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How do I upgrade to the latest version of QuickBooks if I am using 2003 or earlier

Company files created in versions 2004 to 2008 can automatically be converted to the latest version of QuickBooks. If you have versions earlier than 2004, there are additional steps you need to take before your file can be converted. Select the situation that applies to you (below) to determine what your next steps will be to convert or upgrade your file.

  • If using Version 5.0 Release R11 (1998) to Version 2003, follow the steps below to download the upgrader's kit and convert your company file to Version 2008 or later.
  • If using version 5.0 Release R10 (1998) or earlier, you need to contact QuickBooks Support.

How do I know which release I have? Press CTRL + 1 to display the Product Information window. Beside Product, you see which version and release you currently have installed. In the example below, this person has version 5.0 Release R11 installed.

Product Information V5 R11

We highly recommend that you watch this video from QuickBooks 2010. It shows what to expect when converting your file to new versions of QuickBooks. Also, please read the Upgrader's Guide before performing step 3.


Before you begin...

In your old version of QuickBooks, print trial balance reports for each of these dates:

  1. Today.
  2. The end date of the last VAT period for which you sent a VAT return (if any).
  3. Verify your company file. Go to the File menu, select Utilities, and choose Verify Data. If the verification was unsuccessful, resolve any issues before upgrading your company file. See: How do I fix data files that are possibly damaged?. Still cannot resolve verify issues? Contact QuickBooks Support.
  4. If the verification was successful, back up your company file. Go to the File menu, select Utilities, and choose Backup.
  5. Close your old version of QuickBooks.
Step 1: Download and install the upgrader's kit (QuickBooks 2006)

NOTE: The QuickBooks Upgrader Kit for 2006 DOES NOT WORK on Windows 7 or Vista machines. If you are using Windows 7 or Vista, and need to upgrade from 2006 or earlier, you will need to send in your company file for a manual upgrade by our Data Recovery Team.

Data Recovery contact information. There is no charge for these upgrades.

For XP Users

With this first step, you'll download an upgrader's kit which is a trial version of 2006. You'll use this trial version to then upgrade your company file using 2006 first. Once installed, you have 60 days to upgrade your old company file.

  1. Click here to download our upgrader's kit and save the .exe file in a temporary location on your computer.
    This upgrader's kit is a special trial version of QuickBooks 2006. It'll ask you to install SimpleStart, Regular, Pro, or Premier Accountant edition. Install the same edition you are currently using. After installing, you'll have two months and six uses before the software acts you to activate.
  2. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the file and double-click the .exe file that you just downloaded.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
    • When asked for an installation code, use the following: 26512-85587-55550-710133
    • This code will allow you to use the trial version of QuickBooks for 60 days, but you will not be able to activate it.
    • When asked where you want to install QuickBooks, choose a different location than your current version of QuickBooks. Do not install on top of your old version!


Step 2: Convert your company file to QuickBooks 2006

Now, you have to open QuickBooks 2006 and then open your old company file to convert it to the 2006 format.

  1. Open QuickBooks 2006.
  2. Open your old company file.  Go to File, and select Open Company. In the Open company window, navigate to and select your old company file and click Open.
  3. In the Update Company File to New Version window, select Start Update.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions. When asked for a name and location of the new company file, append “2006” to the company file name. DO NOT OVERWRITE YOUR EXISTING COMPANY FILE! You will need it to view VAT reports from previous periods.
  5. After the conversion finishes, close QuickBooks 2006.
Step 3: Convert your 2006 company file to the New QuickBooks format

With this step, you are now converting the 2006 company file to the newest version of QuickBooks.

Watch this video on what to expect during this conversion process

  1. Locate the paper copy of the last VAT returns that you filed and have them with you when you start the upgrade process. You will need
    information from these returns to upgrade your company file.
  2. Open your new version of QuickBooks, then open the company file that you just converted in step 2 (the 2006 version).
  3. When prompted to upgrade your file, enter YES and OK.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
    • When prompted to back up your data, choose OK.
    • When asked if you want to move or rename your company file, we recommend that you allow QuickBooks to move your company file from the Program Files folder to the suggested location.
  5. When the conversion is complete QuickBooks creates a report about what happened during the conversion.
  6. Also the Upgrade Centre pops up to guide you through the next steps you need to take to resolve any issues QuickBooks may have found in your company file during conversion. We highly recommend you follow all the steps in the Upgrade Centre.

Read this faq to understand what is now different in your company file.

Upgrader's kit system requirements

NOTE: The QuickBooks Upgrader Kit for 2006 DOES NOT WORK on Windows 7 and Vista machines. If you are using Windows 7 or Vista, and need to upgrade from 2006 or earlier, you will need to send in your company file for a manual upgrade by our Data Recovery Team.

Go to for Data Recovery contact information. There is no charge for these upgrades.

The upgrader's kit provided above is a version of QuickBooks 2006 that Intuit makes available for file upgrades only. The system requirements of this version are:

Processor, memory, and disk space

  •     At least 200 MHz Intel Pentium processor (350 MHz - Intel Pentium II Recommended)
  •     At least 64 MB (128 MB recommended) of RAM
  •     600 MB of disk space

Additional hardware and software

  •     Windows 2000 or XP operating system
  •     DOES NOT WORK on Windows 7 and Vista machines
  •     2x CD-ROM drive
  •     256-color SVGA monitor with a resolution of 800 x 600 (using Small Fonts in your Windows Control Panel Display settings)
What do I do if my computer doesn't meet the system requirements?

If your system does not meet the system requirements described above, you may not be able to install the QuickBooks 2006 upgrader's kit. QuickBooks technical support does not assist in troubleshooting problems that result from your system not meeting the requirements.

The most common scenario will be if your system is running Windows Vista or Windows 7. Both operating systems didn't exist when QuickBooks 2006 was released and are not a part of the listed system requirements. If you are unable to install the QuickBooks 2006 upgrader's kit, contact QuickBooks Support for assistance in exploring other alternatives to upgrade your file.

Next Steps

Newer QuickBooks versions created after the 2010 year are vastly different than the version you were using. Here are some links to important information you now need to know about your new software. The FAQ's may be labelled as 2010 but they are completely applicable to the 2012 and newer versions of QuickBooks.

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