Moving your file from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you.

NOTE: If you only have an older version of QuickBooks installed (or a backup file from 2015 or earlier), you'll need to first download an updated trial from this list QuickBooks Desktop trial links.


Before you convert your file, review the following important information:

  • You can only import QuickBooks Desktop data within the first 60 days of your QuickBooks Online company start date.
  • DON'T attempt to convert your file if you've already turned on Payroll in QuickBooks Online.
  • Your QuickBooks Desktop file will replace your entire QuickBooks Online file and overwrite any existing information..
  • Your QuickBooks file must be under 350,000 targets (file size does not matter).  If you are over this limit, you will only be given the option to import your lists and/or balances. To check the number of targets in your file and trim it down if necessary, see Condense your QuickBooks Desktop file.
  • You must be an Administrator user in both your existing Desktop file AND in your QuickBooks Online account.
  • If you receive errors regarding the file you're importing, see Errors Importing to QuickBooks Online.
  • To review key differences and unsupported features prior to moving, see Import Limitations - QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.


If you prefer, you can watch this video tutorial:

To convert QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online:

Step 1: Import from QuickBooks Desktop

Select the QuickBooks Desktop product you want to import from to see the instructions for that product.

Step 2: Connect to QuickBooks Online

  1. Enter your QuickBooks Online login credentials (User ID is usually the email address you used to sign up), agree to the Terms of Service, and click Submit

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  1. If you have inventory in your file, and are importing from QuickBooks Desktop 2016 or later, you will see this screen, otherwise skip to step 3.
If you need to import inventory from your QuickBooks Desktop company file, or if you have extensive inventory that requires tracking, you will need the QuickBooks Online Plus package. Simple Start and Essentials don't have this functionality. You can enable tracking Quantity on Hand in the Company Settings of your QuickBooks Online Plus file after migration

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  1. Pick the QuickBooks Online company you want to import your data into, or choose to create a new company.
IMPORTANT: If you have already created a QuickBooks Online account, select that account from the drop-down. Do not create a new QuickBooks Online company.

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  1. Click OK, Got it

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That's it. We'll email you when the import is done.

NOTE:  This import can take up to 24 hours.
After Import
After you import your data into QuickBooks Online, review  What to do after completing an import to QuickBooks Online from QuickBooks Desktop Mac/Windows (US).