Mac to PC Conversion of Quickbooks

by David Roberts

QuickBooks is a popular and widely used accounting software package for small businesses. Some small business owners prefer the Windows-based PC, others use the Apple Mac. Because these two operating systems are so different, there is a separate version of QuickBooks for the Mac. Converting the QuickBooks file from Mac to PC is a process but it can be done. It will take a few hours of your time and a lot of patience.

Operating Systems Version Years

Converting Mac QuickBooks files to PC requires the use of compatible years. The Mac version must be the same year as the Windows software to which you want to convert the file. The compatibility between years is as follows: Mac 5.0 may be converted to Windows versions 2003 through 2005. Mac 6.0 may be converted to Windows versions 2003 through 2006. Mac 2005 will convert to Windows 2005, 2006 and 2007. Mac 2006 will convert to Windows 2006 and 2007. Mac 2007 will convert to Windows 2007 and 2008. Mac 2009 will convert to Windows 2009 and finally, Mac 2010 will convert to Windows 2010.

Prepare the File for Conversion

Open the QuickBooks file you wish to convert and save the file to an area on the desktop. You need to examine the name of the file and eliminate special characters and or spaces that may be there. Windows cannot have a file name with spaces or special characters like, &^%. Rename the file and save it again to the desktop. Open the file again and delete all memorized transactions from the Memorized Transaction list located in the "Lists" menu of the QuickBooks top menu bar. Delete or rename all "Memos" longer than 50 characters. To do so you must use the "Reports" menu and create a "Custom Transaction Detail Report." The modify report button is on the left hand side of the report menu; click on the "Memo" to make a check mark in that box and change the date range of the report to "All." Rebuild the company file by clicking on the "File" button on the top menu, then click on "Utilities" and then "Rebuild Data."

Convert the File

In the Mac file, click on "File" in the top menu bar and choose "Backup to Quickbooks for Windows." The "Save As" window will pop up; check the name again for special characters or spaces and rename if necessary. Save this backup to your desktop. Once the backup is complete, another window will pop up allowing you to print the detailed instructions for the conversion process. Print and keep these instructions.

Restore the File to Windows

The backup process you just completed will give the .QBB extension needed for the Windows to be able to run the QuickBooks file. Save this file to a flash drive or CD-ROM to be restored to the Windows computer. Insert the flashdrive or CD-ROM into the PC computer and open the QuickBooks software. In the main QuickBooks menu, choose the "Restore Backup File" button on the "File" menu. When prompted by the pop up window, choose to save the QuickBooks file to the PC's desktop. The conversion window will pop up asking if you wish to convert the file to PC; type "yes" and the conversion process will begin.

Re-Converting the File

It may be necessary to return the file or any changes back to the Mac version. To do so, simply go to the "File" button on the menu bar, choose "Utilities" and the "Copy Company File for QuickBooks for Mac" option. Save this file to a flash drive or CD-ROM for transport to the Mac computer and open it from the QuickBooks for Mac software.

About the Author

David Roberts has been writing since 1985. He has published for various websites including online business news publications. He has over 11 years experience in tax preparation and small business consultation. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. He received a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University in 2005.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera money like account. image by firsov from