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Upgrade (convert) your company file to a newer version of QuickBooks

After installing a new version of QuickBooks, you update your company data file by opening it in the new version. This process updates company files from any older version of QuickBooks to the newer one.

About updating your data file
  • Do not update over a network. Be sure the company data file is stored on the same computer you are using to update it. You might need to copy the file from another computer, and then copy it back after you finish updating it.
  • Only the Admin user can update the file (QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise only). If you never created other users and roles in QuickBooks, you are automatically the Admin user. If you see the message, "The company file needs to be updated. Please ask your QuickBooks administrator to update the file," you are not signed in to your data file as the Admin user.
  • After updating your data file, it does not open in previous versions of QuickBooks. QuickBooks automatically backs up your data file before updating it, in case you need to revert to the older version. You can always restore the backup to your old version of QuickBooks if necessary. Or, if you need to restart the update, you can restore the backup to your new version of QuickBooks.
  • You cannot convert QuickBooks Enterprise data to QuickBooks Simple Start, Pro, or Premier. Enterprise data files only work in Enterprise editions of QuickBooks.
  • QuickBooks Pro or Premier files cannot be converted to a later version of QuickBooks Simple Start. For example, a QuickBooks Pro 2010 file will not convert to Simple Start 2011. You must convert to a similar or higher  version of QuickBooks such as Pro 2011, or Premier 2011.
  • Verify your company file after you finish. Make sure the updated data file is in good shape by running the Verify Data utility.


Where your data is stored

If you installed QuickBooks 2008 or later, the data file from your earlier version of QuickBooks may have been moved to a new folder:

  • Windows 7 or Vista: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files
  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files

If you cannot find your data file in its original location, and if it is not in the specified folder, search your hard drive for *.qbw files and try to find it that way. Be sure to include hidden files and folders in your search criteria.

Detailed instructions

To update your company data file:

  1. Open the new version of QuickBooks.
  2. Choose File > Open or Restore Company.
  3. Click Open a company file and then click Next.
  4. Browse to your data file, select it, and click Open.
  5. If QuickBooks displays the Move Company File window, read and follow the instructions shown there.
  6. Read the information in the Update Company File for New Version window, click (check) the box to show you understand, and click Update Now.
  7. Follow the instructions to back up your company file, and make a note of where you put it, in case you need to refer to it later.
  8. When the message "You are about to open a company file using a newer version of QuickBooks...Do you want to continue?" appears, click Yes.
  9. (Recommended) After the company file is updated:
            a) Store the backup you created in step 7 in a safe place until you know you will not need it again.
            b) If you copied the data file from another computer to update it, copy it back again

If this solution does not resolve the issue, you can read discussions and post messages and questions relating to your issue on the Intuit QuickBooks Community site for free, or you can contact a technical support agent for additional guidance. Fees may apply.


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