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Upgrade or Convert your Company File to a Newer Version in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

Every QuickBooks user will eventually need to upgrade or convert their company file to a newer version. The main reason we upgrade isn’t necessarily because the new program has more functionality (though this is a bonus feature); instead, it’s because Intuit disables important add-on features for QuickBooks, like online banking, which allows a user to download transactions into QuickBooks.

Converting or upgrading isn’t all that bad; even a computer novice can do it without too much difficulty. You should take a few actions first, though, before trying this.

You also need to be aware that if you upgrade to Enterprise, your company file cannot be changed back to Pro or Premier; a new file must be created. It’s a good idea to think about switching from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks for Windows at this time since the procedure for ensuring file integrity is the same.

All of your financial information is saved in and expands with your company file. You can store multiple company files for various businesses in QuickBooks. Every company ought to have its own company file.

Create A New Company File

Make a company file using the information about your business. You are guided step-by-step through the setup in the in-product manual.

  • Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Pick Create a new company in the No Company Open window.
  • You currently have two setup choices:
    • If you want to get started right away, choose Express Start or Start Setup. To create your company, you simply need to select Create Company File and enter your company name, industry, and business type. Later, you can enter this data.
    • If you want to perform a thorough setup so that all your information is in from the beginning, choose Detailed Start.
  • To finish the setup, adhere to the onscreen instructions. Give your new company file a distinctive name if you already have one in QuickBooks. By doing this, QuickBooks will not unintentionally replace your data.
  • choose Start Working.
  • Once finished, you can begin using QuickBooks Desktop.

How to Update QuickBooks or Convert to a New File Version

Gather All The Required Materials

Before beginning, make sure you have the admin username and password, as you’ll need them to run the necessary tests for upgrading that are outlined below. Give yourself plenty of time to finish the process; I usually allot an hour for it, though your computer may take longer.

The Company File Must Be Prepared For Conversion

We must double-check the data for errors before we try to convert the company file. If you don’t check your work twice for mistakes, you might later run into some nasty issues.

  • Make a portable business file.
  • Make sure the company file name (!@#$%&*) does not contain any non-alphanumeric characters.
  • Consider all six major lists (Vendors, Employees, Customers, Items, Chart of Accounts, and Other Names).
    • Click on the corresponding icon in the top bar to access the lists for customers, employees, and vendors. To view the list, select View > List reorder
    • Other Names: Click List > Other Names List, followed by View. List items can be resorted by selecting Account in the bottom left corner of the item list under List > Item List. List reorder
    • The last option under Account in the Chart of Accounts’ bottom left is “Re-sort List.” Click there to access it. 
  • Reset the admin password and the hint for the password
  • Rebuild the data: Learn more at Intuit about how to rebuild your company’s data.
  • Verify the data – Learn more at Intuit about validating the data.
  • Check the QBWin.log file for any errors by reading it.

Upgrading or Converting The Company File:

In this section, we’ll actually take the company file that has been prepared and upgrade it to the most recent QuickBooks version. Recall that QuickBooks will save all the background files in the same location as the file that is currently saved on the computer. I move the file to the location I want it to stay in before the conversion.

  • Open the most recent QuickBooks version you just installed.
  • select “File” > “Open or Restore Company”
  • Click Click next after opening a company file
  • Pick the company file that you prepared in the preceding steps (Where you open the company file is where QuickBooks will put all the background files, ensure the file is in the location you want it to be).
  • Select the checkbox. I am aware that this new QuickBooks version will update my company file.
  • Click Update. Following the backup, QuickBooks will prompt you to choose whether you want to formally upgrade your company file to the most recent version. Click OK to continue. Yes, QuickBooks will now update your company file to the most recent version.

Even though this may seem like a long list, it can be completed quickly, especially with a fast computer. The best advice we can give you for updating your company file is to take your time and make sure you don’t skip any steps in setting it up.

When you want to convert or upgrade your QuickBooks Company files, keep the following in mind:

  • Only the Admin can update a QuickBooks company file.
  • You are asked not to update any networked company files.
  • Once the company file has been converted, older versions of QuickBooks are unable to open it.
  • The file upgrade from QuickBooks Pro or Premier to Enterprise cannot be opened in Pro or Premier.
  • Only QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise solutions can be used to operate Enterprise company files.
  • You have the choice to check and rebuild the integrity of your QuickBooks Company file to ensure the smooth operation of the software upgrade.

Compatibility of company files with QuickBooks Desktop during an upgrade:

Find out more about company file compatibility before upgrading QuickBooks Desktop to prevent problems and errors.

Limitations on company files when switching to a different product, version, or edition:

When switching from one QuickBooks Desktop product, version, or edition to another, it’s critical to be aware of any company file restrictions.


  • Company files from Premier can be opened in Pro and vice versa without affecting the file’s data.
  • Enterprise Solutions (ES) company files cannot be opened in Pro or Premier, but Pro and Premier company files can be upgraded to ES.


  • The QuickBooks Desktop version for another region cannot open a company file. As an illustration, you will If you try to open a company file that was created in a QuickBooks Canada version in a QuickBooks US version, it will say that this file was not created with a US version of QuickBooks. QuickBooks files can be upgraded from an older version to a newer version, but the upgraded file cannot be used in the older version.
  • However, you cannot use the upgraded file in the older version of QuickBooks. You can upgrade your file from an older to a newer version of QuickBooks. This rule is only applicable if you are working in an Accountant’s Copy and using QuickBooks Desktop Accountant. View Accountant’s copy overview for more information.
  • QuickBooks prompts you to decide whether you want to convert or upgrade the company file when you open it in a newer version. A newer version will typically convert and update an older QuickBooks company file, such as one from 2018 to 2019. You might need to step the QuickBooks company file through a lower version of QuickBooks Desktop in some cases if it won’t upgrade to the new version.


  • Any edition can open a file made in one (Retail, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Accountant, etc.) without the data being affected.


  • Create a different folder called Pre-Conversion Backup to prevent file overwriting.
  • Make sure the systems and computers you use to transfer company files between are using the same release and version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  • The transactions you entered in the upgraded or converted file must be manually entered again in the old backup file if you choose to use your old QuickBooks version. You can use a different program as an alternative since QuickBooks Desktop does not support merging company files or exporting transactions.

Upgrade your file to the most recent QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale version

Discover how to convert your company file following an update to a newer version of QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale.


  • An updated file cannot be changed back to its earlier state.
  • The file can only be updated by the system administrator.
  • If you’ve never made any other users, you’re always the SysAdmin. You are not logged in as the SysAdmin if Company Operations is not listed in the File menu.
  • To avoid file damage during conversion, convert your file on the server workstation (where the file is locally saved).
  • Make sure the most recent version of QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale is installed.

To update your company file:

  • Launch QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale in its most recent iteration.
  • Select Company Operations from the File menu.
  • Select Next after selecting Convert from Previous Version.
  • Select the Previous Version of QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale that you are converting from after entering the Company Name for your converted data file.
  • You can access all your data in the updated Point of Sale after the conversion process is finished.

Restore the most recent backup created in your previous version if the conversion of your data fails.

After updating to a new version of QuickBooks Desktop, upgrade your company files:

  • Find out how to update your company file so that it functions in QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, or Enterprise’s more recent releases.
  • Your company files must be upgraded if you upgrade to a newer version (year) of QuickBooks Desktop. One company file needs to be upgraded.
  • When you switch to a different edition, you are not required to upgrade your file (Pro, Premier, Enterprise).
  • Using a newer version of QuickBooks Desktop, you can upgrade your old company file by following these steps.

Step 1: Install QuickBooks

  • Log on to Windows as an administrator.
  • Download the most recent version of QuickBooks Desktop now, if you haven’t already.
  • To install your new version, follow the instructions.

Step 2: Prepare your company file

For each company file, you wish to upgrade, follow “Step 2: Prepare Your Company File” and “Step 3: Upgrade Your Company File”:

  • Open the original instance of QuickBooks. Then launch the company file you want to update.
  • To open the Product Information window, press F2.
  • Look in the File Information section. Make a note of the location in which you save your company file on your computer.
  • Launch the Rebuild Tool for your company file. This gets it ready for the upgrade.

Step 3: Upgrade your company file 

When you open your company file in a newer version of QuickBooks for the first time, it prompts you to upgrade. After upgrading QuickBooks, keep in mind that you won’t be able to access your company file in the older version.

  • Ensure that everyone logs out of your company’s file.
  • Launch QuickBooks Desktop in your most recent version.
  • If a company file is not open, choose Open or Restore Company. Alternatively, you can choose Open or Restore Company from the File menu.
  • Go to Next after selecting Open a company file. Instead of choosing Local backup, choose Restore a backup copy if you have a backup company file (QBB) instead of a company file (QBW).
  • Find your company file on your computer by searching. Select it, then choose Open.
  • Become an admin user and log into your company file.
  • A backup of your current company file is automatically made by QuickBooks before you upgrade. To save the backup in a specific folder, select Change this default location.
  • To begin the upgrade, choose Update Now.
  • Choose Done once QuickBooks has finished.

Step 4: Update QuickBooks Desktop

Update QuickBooks so you have the most recent software version after upgrading and opening your company file.

General FAQs

Can I upgrade to a newer version of my QuickBooks file?

QuickBooks files can be upgraded from an older version to a newer version, but the upgraded file cannot be used in the older version. If you are working in an Accountant’s Copy and using QuickBooks Desktop Accountant, this rule does not apply to you. See Accountant’s copy overview for more details.

What happens if the version of my company file won’t update?
How can QuickBooks Desktop be updated?
How do I restore a company file in Windows instead of a company file?

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