The following articles can help you get started if this is your first time to install and use QuickBooks Desktop in a multi-user or network environment. Follow the steps in the order shown below.

Installation and setup

Note: If you are a new QuickBooks user, after installing Create a QuickBooks Desktop company file first before doing step 2.


QuickBooks Desktop uses a database file manager to communicate with the company file. Currently, there are two ways to configure multi-user set up for QuickBooks Desktop:

Recommended Mode

The Recommended multi-user set up is having the company file stored on the Host computer.

To turn on Hosting
Turn on hosting only for the Host computer or where the company file is stored. If you are using a server to host your file, one computer still has to act as a Host. You must NOT turn on hosting for workstations.

  1. From the File menu, select Utilities,.
  2. Click Host Multi-User Access.
  3. Click Yes on the confirmation window.

Alternate Mode

Starting QuickBooks Desktop 2015, there are enhancements made to make the Multi-User set up experience better. These enhancements include disabling Alternate set up Mode. If for any reason, you need to enable this mode, see Multi-User access changes in QuickBooks Desktop 2015 and later.
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