There may come a time when you need to move your company file from one computer to another. You’ve bought a new computer, you are having another person look at your file (accountant, independent bookkeeper, etc.), or you have rearranged your office &/or staff and the file now needs to be on someone else’s computer. Whatever the reason although it seems straight forward, this simple task can become quite frustrating.
The first step to moving your file, is to install QuickBooks onto the new machine. You need to install the same or a newer version, QuickBooks will not restore a file into an older version from the original.
Next, you need to make a back-up of your file (File / Back Up Company / Create a Local Back Up). Intuit likes to build in multiple ways of getting to the same place (tool bar, icon bar, & home page for example). They’ve done the same with creating back-ups. When you click on File in the tool bar you will see three separate options for backing up your company file: Back Up Company, Create Copy, & Send Company File. When you are moving your file to a new computer, you want to make a FULL back-up of the file. If you are going to send the file to another professional to work on temporarily, then Create Copy (and choose Portable File or Accountant’s Copy) or Send Company File will work.
The easiest way to move your data is to back-up onto a USB flash drive. Plug it into to the computer, choose that drive as the location for your back-up, and go. Take the drive and plug it into the new computer and restore from there.
But what if I don’t have a USB drive available? Can’t I just email it to myself? Usually the answer is no, the majority of QuickBooks files are too large for the various servers to handle through email. Portable & Accountant’s Copies are compressed and do not include all the information your full file does so they are easier to email.
The next best way to move the file is to save the back-up to your desktop and use a cloud storage program to move the file; popular ones include Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, etc. Open or create an account with one of these programs, & upload your back up file. Log out of the program, and go to the new computer. Log back in, and download the file to the new desktop. Your back up file is now on the new desktop and can be restored from there. I would strongly suggest deleting the file from the cloud storage program once the file is restored for security reasons.
And there you go….your file is now on the new computer. You can uninstall QB and delete all QB files from the previous computer if you want in order to keep everything clean and avoid an employee accidentally updated the wrong file, or seeing company financial information that they are not cleared to see.