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Update QuickBooks Company File

Update QuickBooks Company File

Who would not like to avail of new & advanced features? Almost everybody adopts different ways to improve his business growth. If you’re a QuickBooks user, you are supposed to keep receiving updates and upgrades that may be of immense importance to you. Also, you need to Update the QuickBooks Company File as well otherwise you won’t be able to access it on the newer QB version.

However, there are two scenarios under which you have to upgrade your company file. Such as, when you are switching to another version of QuickBooks like Pro, Premier, or Enterprise. Or when you start to use the most recent version. Besides that, you don’t have to update your file along with the software in case you plan to switch from one edition to another of the same QuickBooks version.

So, once you know when to perform an update or convert a company file, let’s go ahead with this blog which covers all the various factors that you must take into consideration to update your company file with ease.

Some key points to remember before upgrading or converting the Company File 

Here is a list of some things you must know whenever you are going to upgrade or convert your company file. 

  1. The QuickBooks Company File must be updated only by the admin user.
  2. It is not recommended to upgrade the company file over a network.
  3. Once a company file has been updated or converted into a new version, you won’t be able to open it in the previous one.
  4. The Pro or Premier file upgraded or converted to the Enterprise edition would no longer open in the previous version.
  5. Enterprise company Files only function in QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise edition.
  6. You are required to rebuild and verify the integrity of your file before upgrading or converting your company file.
  7. This makes the entire process of upgrading a company file easy and smooth. 

How does the Update Company File error message notification emerge?

While opening the company file, you may receive some errors. There are some instances of error messages that can show up on your QuickBooks screen when you try to open your company file. So if you want to prevent receiving the error notice “The company file needs to be updated then you are required to identify the factors and upgrade your company file to the latest QuickBooks desktop software. Here’s how;

Factor 1: Only Admin User can convert or upgrade the company file in QuickBooks

  1. In case you are the only user of your company file then obviously you are an administrator and you will need to sign in to the ‘Admin’ user to continue with the process.
  2. Unlike it, if you are not logged in as an admin user and you want to upgrade your QuickBooks Company File then you will surely get this error message “The Company file needs to be updated.”
  3. Without Admin permission, you can’t update your company file.

Factor 2: Don’t try to update your QuickBooks Company File over a network

  1. It is not necessary to update the company file while stored on a network or a mapped drive. This will take conversion unsecured. It also puts the file at risk of being corrupted or damaged.
  2. If you wish to update a company file from another computer, you need to first move the file to that system and then update it there. 
  3. Then return it to its original system once it has been upgraded.
  4. The QuickBooks Desktop Company file must need to save locally on the desktop you are operating it from. 

Factor 3: Upgraded QuickBooks Data File can’t be opened in previous versions

It is no longer possible to open a QuickBooks file in an older version after an update. You must restore the automated backup of QuickBooks Data in the previous version of QuickBooks if you wish to use an older version of QuickBooks desktop. You can restore the QuickBooks file to a newer version if you want to convert it to the latest one.

  1. If you convert the QuickBooks Company file to a newer version then the older version of QuickBooks won’t be able to open it.
  2. QuickBooks Desktop will automatically make a backup of your data file before updating it. In case you want to return to the older version, you can always restore this backup with your previous version of QuickBooks.
  3. If the transfer process is interrupted because of any reason then you can restore the backup with your latest version of QuickBooks Desktop to reboot the upgrade.

Factor 4: Enterprise company files just work in QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise editions

If you want to update or convert the old version to the latest version then just perform the steps given below;

  1. Recover and verify your company data file.
  2. You need to use the qbwin.log file to identify and solve error commands if the verification process fails.
  3. Once the up-gradation is completed, make sure that the modified data file is in good shape by running to verify data utility. If this step fails then go through the above-listed steps. 

Factor 5: If updating your Business File takes a long time, Don’t interrupt it

There’s no doubt to say that updating a QuickBooks company file takes some time. You can move to update the company file when a complete outage won’t have a significant impact on your workflow. In case, you try to work with a file in the middle of an update, the update will be paused until the issue is fixed.

Tips to get a smooth upgrade of your QuickBooks company file

You are supposed to perform a few things in your previous QuickBooks version before updating your company file. There are some important pointers that you have to go through;

  1. Restore your lists.
  2. Rebuild your data file.
  3. Verify your data file.
  4. Check your Qbwin.log file for error messages.
  5. Make sure the QuickBooks updated data files are in good shape. 

Install QuickBooks

  1. First, you have to make sure that all the users are logged out of your company file.
  2. Next, sign in to Windows as an Admin user.
  3. Move further and download the most recent version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  4. To install the latest version, you need to follow the steps inclined below;
    • In the beginning, open the QuickBooks.exe file.
    • Now, you need to follow the instructions that prompt on your screen. 
    • Then, accept the software license agreement and tap on Next.
    • Finally, enter the Product and License numbers and click Next once again. 

Prepare your Company File

Before you start to update the QuickBooks company file, it’s important to double-check that you prepare your file for the same. Doing so will keep you away from any issues that might occur during the update process. Also, you can’t make any changes to the company file once it has been converted.

So, you are supposed to perform the below-listed steps prior to updating your company file;

  1. First of all, you need to create a portable company file.
  2. Always avoid using alphanumeric characters (! @#$ %^&*) in the name of the company file.
  3. Now, hold the F2 key to open the Product Information Window. 
  4. Then. navigate to the File Information section and note where you saved your company file.
  5. A rebuild tool must be run to prepare your file for the upgrade. 
  6. Hit a click on the top bar to open the list of vendors, customers, and employees. 
  7. Tap on View and then select Re-sort list.
  8. Head to the list section and choose the item list then click on Account which is situated at the bottom left corner, you can also see the last option Re-sort list.
  9. After clicking on the Account in the bottom left, you need to select the Chart of an Account.
  10. Now, you can reset the admin password or password hint because sometimes the passcode creates a problem so change it for security purposes.
  11. You are required to Rebuild your company data with the help of the official Intuit website.
  12. Afterward, verify all the data-related information.
  13. You have to locate the QBWin.log file after that to check for errors. 

Let’s upgrade or convert the Company File to a Newer Version

This section will help you to know how you can update your prepared company file to the latest version of QuickBooks. If you have already updated your QuickBooks software and are trying to open your company file in the updated version. Else, you won’t be able to open the company file in your original QuickBooks version after upgrading it. 

So you can go through the following steps to upgrade additional company files. 

  1. First, make sure all the users are logged out of your company file. 
  2. Open the updated version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Now, select Open or Restore Company File from the file menu. 
  4. Then, you have to choose the option Open a Company file.
  5. Click Next to continue. 
  6. After that, use the Browse option to locate and open the QuickBooks Company File.
Note: If you can’t find your company file, click on the Windows Start menu and then File Explorer. You can look for your company file name either by its name or the .qbw file extension. In case you are still unable to find it, ensure that it’s not hidden otherwise you won’t be able to find it.
  1. Once all set, sign in to your company file as an admin user.
  2. QuickBooks automatically creates a backup of your existing company file before you upgrade. You can choose the Change this default location option to save the backup in a specific folder.
  3. Furthermore, press the Update Now button to start the upgrade. 
  4. When QuickBooks finishes, click Done. 
  5. Also, Check out the following steps once the file is updated;
  6. Make sure you’ve saved the backup in a safe location until you are certain that it won’t be required again.
  7. If the file is copied from a different PC then create a file copy in the computer the file initially belonged to (or was copied from).
  8. If you are not able to find your data file in its original location or in a particular folder, check your hard drive for .QBW files. Besides it, look for display hidden files, folders, and files using Windows for more information. 
  9. Check out your payroll service in case you have QuickBooks Desktop Payroll attached. Then Open the Employees menu and select My Payroll Service then view Account/Billing information. 

Update QuickBooks Desktop

When you update QuickBooks, the software brings new and advanced features that enhance your business functionality. Also, it becomes crucial to update the QuickBooks desktop whenever you upgrade your company file otherwise you won’t be able to access the file in the older QB version. 

  1. First of all, close your company files and QuickBooks.
  2. Head to the Windows Start menu.
  3. Now, look for QuickBooks Desktop then make right-click on the icon and select Run as Administrator.
  4. While on the No Company Open screen, navigate to the Help menu and choose the option Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  5. Hit the Options tab and you are required to select Mark All then press Save.
  6. Hover over the Update Now tab and click on the Reset Update checkbox.
  7. Once you’re ready, tap on Get Updates. 

Wrapping Up!

Upgrading is a process in which you take a step to increase the worth of your software and it’s also necessary for your business advancements. You can smoothly Update QuickBooks Company File if you execute all the steps in a given sequence. However, you must have some technical knowledge and experience to do it successfully. Else, it will hamper your workflow. It’s an undeniable fact that most of us get panic when multiple queries start raising in our minds. So feel free to get in touch with QuickBooks Helpdesk team members in case you are seeking proper assistance to solve your problem in one go.


  1. How can I rebuild a company file in QuickBooks?

    The Rebuild Data Tool is designed to fix minor company file data issues available in QuickBooks Desktop. Here’s how;

    1. Navigate to the File menu then hover over Utilities and select Rebuild Data.
    2. On the QuickBooks Information window, press OK.
    3. Now, follow the on-screen steps to save a backup.
    4. You have to wait until the tool repairs your file. 
    5. QuickBooks may seem stuck but as long as you move your mouse, the tool starts working.
    6. Once the tool finishes, hit OK.
    7. Head to the File menu then click Utilities and choose the option, Verify Data.
    8. Then, let the tool verify your file for data issues. 

  2. Is it possible to go back to an older version of QuickBooks once your company file is updated?

    There are various scenarios in which you may be in danger of losing your data. Hence, it’s suggested that you generate a firm file backup before you lose all of your personal data. This is how you can create a backup of your data and keep it for future use;

    1. Turn on the QuickBooks desktop first.
    2. Next, go to the File tab.
    3. From the drop-down menu, you need to select Switch to Single User Mode. 
    4. Now, return to the File menu.
    5. Then, make a beeline for the Backup Company choice.
    6. You need to choose the option to create a local backup.
    7. Select Local Backup from the next prompt.
    8. Once you are done with that, hit the Next tab.
    9. You are now under Local Backup Only.
    10. Select the browser and then choose where you want to save the backup of your company file. Make sure this is an easy-to-find and recall place.
    11. Afterward, select the exact number of backup files that you wish to make.
    12. The application will examine your company file on a regular 13. basis to verify that everything is in order.
    14. You have to click the OK button.
    15. When all is set, save the file.
    16. The Next should be trapped after you save the file.
    17. Lastly, the application will display a confirmation text when the backup file has been created. 

  3. Should I need to update my company file every time?

    No, there’s no need to update your company file every time. It’s only required when you switch to a different version of QuickBooks. So, make sure your company file is compatible with the QuickBooks version you are currently using and it should not be damaged. Else, you would not be able to access it. However, if you want to keep your software up-to-date then it is recommended to do some minor updates from time to time.

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