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Transfer QuickBooks Online to Desktop

This guide will help you convert QuickBooks Online file to QuickBooks Desktop and explain the limitations and benefits of exporting your data to QuickBooks Desktop.

QuickBooks Troubleshooting Guide:

Convert from QuickBooks Desktop to Online

If you want to convert QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop, than this tutorial is for you. While you have made an excellent decision, there are a few important points to consider before beginning to migrate from QuickBooks Online to Desktop.

Here is a complete list of the latest QuickBooks Desktop 2022 applications including plans and pricing for each software.

In this tutorial we will show you how to export your QuickBooks Online data to QB Desktop, as well as explain the limitations of switching from QuickBooks Online to Desktop.

In the following steps, we will assist you in downloading the most recent version of QuickBooks Desktop and exporting your data from QuickBooks Online. Before you begin, however, it is important to find out what accounting information does not convert from your current QB Online app to QB Desktop.

In which case you might need to enter them manually.

Also, the way QuickBooks Online apps handle your accounting data varies significantly from one app to the other, so we recommend that you read this article to learn about the differences and choose a subscription plan that suits best for your business.

Due to a wide range of changes in features between the software’s, some businesses may find it difficult to download QuickBooks online to desktop, especially if you have been using QBO for a long time and have files containing large volumes of historical data.

In which case the process to export QuickBooks Online to Desktop can be a daunting task. Nonetheless we are here to guide you through out the complete conversion process.

What data won’t convert from QuickBooks Online to Desktop?

  1. QBO multi currency users cannot convert to QB Desktop.
  2. Audit logs won’t export; instead, save them in PDF format or print them.
  3. Chart of Accounts account detail type will not export.
  4. Estimates don’t convert to QB Desktop, Save a copy or take print outs.
  5. The number of lists that can be exported from qbo to qbd is limited to 10,000. Lists includes, customers, vendors & Employees. You may choose to upgrade to QB Enterprise to surpass these limits.
  6. Your company information does not convert, You may enter them manually in QB Desktop.
  7. Purchase orders won’t export to QB Desktop.
  8. The Bank reconciliation reports will not convert.
  9. Terms list, Budget & Recurring transactions does not convert. Recurring templates appears as memorized transactions in QB Desktop.
  10. The sales tax information from your invoices along with sales tax adjustments and payments will not convert.
  11. Attachments to your transactions such as Invoices, checks, memos won’t export.
  12. Payments made with credit card for bills and voided transfers won’t get transferred.

Benefits of converting QuickBooks Online to Desktop

Understanding the benefits of a QuickBooks product is subjective and depends on the complexities of each individual business’s accounting.

Because of the automation and accessibility it provides, many business owners may find a cloud-based QuickBooks Online solution to be more efficient. The advantage of storing your data in the cloud is that you can access your accounting data while on the go.

While QuickBooks Online still has a long way to go and is leveling up every year with more advanced features in the mean time QuickBooks Desktop is the best choice for many business owners, accountants and bookkeepers.

It is because of the level of customization which sets QB Desktop a part, It is feature rich and robust and businesses can benefit from being able to manage complex accounting needs, make large amount of data entries and keep control and security of their own financial data.

Here is a list of few rich features only available in QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Undo bulk transactions
  • Restore or go back to an older version of a company file.
  • Batch invoicing
  • Advanced Reporting and Advanced Inventory for more complex accounting.
  • Invoice Template customization
  • 200+ app integrations and more.

In short, QuickBooks Desktop versions are advanced and highly customizable compared to QB Online version.

Now with understanding all the QuickBooks Desktop limitations & Benefits out of the way, lets go ahead and prepare your company file for migration.

Note: You will need the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop installed on your computer, If you haven’t yet purchased the product than no problem Intuit offers a 30 days free trial for all version of the QB Editions, you can install one for free to complete the migration process.

Convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop in 6 steps

1) Install QuickBooks Desktop to your computer.

  • If you already have a QuickBooks license, continue with the installation process.
  • If you do not have a license, then you can download QuickBooks trial version for free.
  • Intuit offers a license and product ID free for up to 30 days.
  • Select QB version and year from the download page and Hit Search.
Select QB Year and Version
QuickBooks Year & Version
  • When you see your product Select “Start Download.
Download QB
QB download
  • Save the .exe file to your desktop, then open it to begin the installation process.
QucikBooks.exe file
  • Open QuickBooks.exe from the downloads folder.
Begin QB Installation
install QuickBooks
  • Accept the terms and conditions box and go Next.
QuickBooks Terms
  • Assign a location on your PC for QuickBooks store files and than click OK.
QuickBooks File location
Select Qb installation folder
  • Enter the license number and product ID and click Next.
  • Select Express Installation for single user and custom installation for multi-user from the options and Hit Next.
  • Choose Install now.
Select Install QB
  • Once installation is complete, open QB Desktop.
Convert data to QB Desktop
  • Go to the file tab and select “Close company.
  • Leave QuickBooks Open and head over to QuickBooks Online to prepare the file for migration.

Before you Export QuickBooks Online to Desktop, we recommend that you choose a location or file path that is easily accessible to create backups and restore your company files during operations.

If multiple users need to access the same company file, you will need to host the company file on the network drive to share it with other users. Here you can learn more about how to use QuickBooks in multi-user mode.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the trial version is valid only for a month. After 30 days, you will need to buy a license key to continue accessing the features and functionalities of QB Desktop.

After you have completed your QuickBooks Desktop installation, it is time to head over to QuickBooks Online to prepare your data for export.

2) Log in to QuickBooks Online and prepare to transfer data.

In order to complete the conversion process, first you will need to download and install the QuickBooks Data Migration tool on your computer. You can do this by logging in to your online account.

So, go to and login to your account. Once you are on the dashboard, copy and paste this URL into your browser or on a new tab to open the export overview page.

We recommend you open the link on Chrome, Firefox, or Edge as outdated versions of safari and internet explorer are not supported.

When you paste the link and press enter, you will be redirected to the Export Overview page, where you will find a step-by-step guide for starting the conversion process.

You can print a copy of the Export Overview to follow along.

Learn more about the limitations of exporting, and find out how to convert a portion of the data into lists rather than the entire file. 

Users who only want to export a portion of their accounting data may find this useful.

After you have carefully read thru the Export Overview and ready to continue than go ahead and download the QuickBooks Data migration tool to complete the process.

3) Install the QuickBooks Data Migration Tool to Export QuickBooks Online to Desktop.

QuickBooks data migration tool

When you export data from QB Online, it’s in QBXML format. 

This file must first be converted to QBW format before it can be used in QB Desktop, which you can do with the QB Data Migration Tool.

From the Export Overview page To download the QBD Migration Tool to your PC, click the “Get Started” button.

Once downloaded, go to the downloads folder and click on the exe file to start installing the migration tool.

  • Open the file to install the tool and click Next.
  • Accept the terms and conditions in the next window to proceed.
  • Select the type of setup and hit continue.
  • Now choose to install and finish the setup.

Now it’s time to take your data from QuickBooks Online and download it to your computer in QBDXML Format.

4) Begin to Export QuickBooks Online to Desktop

Once the data migration tool has been properly installed, return to the QuickBooks Online export overview page and click continue.

Convert QuickBooks online to desktop
  • Select to export the entire company file or export lists and balances only and hit continue.
Export QuickBooks Online to desktop lists
  • In the next step you can find additional information about converting QBO to QBD, Click Learn more.
  • Enter the person’s name and email to be notified once your data has been exported.
  • Once you have entered the email, select “close” on the email confirmation screen and return to your QuickBooks Online file.
  • When your data is ready to be migrated, you will be notified via email. The time it takes to convert your data is determined by the amount of data you are exporting. This could take anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours.
  • Return to the export page in QuickBooks Online and click “Get started” once you’ve received the confirmation email.
  • Select Continue on the Prepare to Export page.
Convert QuickBooks data
  • Next, on the select your data page, choose the same option you have previously chosen and hit continue.
  • In the Exporting from QuickBooks Online page, the converted file will be ready for you to download.
  • Choose the QBXML file format to download your data and hit continue. Select a location on your computer to store the downloaded file.
  • Open QuickBooks Desktop and stay on the No company open window. If you are already logged in go to file and select close company.

5) Run the QuickBooks Data Migration Tool to begin importing

Convert QuickBooks Online XML file to
  • Open the QuickBooks data migration tool you have previously downloaded.
  • Copy and paste the location to the file path of your QBXML file you exported from QBO.
  • Give your new QuickBooks desktop file a name and choose a location to save the file.
  • Next, you will see the QuickBooks Desktop Certificate, which may either be on the screen or hidden behind other windows.
  • Set user permissions according to whether you want the personal data in the file to be accessible
  • Click Continue and hit “Done” in the confirmation window.
  • Now the migration tool will begin importing your data. Once completed, simply hit “done.”

Keep in mind that the migration tool may take some time to complete the import process. At this point, do not close the screen or make any changes.

If the progress bar appears frozen or not moving for more than a few minutes, make sure to open the QuickBooks Desktop application from the task bar and hit yes on the application certificate, then hit next and Done.

6) Review your data on exported company file

Match your profit and loss statements, reports, and other data in both QB Desktop and Online after converting QuickBooks Online data to QB Desktop to ensure accuracy.

In rare cases, you may find a mismatch in your accounting data. This usually happens because of export limitations or because of an older version of Internet Explorer.

In this case you may close the company file and retry the conversion process once again and re-verify the profit and loss statements accuracy. Converting the second time often fixes the issues.


Yay! Congratulation on converting your QuickBooks Online data to Desktop. We hope this article provided the information you needed to complete the conversion process.

While trying to convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop can take some time, exporting your data will be much easier with the help of this conversion article along with the data migration tool.

Lastly, we recommend that you read the export limitations and learn more about the differences between the two applications before making a decision.

While QuickBooks desktop is a good choice for larger teams, users who want to manage their invoices and receipts on the go may find it difficult because they can’t access their data outside of office hours, which is a feature available only with QuickBooks Online.

If you have any questions or need any further help and want our QuickBooks Experts to take up the conversion process, then simply give us a call at 800-787-2514 and speak to our pro advisors today.

How do i convert my data from QB Desktop version to QBO?

If QuickBooks Desktop is limiting access to your data from outside of your office plus you would like to have the freedom to access your accounting data from anywhere and anytime than you can do so by switching from QuickBooks Desktop to Online. Here is a complete guide that will help you through out the conversion process and convert QuickBooks desktop to online.

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