Convert QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online


Moving your file from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get it done.

If you are using QuickBooks for Mac, refer instead to

Convert QuickBooks Desktop for Mac file to QuickBooks Online


We also have a video tutorial for exporting your Desktop company file:

Step 1: Review some critical information before converting your file

  • If you are using a QuickBooks Desktop version older than 2016, download and install an updated

    trial links


  • You must be logged in as the administrator in both your QuickBooks Desktop file and your QuickBooks Online account.
  • Start the conversion process from your QuickBooks Desktop company file, not from QuickBooks Online.
  • You can only import QuickBooks Desktop data within the first 60 days of your QuickBooks Online company start date. When you import, your Desktop file will replace your Online file and overwrite any existing information.
  • If you’ve already turned on Payroll in QuickBooks Online, don’t attempt to convert your file.
  • Your QuickBooks file must be under 350,000 targets (file size does not matter). If you’re over the target limit, you’ll only be given the option to import your lists and/or balances. Learn how to check the target count in your file, then condense it if necessary.
  • There are some information that

    may not be imported when you move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online


  • If you receive any errors while importing, you can

    fix errors when converting to QuickBooks Online


Step 2: Export your QuickBooks Desktop company data

Select your QuickBooks Desktop version to see the instructions.

QuickBooks Desktop Pro/Premier files

  1. Open the file you want to export.
  2. Go to Company > Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  3. Follow the prompts to connect to QuickBooks Online.

Don’t see the option to export? Update your QuickBooks Desktop. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Help > Update QuickBooks.
  2. Select all updates in the “Update Now” window, then Get Updates.
  3. Once the updates are complete, select Close, then File Exit.
  4. Start QuickBooks again and finish installing the updates when prompted. These updates may take 15 minutes or more to install, depending on when QuickBooks was last updated.

Important: If the updates are not downloaded and installed completely, the export company link may not appear. If you’re unable to complete the updates,

here are the steps to fixing QuickBooks Desktop update errors


QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise files

Are you an active user of the advanced features in QuickBooks Enterprise?
If you are, we do not recommend moving your data from QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise to QuickBooks Online, because data loss is likely to occur.
Before converting, make sure QuickBooks Online is the right fit for you:

Step 3: Connect to QuickBooks Online and import your data

  1. Enter your QuickBooks Online login (your user ID is usually the email address you used to sign up), agree to the Terms of Service, and select Sign in.

Convert QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online


If you have inventory in your file and are importing from QuickBooks Desktop 2016 or later, you will need to answer if you want to bring over inventory, otherwise skip to step 3

Importing inventory? You’ll need the Plus edition of QuickBooks Online. Simple Start and Essentials don’t have inventory-tracking functionality. If you have extensive inventory, you can track your product items’ quantity on hand in Plus.



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