks 2017 or earlier on your new computer:
- From the File menu, choose Utilities.
- Click on Import, then Excel Files.
- When the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window shows up, click on No.
- In the Import wizard, follow the steps provided below:
- Choose the type of data that you’re importing.
- View and verify your data when QuickBooks opens it in Spreadsheet format.
- Choose the option to Add my Data Now.
- Verify the results by viewing Data in QuickBooks desktop.
- Click on Close.
You can create customer or vendor reports on both the old computer and the new computer to cross check the migration of data. If the reports match exactly, then all of your customer and vendor data was transferred from the old computer to the new computer.
#2: Migrate chart of accounts data from old computer to new computer
Chart of accounts indexes all of the financial accounts present in a QuickBooks company file. When you start a new company file, you generally have to set up a chart of accounts so that QuickBooks can later categorize the transactions and items stored in the company file. However, when migrating QuickBooks 2017 or earlier to a new computer, you can transfer a chart of accounts from your old system to a new one.
Steps to migrate QuickBooks 2017 chart of accounts from old computer to new computer:
- Log into QuickBooks Desktop 2017 or earlier on your old computer.
- From the Lists option, click on Chart of Accounts.
- Choose Reports from the bottom menu bar.
- Choose Account Listings.
- Choose Excel from the top menu bar.
- Save the file in Excel format.
- Transfer the exported excel file from your old computer to the new one using a USB flash drive.
- Log into QuickBooks 2017 or earlier on your new computer.
- From the Lists menu, choose Chart of Accounts.
- Click on the Account drop-down option, then click on Import from Excel.
- Click on Browse, then choose the Excel file that you want to import.
- Click on Open after selecting the file.
- Map your accounts correctly by altering the columns in the heading. You can use the following steps to map correctly:
- Type in the appropriate name to map the column to the account.
- Choose the Import type in the Account option.
- Match each column with the information in QuickBooks.
- Click on Save.
- Click on Import.
- When you get a confirmation message, click on Yes.
After you migrate the chart of accounts from the old computer to the new computer, you can customize the accounts and make changes according to your preferences. As you’re transferring to the same version of QuickBooks, you won’t have to engage in customizing data a lot. The data should be imported easily in QuickBooks 2017 on the new system.
#3. Migrate list items from old computer to new computer
QuickBooks lists store items so that you can record various inventory items, non-inventory items, sales tax items, etc and use this recorded data to quickly create invoices and purchase orders.
The solutions given in this section can help you in transferring the following types of items from your old computer to your new computer:
- Inventory items
- Non-inventory items
- Service items
- Purchase and discount items
- Sales tax items
Steps to export item lists from Quickbooks 2017 on your old computer:
- Go to the Lists menu.
- Choose the Item List option.
- Choose the Excel drop-down list.
- Click on Export all Items.
- Choose Create a comma separated value (.csv) file.
- Click on Export when ready.
- Input a name for the file and choose a location to store it.
Steps to import item list in QuickBooks 2017 on your new computer:
- Launch QuickBooks 2017 or earlier on your new system.
- Go to the Lists menu.
- Choose the Item List option.
- Choose the Excel drop-down option.
- Click on Import Items….
- Follow the on-screen instructions and map the headings properly, then import the items.
Reports for each list type can be used to verify the transfer of data accurately. These reports can be accessed through the Reports menu in QuickBooks desktop.
QuickBooks Migration Tool
The migration tool is available in only the 2018 or later versions of QuickBooks Desktop. For QuickBooks 2017 or earlier, you need to rely on the solutions mentioned above.
Why use the migration tool to transfer QuickBooks?
The QuickBooks migration tool is an easy to use utility to create an external device that can transfer QuickBooks desktop and all of your accounting data to your new computer. The tool even installs the same version and edition of the accounting software on the new system and activates it using the details recorded in the old system.
Even though you can move your data manually, the migration tool makes it substantially easier to transfer Quickbooks desktop from old to new computer.
Note: only the company admin can use the migration tool to transfer data to a new computer. If you don’t have the login credentials for an admin account for the company file, then you won’t be able to access this tool.
How does the QuickBooks migration tool work?
The QuickBooks migration tool is available in 2018 and newer versions of QuickBooks desktop. You can use it in the single user mode to create an external device that can transfer your accounting software and data to a new system.
The migration tool can transfer up to 3 company files.
- You have to first configure the migration tool and set up a password that encrypts and protects your data.
- You have to choose the three company files that the tool will transfer along with the software. (you can transfer additional company files manually afterwards.)
- Even though the tool requires an external storage device such as a USB flash drive, it still does all of the technical work in the background so that you don’t have to manually work on the data.
To transfer QuickBooks 2017 or earlier data from your old system to a new one, you have to rely on the manual method. This can take some time because there is no tool that does most of the heavy lifting for you in this process. Users with QuickBooks 2018 and later can rely on the migration tool, which simplifies the process by eliminating a few steps that the user would have had to perform manually. I hope this post helped you in transferring your QuickBooks desktop 2017 or earlier data from your old computer to your new computer.
Do QuickBooks versions 2017 and earlier have the migration tool?
No, they don’t. Migration tool is available only in QuickBooks versions 2018 and later. To migrate QuickBooks 2017 data from old to new system, you can manually transfer the accounting software, then the company file data. While it is easier to move the company files entirely to the new system, then open them in the accounting software, some users also choose to restore data using a backup copy, transferring only the most essential accounting data.
Can I install QuickBooks 2017 without a CD or DVD?
Yes, you can. You can download the setup for QuickBooks 2017 from the downloads and setup pages. The setups are available on Inuit’s website. Even though you can download the setup, you’ll still require the product details to activate QuickBooks 2017 on your new system. Now if you bought the software from Intuit, then you can find the activation details from the purchase details recorded in your Intuit account. However, if you purchased it from a third party retailer, then the activation details will be mentioned on the cover of the installation disc.
How many times can I download QuickBooks setup?
You can download the setup an indefinite number of times. But you can only activate the software on one system at a time. If you’ve a multi-user license, then you’ll be able to install the software on multiple systems simultaneously.
How do I transfer the templates I created in QuickBooks Desktop to my new system?
You can copy these templates from the location where you saved them in. However, an easier method is to simply move the entire company file, a process that also moves all of your customized templates to your new system.