Opening your QuickBooks for Windows file in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

So you’re switching from QuickBooks for Windows to QuickBooks for Mac. Welcome! We’re glad you’re here. So you’re probably wondering if you can convert your QuickBooks for Windows company file into QuickBooks for Mac. The answer is: Yes!

You can convert any company file to a Mac version from a U.S. versions of QuickBooks Simple Start, Pro, Premier, and Premier Accountant Edition for the same year as your version of QuickBooks for Mac or the two previous years. So if you have QuickBooks for Mac 2015, you can convert your file from QuickBooks for Windows 2013, 2014, and 2015.

If you are using a QuickBooks for Windows version that is earlier than 2009, you can still open your file in QuickBooks for Mac. It’ll just be a couple of steps more. An article on our support site explains exactly how to do this. QuickBooks for Windows files from 2010 to 2012 should convert as well, but are not officially supported. QuickBooks Enterprise files will not convert.

Before you start, be sure that you’re familiar with what data is convert from QuickBooks for Windows to QuickBooks for Mac.

On your Windows computer

  1. In QuickBooks for Windows, open the company file you want to convert.
  2. Choose File > Utilities > Copy Company File for QuickBooks Mac. Follow the onscreen instructions. QuickBooks creates a Mac .qbb (backup) file.
  3. Copy the .qbb file to a CD or USB drive or some other media. (Most Macs read and write data to and from PC-formatted media.) You can also use a network or file sharing service, such as Dropbox, to transfer the file.

On your Mac

  1. Copy the .qbb file to your Documents folder.
  2. In QuickBooks for Mac, choose File > Open Company, select the .qbb file, and then click Open.
  3. Click OK on when asked if you want to restore a QuickBooks for Windows file.
  4. Enter a name for the restored file, and then click Save.

Depending on the size of your data file, the conversion process can take up to ten minutes. When conversion is complete, QuickBooks opens the file.

Data that is and isn’t converted from QuickBooks for Windows to QuickBooks for Mac

Although Intuit has used reasonable efforts to include all features affected, Intuit disclaims that all features are included in these lists. Be sure to compare the newly-converted data with the original data to learn what data was not converted.

Data that IS converted from Windows to Mac

  • Account list (chart of accounts)
  • Customer list
  • Vendor list (notes will not be converted)
  • Item list
  • Payment terms list
  • Shipping via list
  • Customer type list
  • Vendor type list
  • Employee list (notes will not be converted)
  • To do list (alerts will not be converted)
  • Other names list (without notes)
  • Job types list
  • Payment method list
  • Customer message list
  • Classes
  • Reminders (alerts will not be converted)
  • Links between pay items and other items
  • Custom field definitions
  • Transactions and their links:
  • Memorized transactions
  • Multiple estimates per job
  • All list reports
  • History of QuickBooks versions used with the data file
  • Transaction statistics
  • 1099 categories
  • Notes
  • Audit trail
  • Preferences
    • Company name and address
    • Which features are enabled
  • Time and activity records
  • Budgets
  • Reconcile
  • Address book data
  • Income and expense tracking by class (available in QuickBooks for Mac using Profit & Loss by Class reports)
  • Job costing data (available in QuickBooks for Mac using Job Profitability reports)
  • Vehicle list

Data that ISN’T converted from Windows to Mac

Important: QuickBooks for Mac does not support multiple currencies. Because accounts and balances are affected by the multiple and home currency settings, these settings cannot be changed in QuickBooks for Windows once they’ve been set. If you have used multiple currencies in your Windows company file, you will not be able to convert your data for use in QuickBooks for Mac.

Some features and data will NOT be converted from Windows to Mac, including (but not necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Any data if you have used multiple currency in QuickBooks for Windows.
  • Intuit integrated payroll and payroll list items (QuickBooks for Mac uses Intuit Online Payroll)
  • Online banking transactions that have not been accepted into a register (transactions that have been accepted will appear as payments, deposits, and transfers with associated links)
  • Online banking aliases
  • Customized settings for forms like invoices, estimates, statements, and purchase orders (forms can be customized in QuickBooks for Mac)
  • Multiuser data, such as usernames
  • User passwords (QuickBooks for Mac supports administrator password)
  • Memorized reports
  • Business planning, expert analysis, and business optimization tools
  • Customized price levels
  • Integration with third party applications, including Microsoft Word, Outlook, and ACT!™
  • Merchant account services (you’ll need to set this up again in QuickBooks for Mac)
  • Sales order and back order tracking (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows)
  • Assembly items (available only in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows) will be converted into non-inventory part items
  • Budgets created without an associated account
  • Transaction type “EFP payroll” (will convert into a payroll liability check)
  • Workers comp list
  • Fixed asset item list
  • Multiple “ship to” addresses, Preferred Send method, and payment information for Customer:Jobs
  • User-added columns to lists

Unsupported reports

The following preset reports are currently not supported by QuickBooks Accounting 2015 for Mac. You can, however, create many of these reports using the customization, filtering, and memorization features in QuickBooks for Mac.

  • Profit & Loss Unclassified
  • Open Purchase Orders by Job
  • Sales Tax Revenue Summary
  • Pending Builds
  • Income Tax Preparation
  • Profit & Loss Budget Performance
  • Fixed Asset Listing
  • Voided/Deleted Transactions (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Voided/Deleted Transactions History (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Closing Date Exception (available only in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Open Sales Orders by Customers (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Open Sales Orders by Item (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Adjusted Trial Balance (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Adjusting Journal Entries (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Forecast Overview (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • Forecast vs. Actual (available in Premier versions of QuickBooks for Windows®)
  • All payroll and workers comp reports

Unsupported report filters

The following report filters are currently not supported by QuickBooks for Mac. The balances of memorized reports that were created using these filters will not match balances in the original data file.

  • Name Email
  • Paid Thru
  • Sales Tax Code
  • Template
  • Online Status
  • Printed Status
  • Voided
  • Workers Comp Code
  • Is Adjustment

About Shelly King

Shelly King works for Intuit as a member of the QuickBooks for Mac team. She’s the Managing Editor for Little Square and its main contributor. Shelly grew up in the South until 1994 when the Internet called her to Silicon Valley. She’s done a lot on the web ever since. Little Square was her idea. Yep, it’s all her fault. See all of Shelly's articles

You can also post your own question to the QuickBooks for Mac community.