Thinking of switching from QuickBooks Online to Desktop? There are a few reasons why this switch might be desired by someone. We will look at QuickBooks Online’s shortcomings, why desktop software is preferable, and why offline access is necessary in this article. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the steps of getting ready for the conversion process, which includes backing up your QuickBooks Online data and verifying your computer’s compatibility with QuickBooks Desktop.

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QuickBooks Online to Desktop File Conversion: Points to Consider

  • Internet Explorer required should be 10 or above for converting.
  • QuickBooks Online to Desktop conversion can be done through the help of Internet Explorer, make sure that your system has 11 versions of IE.
  • QuickBooks Desktop should be of 2004 edition or later, and Premier, Enterprise, or Pro for Windows.
  • ActiveX is required to do the conversion and without ActiveX conversion can’t be don
  • QuickBooks should be compatible and the Internet Explorer should be of 32-bit, 64 bit might return the error and stop you.
  • You should have access to one Invited Accountant account, it would be more good if you are a master or company administrator
  • For the non-US edition, there are some restrictions for the conversion of some products, vendors, services, charts of accounts, and other export list items from Excel.

System Requirements for QuickBooks Desktop

The minimum requirements of the system for the migration of data from QuickBooks Online to Desktop are explained followed:

Operating System
1 Operating System

Any one window from any of the three windows i.e Window 8, Window 10, Window 11.

Operating System
2 Memory (RAM)

Minimum required Random Access Memory is 512 MB.

Microsoft .NET Framework
3 Microsoft .NET Framework

Minimum Version 2.0 is the requirement of the system for the data conversion

4 Processor

Minimum requirement of the processor is 500 MHz Intel Pentium II.

Hard Drive
5 Hard Drive

Minimum required available space in the hard drive is 2.5GB.

QuickBooks Desktop
6 QuickBooks Desktop

Choose any one from four of the QuickBooks Desktop that is QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Primer, and QuickBooks Enterprise 16 or higher.

What Data Does and Doesn’t Export from QuickBooks Online to Desktop?

There can be changes in the appearance of your books when you convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop. We’ll assist you in understanding how your books were moved, so don’t worry.

Data Moves to QuickBooks Desktop


  • In the cleared column, every reconciled transaction will have a bold checkmark.
  • Every cleared transaction will have a light checkmark in the cleared column.

Sales Tax

  • Invoices show sales tax as a line item.
  • Rates and items subject to sales tax are moved as service items.
  • Adjustments and sales tax payments won’t change.


  • As Customer jobs projects move to QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop has field limits and lists. When fields or lists exceed these limits, they are shortened. To review the limits, you can check:

  • Maximum number of list entries (list limits and custom fields)
  • In QuickBooks character limitations for fields

Chart of accounts

  • Account detail types don’t move.
  • If you turn on the account number preference then account numbers only appear.
  • Without account numbers deleted accounts move as inactive accounts.

Class list

Deleted classes move as inactive classes.


  • The total character count for the company name and full name is 41.
  • Three lines, each containing 41 characters, are all that can be entered for the shipping and billing addresses.
  • There is an 81-character limit on email addresses.
  • Deleted customers move as inactive customers.


Before moving your books, you must modify and remove the 1099 status if you have 1099 merchants.

  • The total character count for the company name and full name is 41.
  • There is a 41-character limit for Print on Check As.
  • There can only be three lines, each containing 41 characters, for addresses.
  • There is an 81-character limit on email addresses.
  • Vendors that have been deleted will be exported as inactive.


  • A full name can only have 39 characters.
  • Employees that have been deleted are reclassified as inactive.

Payment method list


• Inventory Asset account

• Cost of goods sold account

• Purchase account

• Sales account

• Quantity on hand

• Asset values

Important: The calculation methods used by QuickBooks Desktop and Online differ. After you convert, make sure to review the inventory asset accounts and the cost of goods sold.


  • Categories become Parent items in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Categories in QuickBooks Online will have the same item type as the Products and Services that are listed under them.

You can move everything from preferences

Reports on an accrual basis in QuickBooks Desktop and Online will match. Reports on a cash basis might not match.

  • Cash purchases:- Cash purchases move as checks
  • Time tracking: Everything is moving, except for the locations. Location data is not tracked by QuickBooks Desktop.
    • Physical timesheets don’t move but activities will move.
  • Checks: Checks with blank number fields are auto-assigned a number.
  • Credit Memos
  • Sales Receipts
  • Received payments
  • Bills
  • Bill Payments
  • Invoices
  • Refund receipts
  • General Journal Entries: Multiple accounts payable or receivable lines in a transaction result in multiple journal entries.
  • Deposits
  • Transfer Funds: Transfer the funds’ copy as journal entries
  • Paychecks: Paychecks move over as checks.
  • Liability adjustments: Paychecks move over as checks.

Data Don’t move to QuickBooks Desktop


  •  Your move may fail, leading to an empty QuickBooks Desktop file.
  •  Transactions not in United States Dollars (USD) will be copied as USD.


  • You can create paychecks after you set up a payroll subscription or manual payroll in QuickBooks Desktop.


  • Reconciliation reports won’t move.

Chart of accounts

  • Inventory Shrinkage account doesn’t move


  • Due to PCI compliance, customer credit card information doesn’t move.
  • Customer notes
  • Preferred delivery method
  • Mobile number
  • Pager number
  • Is Taxable


  • Vendor Notes
  • Mobile number
  • Pager number


  • Employee notes

Other lists

The following list doesn’t exist in QuickBooks Online. In QuickBooks Desktop you will see general items on them.

  • Customer type
  • Job type
  • Memorized reports
  • Other names
  • Payroll item
  • Price level
  • Sales rep
  • Ship via
  • Templates
  • To do
  • Vendor types


  • Company info
  • Users
  • Location list

Reports on an accrual basis in QuickBooks Desktop and Online will match. Reports on a cash basis might not match.

  • Audit log
  • Reconciliation
  • Memorized reports
  • Estimates
  • Purchase order
  • Recurring transactions
  • Deposits: Billable status on deposits doesn’t copy.
  • Inventory Adjustments
  • Credit Card Payments

Method to Convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop- Manual or Tool

Let’s discuss each step of the process in detail for converting from QuickBooks Online to Desktop, including downloading QuickBooks Desktop, importing data into QuickBooks Desktop, and exporting data from QuickBooks Online.

Method 1: The Manual Method

Step 1: Set up Security Settings in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge

Let’s look at how to use QuickBooks data conversion to transfer company files from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop.

Using Internet Explorer first to export the file:

  • Go to your desktop and open Internet Explorer.
  • In the upper right corner, click Tools, then choose Internet Options.
  • Click the Sites button after selecting Trusted Sites from the Security tab.
  • Click Add after entering * and * in the Add field box.
To Set up Security Settings in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge
  • Remove the checkbox name as “Require server verification for all sites in this zone.
  • Uncheck the Enable Protect Mode box and press the Close button.
  • Next, select Okay, click Apply, and then exit Internet Explorer.
  • By right-clicking on the QuickBooks Desktop icon, choose Run as Administrator.

Step 2: Getting Ready to Export QuickBooks Online Data

  • Open the version of QuickBooks that you want to use to convert the company file. Remember that it’s best not to open any company files at this time or to move through the No Company Open window.
  • The QuickBooks Online dashboard will immediately appear. Click the Gear icon at the top, and select Export Data from the Tools list.
Convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop
  • In the Export Overview, you have to click Get Started.
Convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop
  • Click the Install button in Step 1: Prepare for the Export window to begin the installation process. Clicking the Install ActiveX Control button will then start the installation.
Prepare for the Export window
  • Once the installation has finished, you have to click Continue.
  • After selecting the desired export data type, click Continue.
  • Under Step 3: Request Your Data Window, click Continue.

After you enter your contact details into the app, Intuit will email you in the following one to two hours with instructions on how to export a file.

Step 3: From QuickBooks Online Finish the Exporting of Data

  • After opening QuickBooks Online, click the Gear icon.
  • Select Export Data from the Tools list now.
  • After choosing Get Started, press Continue.
  • After that, choose the data you want to export, and then click Continue.
  • Click the Continue to Download button when the next window opens.
  • Choose a location on your computer to save the file after clicking Download.
  • Click Convert Now once the file has been downloaded.
  • In the Create New QuickBooks File pop-up window, give this file a name and save it to your desktop.
  • Click Finished once the export process has been completed.

Step 4: Convert Data from QBO to QBDT

To access the export page, the user needs to finish a few more steps before starting the conversion process:

  • Under the Settings tab, choose the Export Data in QB Online option.
  • Steps 2 through 5 from the previous “Export Data from QuickBooks Online” step should be repeated after selecting “Get Ready to export the QuickBooks Online Data.”
  • At this time you can download the file from the QuickBooks Online page.
  • Click Next after that. Then, start QuickBooks Desktop, making sure that no firms are open when you first launch it.
  • Review the file that has been opened. You can decide to close the company if you have already opened it.
  • After making sure the company page is closed, download it back to QuickBooks Online.
  • Next, change the company file’s location and save it.
move quickbooks company file to quickbooks online desktop
  • Make sure the location is not the same as the desktop on Windows.
  • Once the download is finished, select the Convert Now tab.
  • By choosing the “Create a new QuickBooks File” option, you can save the downloaded file.
  • In the window that opens, give the file a name and choose where to save it.
  • Instead of using a network or an external drive, select the local system location.
  • To transfer data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop, click the Finish button.
  • It is important to realize that there is a time-consuming extraction process involved in the QuickBooks Online Export to Desktop.
  • It may even appear to have frozen at times. However, that isn’t the case in most cases. Thus, don’t close the window or interrupt the operation midway.
  • Give the hardware and software enough time to start the extraction bar again.
  • However, if the extraction bar freezes and doesn’t move for a long time, do the following: Click the QuickBooks Desktop icon to open the window in the taskbar.
  • Next, click Yes > Continue to proceed. When you get to the confirmation box, choose Done to begin the extraction.

Step 5: Check Exported File

Once QuickBooks Online to Desktop has been converted, check the exported file for any problems. Check the profit and loss statement to ensure that the books balance. Open the source file online, export data to your desktop, and then check the accuracy of the export.

If there is a mismatch after moving from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop due to an export restriction, follow the below steps

  • From the File menu, choose the Close Company option.
  • Try to convert the QuickBooks Online file to the desktop version once more. Sometimes, double-extracting a file solves the mismatch issue.
  • When everything is complete, confirm that the data has been transformed appropriately by going over the profit and loss file.
  • Enjoy your seamless experience as you switch from QuickBooks Online to QB Desktop.

Method 2: The Migration Tool Method

With the help of this article know how to move your data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop for Windows. After you export your data to QuickBooks Desktop things will look different. So what are you waiting for go through this article and learn how you can move your QuickBooks Online data to QuickBooks Desktop.

Step 1: Download QuickBooks Desktop

The first step is to download and install QuickBooks Desktop on your device so you can transfer your QuickBooks Online data. Then, follow these steps:

  • Go to the QuickBooks Downloads page.
  • Select your country, product, and version.
  • Select Download.
  • If prompted, enter your product and license numbers.
  • Select Download again.
  • Save the installation file to a location where you can easily find it.

Step 2: Sign in to QuickBooks Online and Export Data

  • Using a supported web browser, Log in to the QuickBooks Online account you wish to convert.
  • Use your Intuit Account login information.
  • Open the URL in the browser.
  • Then choose Enter on your keyboard next. Links to other support tasks won’t function while this is happening.
  • An Export Overview Window will appear. Go through the Export Overview. If you like, You can print it out if necessary. Click on Get Started.
  • Choose the Download tool, To download the QuickBooks Desktop migration tool for converting QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Run the Downloaded tool to Install it after downloading it, And then choose next.
  • Select next after agreeing to the licensing agreement’s conditions.
  • Choose Complete from the Setup options, And then click Next.
  • Lastly, You have to select Install, And after completing the Installation click on Finish.

Step 3: Prepare the Export and Select QuickBooks Online Data for Export

To convert your data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop 2023, follow these steps:

  • Go back to QuickBooks Online once more. You must continue with the “Prepare to export” Page. Choose Continue.
export data file qbo to qbdt
  • Select the data that you wish to Export. You can choose to export all data including lists and transactions or complete data with balances. Choose Continue.
  • To learn about limitations that can impact your migration you have to select Learn about the limitations of converting data for QuickBooks Desktop.
Convert QuickBooks online to desktop screenshot
  • Click “Continue” after reviewing the challenges.
  • Select Continue after providing the name and email address to where the migration confirmation email message should be sent.
  • Back at your QuickBooks Online (QBO) File, Select Close on the email confirmation box. Wait for the email as email will take some time. Depending on how much data you migrate.
  • You must return to QuickBooks Online’s export screen. To return to the export page choose Get Started.
  • Select Continue on the Prepare to Export page.
  • Choose the same option that you chose earlier and click Continue on the Select Data page.
  • You will see that there is a message stating that you already have a file to download on the Exporting from QuickBooks Online page. Select Download to Continue.
  • Select the Download QBXML file.
  • If QuickBooks asks you to save the file as you export from QBO to Desktop, Select Continue and then select the location (like your desktop) that is easy to find.
  • Make sure that you are on the No Company Open screen in the QuickBooks Desktop. In case you have a company open it, Then you have to the File open and then click on Close Company. To compare your data before and after the export view your reports.

The following steps will guide you through the process of transferring your data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop 2023.

Step 4: Run the QuickBooks Desktop Migration Tool

The following steps will guide you through the migration process from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Ensure QuickBooks Desktop is running and that the No Company Open screen is displayed.
  • Click and Open the QuickBooks migration tool you recently downloaded.
  • Select Import and provide the path to the downloaded QBXML file (or browse there).
  • Choose a Name for your new QuickBooks Desktop file as well as a location.
  • A QuickBooks Application Certificate should be located. If QuickBooks Desktop is running in the background, it can be hidden by other screens.
  • Choose the read/modify rights and if you want to grant access to personal data during the migration from QuickBooks Online to Desktop.
  • Click Continue.
  • Once your data has been successfully imported, Click Done On the confirmation screen.

Important: This process can take some time to complete. Even if it appears to be frozen, the export wasn’t a failure. The progress bar will start to move once more after a short while.

In Case the Status Bar Doesn’t move during the migration process, follow the steps:

For an Application Certificate again check QuickBooks Desktop.

  • To open it select the QuickBooks Desktop icon in your Windows Taskbar.
  • On your screen, The Application Certificate will appear.
  • During the QuickBooks Online to Desktop migration, click “Yes” whenever prompted.
  • Click on Continue and on the confirmation screen click on Done.

Follow these steps to migrate your data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop 2021 smoothly.

Step 5: Verify Your info Exported Correctly

To make sure your books match use the Profit and Loss report after you export your company. You can run one in QuickBooks Online and you can compare it to the same report in QuickBooks Desktop.

In cases where the reports don’t match, here’s what you should do:

  • Log into QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Find the File option and then enter on Close Company.
  • Retry the conversion in QuickBooks Online and check the Profit-Loss report again.
  • If the data still doesn’t match, make manual adjustments.

You can ensure accurate data transfer from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop by following these steps.

Click Open a Company File after successfully converting and exporting a QuickBooks Online file to your computer’s hard drive. Choose Open or Restore Company on the File tab and click Open a Company File. Click Next to import the company file into Desktop from your computer’s hard drive.

What Type of File Format to Use When Importing Data into QuickBooks Desktop?

You can utilize Google Sheets, a CSV file, or an XLSX/XLS file to transfer data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop.

Here are some details about the different formats:

  • XLS/XLSX File: XLS is the name of the Microsoft Excel file type used from 1997 to 2003. With Microsoft Excel 2007 and beyond, the XLSX file type is utilized.
  • CSV File: CSV files are a common file format used to store text files containing tabular data. In CSV files, a comma, semicolon, or other special character is used to divide each text field.
  • Google Documents: Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet created in Google Drive.
QB data conversion process dancingnumbers

QuickBooks Online to Desktop Data Migration with Dancing Numbers


Built on Trust

We make sure that the conversion of your most important business history is flawless and correct. You have to feel confident in the proper migration of all historical data to the new system.


Accelerated Conversions

You have to speed up the time to conversion. Reduce time spent working on two systems at once and do away with double entering. Make sure your system is configured properly, that all tables and databases are operational, and that your bank accounts are linked properly.


Support and Training

Get custom training for your entire staff, including the leadership. Take full advantage of QuickBooks. You will be demonstrated how to use the 150+ pre-built reports and generate custom reports specific to your company.



QuickBooks can be made more powerful by adding custom modules, marketplace apps, or open API. Our developers will integrate, install, and customize solutions to your business processes.



You may rely on our professionals to troubleshoot and optimize for consistently excellent performance if you ever feel that your new QuickBooks system is slow or not performing as planned.


Keep Your Past Records

Rest assured that all crucial business historical data will be transferred accurately to the new system, ensuring its seamless integration.

With QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop Data Migration: Do More!

  • You can effortlessly produce and modify invoices and other sales documents with QuickBooks Data Conversion.
  • Provide regulated access to other users by connecting them to the QuickBooks Online account.
  • It is simple to use software that works in both Mac and Windows settings.
  • There is no significant learning curve with QuickBooks Data Conversion, so you can get started working straight away.

A Trusted Partner Familiar with Your Business and Industry

Our team of consultants at Dancing Numbers has extensive experience working with numerous businesses across various industries. We specialize in customizing QuickBooks and ERP systems to meet the specific requirements of each industry. Whether you own a small retail store, manage an international manufacturing business, operate a residential construction company, practice law, run a software company, or oversee a rapidly expanding nonprofit organization, we have encountered and successfully addressed similar challenges before. Count on us to provide the assistance you need.


Connect with An Expert Now!

In order to ensure a trouble-free experience for users, FreshBooks to QuickBooks Data Conversion services must be flawless and exceptionally secure. For prompt assistance and resolution, contact the QB experts if you encounter any difficulties during this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop Version?

Sure, it is possible to convert QuickBooks Online to a Desktop version. To do this, you will need to:

  • Log in to your QuickBooks Online account as an administrator.
  • Go to the “Company” menu.
  • Select “Export” to begin exporting your company data.
  • Choose another company for exporting.

Please note that this process is only possible if you have multiple companies set up in QuickBooks Online.

What 2 Formats can be used for Exporting Management Report Packages in QuickBooks Online?

The two formats that can be used for exporting management report packages in QuickBooks Online are PDF and DOCX.

Can QuickBooks Online be Exported to QuickBooks Desktop?

Exporting data from QuickBooks Online to a desktop is a simple process. First, you’ll need to log in to your client’s QuickBooks Online account. Once logged in, click on the gear icon in the screen’s upper-right corner and select “Export Data.”On the “Export Data” page, you’ll be prompted to select the type of data you want to export and the format you want to export it in. Once you’ve selected, click on the “Continue” button. On the next page, you’ll be asked to provide a reason for exporting the data. Enter a brief explanation in the text box and click on the “Export” button. Your data will be exported to a file on your desktop. The file will be saved in the format that you selected.

Is QuickBooks Online the Same as Desktop?

QuickBooks Online operates as a cloud-based system, accessible online through a web browser. In contrast, the desktop version follows a traditional approach, where users must download and install QuickBooks software on their computer.

What You Can’t Import into QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks can import most types of the transaction but not all. You can’t import two transaction types that are Paychecks and Sales Orders. For those who use Advanced Inventory, there is important information that for import QuickBooks doesn’t support Advanced Inventory fields but also needs them to be filled out on transaction.

What information can I import to QuickBooks Online?

You can import the following information to QuickBooks Online:

  1. Bank Data
  2. Customers
  3. Vendors
  4. Chart of Accounts
  5. Products and Services
  6. Invoices

What file format is compatible with exporting QuickBooks Online data to a Desktop?

File formats compatible with QuickBooks Desktop include .qbo, .qfx, .ofx, .qbj, and .csv.

When Exporting a QuickBooks Online file, What data is included?

You can export lists such as charts of accounts, customers, vendors, and transactions such as invoices, bills, and payments.

Can I transfer files from QuickBooks Online to a Desktop?

Yes, you can transfer data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop using the Intuit Intercompany Transfer feature or by downloading the data from QuickBooks Online and importing it into QuickBooks Desktop

What Desktop version do I need to import data from Online to QuickBooks?

To import data from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop, you need QuickBooks Desktop 2021 or later.

How long does it take to move data to the Desktop?

The time it takes to move data from QuickBooks Online to Desktop depends on the size of your company file and the speed of your internet connection. However, the actual process of exporting and importing the data can be completed in just a few minutes.

How do I check the accuracy of the file after converting QuickBooks Online to Desktop?

To check the accuracy of the file after switching from QBO to QBDT:

  • Review the data that was transferred to ensure all your accounts, transactions, and other information were imported correctly.
  • Run reports in QuickBooks Desktop and compare them to the reports you had in QuickBooks Online to verify the numbers match.
  • Check for any limitations on what data can be transferred, such as particular types of transactions or features that are not supported in the conversion process.
  • Test key functionality like creating invoices, entering bills, and reconciling accounts to ensure everything is working as expected in the QuickBooks Desktop file.

Will I lose any data during the migration process?

If you follow the correct process and back up your data beforehand, there should be minimal risk of data loss. However, it’s important to review the migrated data thoroughly to ensure everything is transferred correctly.

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