Steps to Export Quickbooks Online to Desktop [A Complete Guide]

Due to their unique characteristics, Quickbooks Online and Quickbooks desktop have attained so much popularity among small entrepreneurs and businessmen. While Quickbooks Online is a cloud-based version that can be easily accessed from anywhere, Quickbooks desktop is locally installed on a laptop. The users prefer them according to their requirements. For this reason, some users also try to export Quickbooks online to their desktop. In this guide, we will learn about the same and also about the benefit of using Quickbooks desktop. So, just rely on us and follow the full guide.

Benefits of Export Quickbooks Online to Desktop

Quickbooks Desktop can easily maintain multiple company books. It works best for product-based companies that keep the track of the inventory and the storage. It also helps them to access the application in multiple company books. Apart from this, there are many other advantages of Quickbooks desktop giving below. Read about each of them to understand them.

1. Advanced Inventory Management

export Quickbooks online to desktop

There are two methods to track inventory with Quickbooks desktop that differ from the Quickbooks online that provides only the first in first out (FIFO) method for inventory management on select versions. Rather than just FIFO, the users get here the average cost method. 

2. Batch Invoicing Method

export Quickbooks desktop to online

Quickbooks desktop eases the task of issuing invoices in batches that clarifies client-serving when there are multiple businesses involved.

3. Industry-Specific Customizations

how to export Quickbooks online to desktop

There is no denying that the Quickbooks Desktop includes customizations for businesses in different industries such as wholesale, professional services, manufacturing, contracting, nonprofit, general business, and retail.

4. Manage Multiple Accounts

export Quickbooks online to desktop

With a single Quickbooks desktop installation, the users can easily support multiple company files. That is quite not true for Quickbooks online that can handle only one company file per subscription.

Points to Remember before export Quickbooks Online to Desktop

export Quickbooks desktop to online

As the two software acquires different features so there would arise compatibility issues if we are not considering these points before starting the conversion process. So, read all the points below and then only jump towards the steps of exporting Quickbooks desktop to online.

  • It would be nice if you use the latest version of Quickbooks desktop to reduce the compatibility issues. 
  • There are limitations on the number of items like vendors, customers, and employees for different Quickbooks desktop versions. So, you might need to upgrade when the limits excel the permissible numbers. 
  • Ensure that the conversion is to be done only with Internet Explorer.
  • You need to be well aware that the multicurrency data will not display correctly. So, do not try to export it from Quickbooks online to Quickbooks desktop.
  • The user may not find the records of audit logs and estimates on the Quickbooks desktop since these records are exported as PDF. 

Moreover, some records from Quickbooks online will be converted to the Quickbooks desktop while some fields will assume default values in Quickbooks desktop. You need to familiarize yourself with the changes before migrating.

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Steps to Export the data file from Quickbooks Online to Desktop

Step 1: Configure Security Settings in Internet Explorer

This is the most crucial step that needs to be conducted before starting the procedure. So, follow the steps below to configure the security settings in Internet Explorer.

  • The initial step for you to do is to right-click on the Internet Explorer icon.
  • Then choose the Run as administrator option.
  • After that, the user requires to click on the tools icon.
  • Moving on, choose the Internet options.
  • In the next step, choose the security and trusted sites.

 export Quickbooks online to desktop

  • Select the sites option now.
  • Followed by entering * * in the add this website to the zone field option.
  • Moreover, ensure to remove the checkmark from the required server verification for all sites in this zone.
  • Also, uncheck enable the protected mode.
  • Once done all these steps, click on the apply button.
  • And now press the OK button.
  • In the final step, leave the Internet explorer option.

Step 2: Configure Quickbooks desktop for the export

  • The first thing that the user needs to do is to right-click on the Quickbooks desktop icon and then choose the run as administrator.
  • If the QB desktop is not installed then you need to download the trial version in order to use this.
  • Then, ensure to visit the file and select the close company option.

export Quickbooks desktop to online

  • When all these steps are completed, leave the Quickbooks desktop open and end the process here.

Step 3: Export the Quickbooks Online Data

  • Commence the procedure by opening the version of Quickbooks desktop that you want to use for the conversion process.
  • Try to log in to your Quickbooks Online account.
  • Now navigate to the gear icon and select export data.

Quickbooks online export to desktop

  • After that enter the cause of why you’re exporting the data.
  • Once done with that, tap on the continue button.
  • Select the Learn more option appearing under Moving to Quickbooks Desktop.
  • Subsequently, select the Learn more option under Download company data.
  • In this step, try to review your data from the export overview screen and also click on Get started.
  • In the next step, select Install ActiveX control and follow the steps to do so.
  • Once done with the installation of ActiveX, tap on the finish button.
  • Moving on, choose the data that you desire to export and again press the continue button.
  • Try to review the limitation and press the continue button.
  • Just enter the contact info and again click on the continue button.

Now the user will be notified about when the data will be ready to export. It can take a couple of minutes or it can also end up taking hours for companies with multiple transactions.

Step 4: End Exporting the data

So as to proceed in Quickbooks online,  you will be required to repeat a few steps more to proceed back to the export page.

  • The first thing that the user needs to do is to visit the setting tab and choose export data in QB online.
  • Then follow the 2-5 steps of STEP 3 and then prepare to export the QB online data.
  • Moving on, select continue to download the exporting from QBO pages.
  • Once done all these steps, move towards the no company open screen. 

how to export Quickbooks online to desktop

  • Consequently, if you have the company open then navigate to the file and select the close company option.
  • In the next step, click on the download back in Quickbooks online.
  • Now select a location to save the file in the save your company file window.
  • Try to pick a place other than the Windows desktop.
  • If the download finishes, then the user requires to click on the convert now tab.
  • After that, provide the file a name and select the location to save it in the window named to create a new Quickbooks file.
  • In addition to this, pick a location on the local system and not on a network or external drive.
  • If the export ends properly then choose the finish tab. 

Keep in mind that the process will take some time to end. So, if it looks like it is frozen, does not indicate that the export is failed. You will need to provide some more time to it and the program bar will move again.

If the Status bar does not move

Jump into this only if the status bar does not move. Verify the Quickbooks desktop for an application certificate with these steps:

  • The first thing that you need to do is to select the Quickbooks desktop icon in the Windows taskbar.
  • Then select the yes tab in the application certificate prompt each time.
  • Followed by hitting on the continue button.
  • Move towards the confirmation window and click on the tab named done.
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Step 5: Verify the Info Exported 

Now that you have done exporting the company data, you need to use the profit and loss report to ensure that the books match. Consequently, try to run one in Quickbooks online and balance it to the same report on Quickbooks desktop.

The user requires to run them on an accrual basis at the time of comparing reports. If somehow the reports do not match then you need to follow some steps below: 

Several times, reports become mismatch because of export restriction and the uses of unsupported versions of Internet explorer.

  • Navigate to the Quickbooks desktop and then visit the file menu.
  • After that select the closed company.
  • Now proceed with the further operation by moving back to step 4 and also try to convert the file since converting a second time can fix the problem easily.
  • If you finished all the steps carefully, then check the profit and loss reports again. If they still don’t match then try to contact the Quickbooks support team.

Step 6: Cancel Quickbooks Online (Optional) 

In case you do not want Quickbooks online any longer then you can cancel your plan.

Follow the steps below if the list is selected.
  • In the exporting list, the window understands all the information.
  • Then hit on print the entire list of details and then read and retain the printed document.
  • Moreover, click on the next tab.
  • Once done, tap on the Export tab that will open create a new Quickbooks file window.
Now move on to these steps if the List & Transaction is chosen:
  • To initiate, use the drop-down arrow to choose the version of Quickbooks desktop in which you want to convert the company file.
  • Then tap on the next option.
  • Now the user needs to read all the special conditions information and mark each checkbox to tell that you have read and understood the information.
  • Once done, click on the Print the entire list of details link and then again read and retain the document which is printed.
  • Hit on the next tab.
  • In this step, confirm the email address and the name information. You can update it also if it is necessary.
  • Followed by a click on the prepared data.
  • Moving on, hit the OK button.
  • The user will now get an email indicating that the data is ready to download and you just need to click on the download the company files created on the MM/DD/YY link in the Things To Do section of the home page of the company.
  • Choose the same option as mentioned below for downloading the Prepared data window.
  • Select I’m moving my data to Quickbooks desktop edition and I’m canceling my Quickbooks online subscription.
  • After that, hit on the next tab. 
  • Navigate to the How long will this take wizard and tap the next option.
  • Followed by click on the download.
  • Select a location to save the exported company file data.
  • Now hit the save button.
  • Once done, read the information displayed in convert the data to Quickbooks desktop edition screen.
  • Affirm that the Quickbooks desktop online is running but does not open a company.
  • After that, tap on the convert option.

Keynote: The user will receive a prompt to accept a digital certificate and then tap on Allow to accept the certificate.

Follow some more steps:
  • Select a location to export in the Create new Quickbooks file window.
  • Then type the name of the company file.
  • Later on, hit the save button.

Keynote: A progress bar appears on the screen at the time of ongoing progress.

  • When the conversion will be completed then hit the finish tab.
  • After that try to access the Quickbooks desktop version.
  • Tap on the file menu and select Restore or open company now.
  • Select open a company file.
  • Once done, tap on the next tab.
  • Move to the location where you want to create the company file and select it followed by clicking on the open.


All in all, these are the steps that you need to perform for exporting. We hope that you are now at your Quickbooks desktop and doing some other tasks. In case, you find difficulty in any of the stages that hinder the conversion process, then dial to Quickbooks customer care team and seek help from them. They will help you in every possible manner.

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