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.

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.

    User-added image

  2. 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.

    User-added image

    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.

  3. Select the QuickBooks Online company you want to import your data into, or create a new one.

    Already created a QuickBooks Online company? Don't create a new company. Just choose the one you created from the drop-down.

    User-added image

  4. Select OK, got it.

    User-added image

    You’ll receive an email confirmation once the import is done. Note that it can take up to 24 hours.