How to Fix Problems When Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to online?

Errors When Moving From QuickBooks Desktop Online

During the migration from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, users may encounter various errors related to payroll, company file size, failed conversion attempts, un-converted data, data corruption, and others.

This article provides solutions to address these errors effectively, ensuring a seamless transition process.

Many users choose to make this transition due to the benefits of increased accessibility and efficiency offered by QuickBooks Online. However, navigating the conversion process can be challenging as errors can arise.

Errors While Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Error 1: Please Delete all Employees already Entered in QuickBooks Online

When migrating employee data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, certain errors may arise. One such error message is “Please delete all employees already entered in QuickBooks Online”. This error can disrupt the data migration process and potentially lead to duplicate entries, complicating the migration.

The challenge with migrating employee data stems from its integration with payroll items, year-to-date history, and various payroll setup components. QuickBooks Online may encounter difficulties in seamlessly transferring this interconnected data.

How it happens

Due to the fact that employees are linked to payroll items, year-to-date histories, and other payroll setup, QuickBooks Online cannot replace them when you move your data.


You cannot delete employees who have paychecks or pay histories in QuickBooks Online. To move your data, you must establish a new QuickBooks Online company without a payroll setup.

Error 2: Your Data File is Too Large to Convert

When transferring a file from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop, there’s a limit on the number of targets. QuickBooks Desktop CA, UK, and MAC versions have a limit of 350,000 targets, while QuickBooks Desktop Pro/Premier 2020 (CA) and 2018 (US) and later versions have a limit of 75,000 targets. If the number of targets in your file exceeds the limit, you can try condensing the QuickBooks Desktop file. Here are the steps:

How it happens

The maximum number of targets in your QuickBooks Desktop file is limited to the following:

  • 750,000 targets for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2020 and newer (US)
  • 750,000 targets for QuickBooks Desktop Pro/Premier’s latest release and newer (US)
  • 750,000 objectives for QuickBooks Desktop Pro/Premier 2020 and newer (CA)
  • Targets for QuickBooks Desktop UK – 350,000
  • Targets for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac: 350,000
  • 350,000 objectives for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise (CA)


To open Product Info in QuickBooks Desktop, press F2 or Ctrl+1 (Command+1 on a Mac). Check the target count after that. If your file’s size exceeds the limits, you can try compressing it into a QuickBooks Desktop file.

Error 3: There was a problem checking this company for import eligibility

The error “There was a problem checking this company for import eligibility” typically occurs during the conversion process due to various reasons:

How it happens

In case, you will see this if:

  • In the QuickBooks Online Company users are not a primary admin, company admin, or accountant.
  • For QuickBooks Online Payroll there is a problem with the account services.
  • You imported data without first logging into your Online account.
  • In QuickBooks Online, you failed to complete the setup interview.
  • You attempted to transfer your data more than 60 days after the start of your membership.


There are certain factors that can prevent a company from being eligible for data import, which can hinder the conversion process until the issues are resolved. To fix this issue, follow these steps:

  • Log in to QuickBooks Online company and complete the setup interview questions.
  • To transfer your data from QuickBooks Desktop sign in as a primary or company admin.
  • Save your company address once again.

Note: Creating a new Online account is the simplest solution to resolve this issue if you continue to get the error. Make sure to first cancel your previous subscription.

Error 4: Error in Processing Data for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

If you come across the “Error in processing data for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac” message during the conversion process, it typically indicates that you don’t have the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac installed. This error disrupts the flow of data transfer between QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and another platform or version, potentially causing delays or incomplete data migration.

How it happens

If you don’t have the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac installed, you will see this.


To resolve this issue, try the following steps:

  • Select QuickBooks from the menu bar and check for QuickBooks updates.
  • Then you have to select Install Any Available Updates.
  • Restart QuickBooks.

Note: To access the Verify and Rebuild utilities, go to the File menu and select Utilities.

Error 5: We can’t Export Your Data. It may be on a Network Drive

When exporting data from QuickBooks Desktop, this error may occur due to specific circumstances. If your Desktop company is located on a drive other than your local C-drive or if it’s open in multi-user mode, it can hinder the export process from accessing essential files, resulting in this error.

This error creates a significant challenge during the data conversion process. Without successfully exporting data, it cannot be transferred to the intended destination, like QuickBooks Online or other accounting software. This roadblock halts the migration process, causing delays in data conversion and leading to potential disruptions in day-to-day business operations.

How it happens

If your desktop company is open in multi-user mode or is located on a drive other than your local C-drive, you will see this.


To resolve this error, follow these steps:

  • You can find your company data file in QuickBooks.
  • Then you have to close QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Now you have to copy your company file to your computer’s local C disk.
  • Launch QuickBooks Desktop from the new location and open your company file.
  • Choose Switch to Single-user mode after choosing File.
  • Now you have to click Company, then you have to click QuickBooks Online, then click on Export Your Company File.

Error 6: Export QBDT data to QBO: ERROR

If the path to your QuickBooks company file is more than four folders deep, you may encounter an error during data export. For instance, a file path like exceeds the maximum depth allowed for successful data export.

When the file path exceeds the maximum depth, the export process fails, preventing the migration of data to QuickBooks Online. This can disrupt the conversion timeline and hinder the transition to the new accounting system.

How it happens

If the path to your company file has more than 4 folders, you will notice this. For example, under C:\My Stuff\QuickBooks files\My Company\2016\Work Files\data.qbw.


To resolve this error, follow these steps:

  • Find you company data file in QuickBooks.
  • Then you have to close QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Then, on your local drive, you have to copy your company file to a new folder. Example, c:\new folder\mycompany.qbw.

By following these steps, you can successfully export your QuickBooks data to QuickBooks Online, ensuring a smooth migration process.

Error 7: FAILED

Updating QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release is crucial for successful migration to QuickBooks Online. This error usually arises when you’re using an outdated version. Updating your company file ensures compatibility with the migration process and resolves the error. If the update doesn’t resolve the issue, try migrating again.

The error prevents data migration to QuickBooks Online, hindering the transition process. Without successful data migration, the move to QuickBooks Online can be delayed, potentially disrupting business operations.

How it Happens

If you are not using the latest release, you could see this message.


Update your company file, then attempt the QuickBooks Online migration once more.

Error 8: You can’t import because the QuickBooks Online Company has been cancelled

This error occurs because a canceled QuickBooks Online subscription makes the Company inaccessible for data import. This causes the conversion process to stop and requires a solution like reactivating the QuickBooks Online subscription.

If your QuickBooks Online firm is no longer subscribing, you will see this.

  • Begin by logging in to your company’s QuickBooks Online Company.
  • Choose Account and Settings, then click on Settings.
  • Choose Billing & subscription in step 3.
  • Click Resubscribe or Subscribe (if the business was a trial), then fill out your billing information.

Error 9: Error: FAIL Server returned error 500

This error typically occurs due to server-side issues on QuickBooks Online’s end. This could be caused by temporary server maintenance, network congestion, or technical glitches.

Solution: During the QuickBooks Desktop to Online process, if you already have a qbw file on your local drive, be sure to address any potential data loss issues beforehand to resolve this error.

Important Tip: If the issue persists, it might be due to company file corruption. In that case, you can use the Verify and Rebuild Data tool in QuickBooks.


In conclusion, the conversion from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can bring about numerous benefits, but it also presents users with potential errors. By understanding the common errors that may arise during this transition, users can proactively address and resolve them using the solutions provided in this article. By following these steps, users can ensure a seamless conversion process and unlock the full potential of QuickBooks Online, ultimately enhancing their accounting and financial management processes.

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