What happens when you open a file from a 2019 QuickBooks version in a QuickBooks version that was purchased in 2017?

Neither will it open, nor will there be any “Save As” option in order to downgrade the file to make them adaptable. The only possible way to use an older version of the QuickBooks is to open a backup file, which was made while using the version.

For instance, you have a professional requirement to use 2017 QuickBooks software. You will need to open a backup file from 2017 and not from any other year.  

Note: You will be restricted to any update which your QuickBooks received after it has been updated to the latest version.

Thus, if you want to use an old QuickBooks file, you need to convert it into the older version. There is no other possible route.


Get Experts Advice to Fix Your All Accounting & Bookkeeping Problems

Check The Downgrade QuickBooks Subscription Plan:

If there is a necessity to go back to your previous version then you need to perform the “Convert QuickBooks File into an older version” function. Before heading to this procedure, you have to compare both versions and then choose a suitable plan.

It’s all because of some unwanted features that create complexities while running QuickBooks to track your business accountancy.  Choose a suitable plan and resolve all problematic issues as quickly as possible. Compatibility issues are the major reason you need to downgrade your QuickBooks to an older version.

Things you need to consider are listed below:

  • You might lose all connections with other applications.
  • Applied offers you get while subscribing to this present version you lost after downgrading the edition.
  • The service you are using for some other users might be unable to  find once you downgrade your edition 
  • Losing recurring transactions. 
  • Losing multi-currency.
  • Losing inventory tracking feature. 

Before beginning with this process, ensure your business requirements, check out upgraded and downgraded version features. It happens rarely because, in every upgraded version, you find all features of the previous editions along with more advanced features.

When QuickBooks Need to Convert The QuickBooks File Into An Older Version

Upgrading QuickBooks software is always the best way but sometimes business requires the older version. In this kind of situation, the user has to restore the previous version from the QuickBooks backup folder. While converting this process, the user has to be more concerned about the internet connection otherwise it encounters errors. The speed of conversion is based on your network connectivity.

For further processing, perform the below steps:

  • Go to your Settings menu and then click on the “Accounts and Section” field
  • Make sure that all financial data up-to-date by choosing the “Billing & Subscription” option
  • Choose the “Downgrade” option and hit the click on the “New Plan” button
  • Check and review all the features that you will lose once you downgraded your QuickBooks
  • Hit the last click on the “Change Plan” and you are all done with this process.

While Doing This Conversion, You Might Lose Some Features

  • Recurring Transactions: These don’t include QuickBooks online simple start. If you are presently utilizing the recurring transitions that you will require to manage the scheduled transactions manually while switching. Before proceeding to downgrade, make sure you log in to QuickBooks and then turn off the recurring transaction format. 
  • Third-party applications: In any case, if you connected your QuickBooks with all other applications, then you should revise all of them. Open “My Apps” to view what other apps you have that are associated with your QuickBooks account. 
  • Multi-Currency: QuickBooks’ simple start doesn’t support the multi-currency feature. If you are currently using this feature then you won’t be able to downgrade to the previous version. 
  • Inventory Tracking: Whenever you try to convert your QuickBooks from an upgraded version to an older version, you need to deactivate all inventory items. QuickBooks Advanced and QuickBooks Plus both support the advanced-level inventory tracking feature.

Here is how you convert a QuickBooks file into an older version.

Converting QuickBooks File Into An Older Version

It is not possible to retrieve an old backup file via the regular approach mentioned below:

File > Restore Company > Restore a backup function.

This is because different QuickBooks versions utilize a dissimilar process of compressing backup files.

Instead, the following steps are required to be followed:

Total Time: 12 minutes

  1. Step One

    Find the file that needs to be restored.  Ideally, the file may be on a hard disk, USB, or external hard drive. Insert that into the computer.

  2. Step Two

    Start QuickBooks.

  3. Step Three

    Drag the File menu down and then select the option “ Open or Restore Company

  4. Step Four

    Choose the “Restore a backup copy” option and then select “Next

  5. Step Five

    Click “Local backup” and select “Next

  6. Step Six

    Select the specific backup file (.QBB) that is required to be restored from the particular “Open Backup Copy” window. Additionally, you can also opt for the “Look in” feature to find out your file.

  7. Step Seven

    Select “Open” and click “Next” (When it comes to restoring a backup file from a removable media, it is imperative to inform QuickBooks where the restored file will be saved.  This can be done by selecting the “Save in” arrow and locating the right folder to save the data.)

  8. Step Eight

    If required, select the Save in drop-down arrow and go to the location where you want to restore the specific backup file.

  9. Step Nine

    Choose the backup file, select Save, and reply to any messages QuickBooks might show.

Note: The backup file will comprise of company data up to the time the backup was done. Ensure that the most recent file is restored.

Although the steps mentioned above are clearly listed and are easy to comprehend, it is quite possible that you may get stuck during the process of converting the QuickBooks file to an older version.

Need Professional Help?

If you get stuck anywhere in the process, feel free to get in touch with SMB QuickBooks Technical Support Team, Which is available 24/7 on smbaccountants.com.


Get Experts Advice to Fix Your All Accounting & Bookkeeping Problems


  1. When “convert QuickBooks File into an older version” is required?

    Sometimes upgraded editions are unable to fit as per your business requirements. So, the user is required to downgrade to run the business function correctly.  Converting QuickBooks Files into an older version is easy, you just need to restore the older version from the saved files.

  2. How can I convert QuickBooks File into an older version?

    Go to the “Select the Backup file from you to want to restore” enter your backup file name from your QuickBooks. Hit the ellipse (…) button to view the backup file. Enter your next click on the “Where you want to save the restored files” and enter the File name which you want to restore. Wait until the restoration program is not completed, hit the save button when it appears.

  3. How would I open the Old QuickBooks file?

    1. Open your QuickBooks
    2. Then, click on the “Open a Company File” option
    3. Moving forward with displayed instructions and then browse the system files in the dialog until you locate the old QuickBooks company file 
    4. View the information provided about updating the company file

  4. How can I access the data while converting QuickBooks files into an older version?

    Once you restore your selected edition, then open the File menu. from the available options, click on the “Restore Company” and hit the  “Restore a backup copy” Then locate and open the Backup copy of your company data and hit the Open button and you are all done with this process.

Convert QuickBooks File into an Older Version

Further Reading