Export your data from Online to Desktop

This article refers to QuickBooks Online

You can use data export to move your QuickBooks Online (QBO) information to another version of QuickBooks.

  Before you start
The steps provided within this section are intended to ensure that both Internet Explorer and QuickBooks are properly set up to allow a successful import. Skipping these steps can result in your data not exporting correctly or roadblocks that may impede the completion of your conversion.

Requirements for export

  • You must be using the U.S. version of QuickBooks Online. Currently, exporting from QuickBooks Online into QuickBooks Desktop is not available for other regions.  
  • You must be a Master Administrator, Company Administrator, or invited accountant in order to use the export feature.
  • You must be using a PC and running Internet Explorer 10 or higher.
  • You must have a supported version of QuickBooks Desktop for Windows installed on the PC in which you are performing the export. Note: For access to trial versions of the desktop program, for the purposes of export, see QuickBooks Desktop Trial Links.
  • Operating System: We do not support the 64-bit version of IE. If you attempt to export using this browser, you'll receive a communication error and won't be able to continue. See Using a 64-bit version of Windows for more details about 32- and 64-bit systems.
  • ActiveX is required to export from QBO. Our content addresses customers who have not yet installed ActiveX and would like to export.

Export Limitations

For important information on the limitations of export, please see Export limitations.

Configure Internet Explorer's security for export

To configure Internet Explorer's security for a successful export:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. From the Menu Bar, select Tools > Internet Options.
  3. From Internet Options, select Security.
  4. Add *.intuit.com to trusted sites.
    1. Click Sites.
    2. From the Trusted sites window, uncheck Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone.
    3. In the Add this website to the zone field, enter: *.intuit.com
      Note: It is recommended that you remove all other websites in reference to intuit.com from the list of websites, as *.intuit.com will cover all Intuit sites.
    4. Close the Trusted sites window.
  5. Uncheck Enable Protected Mode.
  6. Click Apply then Okay and close Internet Explorer.
    Note: After closing Internet Explorer, proceed to Step 2: Run QuickBooks Desktop and Internet Explorer in Administrator Mode.

Run QuickBooks Desktop and Internet Explorer in Administrator Mode

To run a program as Administrator:

Note: Prior to performing these steps, you must have a version of QuickBooks Desktop for Windows and Internet Explorer 11 installed on your Microsoft Windows computer. If you do not have QuickBooks installed on your Windows machine, refer to the article: QuickBooks desktop trial links

  1. Locate the program from a desktop shortcut, or through the programs in the Start menu.
  2. Right-click on the program and select Run as administrator.

To export your data

Note: For visual references of the steps contained in this article, you can view the Visual Guide to Export.

Prepare your data for export

  1. Open your QuickBooks Online company.
  2. Select the Gear, and choose Export Data. A pop-up window appears with a quick question about your reason for exporting. You may choose to answer or skip it.
  3. Read through the Export Overview to understand the process and select Get Started.
  4. From the Step 1: Prepare to export window, click Install to install the ActiveX Controls.
  5. Click Install ActiveX Control Now.
  6. After the screen displays confirmation of the installation, click Continue.
  7. Click Continue.
    Note: If you have performed the steps required to prepare for the export, you can skip steps 2-3 of this page.
  8. Select the data to export, and click Continue.
  9. In the Step 3: Request your data page, review how your data will be changed after the export, then click Continue.
  10. Enter your contact information and click Continue. Click Close.
    Note: You will receive an email with steps to complete the export conversion within a few minutes to 2 hours, depending on the amount of data that is being prepared. Receipt of this email means the data has been compiled and you are ready to move on to the next steps.

Export from QuickBooks Online

Note: In order to get to the Continue to Download option within the export process, you will need to repeat a series of steps.

  1. From the company's Home page, click the (Gear) icon, and select Export Data from the menu.
  2. Click Get Started.
  3. Click Continue.
    Note: If you are on the same computer in which you performed the previous steps, the ActiveX Controls should already be installed; therefore, the steps on this screen can be skipped.
  4. Select the data to export, and click Continue.
  5. In the Exporting from QuickBooks Online  page, click Continue to Download.
  6. Verify that the version of QuickBooks Desktop, to which you are exporting, is open and is sitting at the No Company Open screen.
    IMPORTANT: If a company file is currently open, you need to close that file prior to proceeding.

    How do I close a QuickBooks company?

    Go to File > Close Company.
    Note: This will place you at the No Company Open screen.

  7. Click Download.
  8. In the Save your company file pop-up window that appears, select a location to save the export_company file.
    Note: It is not recommended to change the file name and to save the file to your Windows Desktop.
  9. After the file has finishes downloading, click Convert Now.
  10. In the Create new QuickBooks file pop-up window, give the file a name and save the file to a local directory.
    IMPORTANT: We strongly recommend saving to your local directory. Attempting to save the file to a network directory or external media may result in the conversion failing.
    Note: This will display a pop-up dialogue window containing a status bar. If the status bar does not appear to be progressing, check QuickBooks desktop for an Application Certificate.

    How do I check QuickBooks for an Application Certificate and allow the conversion?

    1. In your Windows Task Bar, click on your active QuickBooks desktop session, to bring it to the foreground.
      Note: This should also display the Application Certificate.
    2. Within the Application Certificate, select Yes, prompt each time and click Continue.
    3. In the confirmation window that follows, click Done.
      Note: From this point, a new company file will build itself within QuickBooks desktop with your QuickBooks Online data. When it's done, QuickBooks will open within the new file.
      IMPORTANT: If, during the conversion process the progress freezes at a certain percentage, it doesn't always mean the export will not complete. Check the folder where you saved your company file, look for a file with the extension "tlg" and check the file size (usually listed in kilobytes or kbs). Take note of the number of kilobytes and close out the folder and check it after about one minute. If the number of kilobytes (kbs) on the right hand side increases, the export is working successfully. If, after about ten minutes the file size is not increasing, it's best to restart the Export conversion process.
  11. After the export completes, click Finished.

Verify that export was successful

After you've exported your data, run a Balance Sheet and a Profit and Loss report to ensure that the numbers match. The reports must be run on an Accrual basis and for All Dates in both programs.


  • If the report totals don't match, check to be sure you ran both reports on Accrual basis and for All Dates in the date range. Then make sure no data was entered into either application after the export. If the data still doesn't match, please contact a Customer Care consultant by going to https://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/en_US/contact for assistance.
  • Export does not cancel your subscription. For the process to cancel your QuickBooks Online subscription see article Cancel QuickBooks Online Subscription (US only).

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