How to Started with QuickBooks Desktop – A Detailed step by Step Guide

How To Started with QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks is one of the most preferred and sought-after software for all your accounting requirements. The software is commonly used by small and medium businesses. For beginners, one would have to set it on the system for which you have to follow a few steps. As we move further we will discuss How To Started with QuickBooks Desktop. We will also discuss setting up QuickBooks Desktop for the first time in the simplest possible way.

Steps For Setting Up QuickBooks Desktop For The Very First Time

Here are the main steps to follow for setting up a QuickBooks desktop for the very first time:

Step 1: You Have To Register For QuickBooks Desktop

It is possible to register a QuickBooks desktop in a minute or less. It is possible to select any QuickBooks package after completing your free trial.

The QuickBooks subscription or packages are:

Basic Starting Plan: available at $5 per month: Through this plan, it is possible to make invoices, get estimates, and also download bank transactions.

Essential Plan: Beginning at $10/month: It can offer access offered in Simple Start plan with access to manage and pay bills and it also offers support for multiple users.

Plus Plan: $21/month: The plan is available with all the vital features and the access for tracking inventory, preparing, and printing the 1099’s.

All such features can be available for free access for a 30-day duration. You will only have to enter personal details, and you’ll also benefit from the free online trial.

For using QuickBooks Online, it is best to use compatible browsers including (Safari 6.1, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, and higher). After signing up for a trial, it is possible to log in to QuickBooks and get access to the dashboard QuickBooks.

Step 2: Customize Company Preferences And Account Settings

It is possible to display a to-do List on QuickBooks Dashboard. While logging in the very first time, you’ll find various tutorials helping to set up various parts of the new account. After this, it’s best to set your company preferences helping in moving forward with QuickBooks.

Now on the menu at the top, click on the tab ‘Company’ and choose the option “Preferences”. Edit your company’s contact details or fill in and change account settings as per your wants. Such settings can include invoice automation, credit card payments, and payroll and time tracking.

However, when you don’t want to change the settings, the version won’t force or pressurize you to do it.

Step 3: Import All Vital Business Data To QuickBooks

With the latest Desktop QuickBooks version it is possible to import data without facing any issues. You wouldn’t have to do setups or manual transfers. The software helps in importing data, doing bank account transactions, excel customer data, and the Excel chart of accounts.

For all such things, you would want to click on the ‘Company tab’ and choose ‘More’ and ‘Import Data’ from the drop-down menu.

For all such things, you would have to click on the tab ‘Company’ and choose the option ‘More’ and ‘Import Data’ from the drop-down menu.

There are many available options for uploading the file and it is possible to select the one according to your preference. Moreover, uploading the vendor or customer list is quite simple with the new software. You would match all fields within the field QuickBooks ensuring that no errors are present in the list, it is possible to go ahead.

Some business data is possible to import to QuickBooks including vendor or customer data, excel services and products, bank transactions and QuickBooks desktop company data. You can also experience many errors while importing but it is easily possible to troubleshoot.

In the process, you might sense that QuickBooks over-categorizes a few businesses but it would be helpful to organize the business.

Step 4: QuickBooks And Bank Accounts Sync

Firstly, scroll to the screen top and click on the “banking tab”, on the screen top and it automatically links QuickBooks with the bank account. Now click on the option ‘Download Transactions’.

After that, you’ll see a pop-up window where you would need to fill up the personal bank details that you want to sync with the software.

Next, a pop window also appears where you would have to fill up bank details that you’ve got to sync up the software. It is possible to use the online banking “username and password”. After some time, you’ll have a synced account with the software and all the bank transactions are imported into the software.

Finally, it is possible to link the ‘Customer and vendor names’ to all the transactions. The organized data and attachment help in tracking the debit and credit info.

Step 5: Sync The Business Credit Cards

After a bank account, you must ‘sync the credit card accounts’. After you ‘Sync credit card accounts’. After syncing the credit card accounts ensure that you see the credit card information in QuickBooks. It ensures that you don’t manually record the data.

When you want to sync credit cards, you need to click on the tab ‘Banking’ on the top menu bar, choose the option ‘More’, and click on ‘Register’ from the drop-down menu. Type bank account details and select the ‘Credit Card Option’ in the pop-up appearing. After clicking, QuickBooks launches a setup wizard for credit cards helping in syncing cards in a few steps.

Step 6: Customize The Invoices With Company Banking

Not to mention, good business plans have good well-maintained invoices through which customers can easily get impressed. It is possible to easily do it only after ‘Customizing QuickBooks invoice’ with branding and company logo.

Users would be happy to know that customizable invoices are supported in QuickBooks and they’re happy to do so. It is possible to change color, style, layout, size and font. However, you need to keep in mind that total invoice customization is available only to QuickBooks Plus subscribers.

Now click on the tab ‘Customers’ for accessing the customization menu, and choose the option ‘create invoices’. From the drop-down list choose your favorite invoice template from the drop-down list and also make your own. It is also possible to do any further invoice changes after clicking on the ‘Formatting tab’ and then clicking on the option ‘Customize Date Layout’.

Now customize the layout and the design. Search for the option ‘Use Logo Checkbox’ and notice whether the logo appears nice and isn’t cropped while you’re using it in your invoice.

Step 7: Import Contacts To QuickBooks

It is simple to import contacts with QuickBooks and you can do things as per your requirement.

Click on the Company> More > Import Data and choose ‘Customers or Vendors’ (it is based on whose data you wish to import).

The data of ‘Customer and vendor’ is uploaded in ‘CSV or Excel file’. After importing the file, QuickBooks automatically extracts all your data.

However, while you copy the data, QuickBooks can make errors. After correctly filling in the data, it is possible to ‘Continue and review’ data.

A Few Tips For Beginner QuickBooks Users

After knowing How To Started with QuickBooks Desktop for the very first time, you must ensure that while you use certain tools, you would have to follow certain tips:

Avoid The Use Of Estimates and Invoices

For first-time users, you must avoid using estimates and invoices on QuickBooks until you’ve made yourself well-versed with the program. After knowing the generated total on QuickBooks, you can begin using in-built estimates and invoices to help you make the QuickBooks account accurate.

Having Separate Business

It is great that with QuickBooks users get to sync accounts with the software but it would be suggested to keep the business bank account separate and it must not have personal transactions. 

Getting Host Docket Assistance

After providing the postal code or zip code, QuickBooks helps in finding nearby QuickBooks-certified experts to help users with any issues about the software. 

Connects the QuickBooks With Payroll Software

Manual calculation of payroll is quite tough and in this regard, QuickBooks is the most renowned software to help in payroll accurately and quickly. It is possible to sync your payroll program with the software. It is also great to keep you updated with any recent changes in tax laws and any other development. 

Installing QuickBooks Desktop

After successfully downloading QuickBooks, the next step would be the installation of QuickBooks. To install QuickBooks, follow the below-outlined steps:

  • For starting, you need to navigate the file QuickBooks.exe,
  • When the system prompts you for permission on the QuickBooks.exe file, Click on the button Yes. 
  • Later follow the steps mentioned by Windows on-screen.
  • Then you only need to follow the on-screen directions offered by Windows.
  • After going through the License Agreement and accepting the same, Click on the button Next. 
  • Finally, you should enter the license and product keys.
  • After finishing, choose the option next. 
  • Choose The Type Of Installation You Want

Hosting QuickBooks On A Network

When for the very first time, you’re setting up a network of multiple users, install QuickBooks Database Server Manager before continuing. 

Note: For installing and moving QuickBooks Desktop to another computer, we show you how to do the same with the migrator tool.

Step 1: Preparing for installation

  • Make sure that you meet system needs.
  • In case you already didn’t, you need to download the QuickBooks Desktop version. Now save the file in a location where it is simple to find (Such as the Windows desktop).
  • Have the license number and product handy.

Step 2: Installing QuickBooks desktop

QuickBooks desktop installation is a very simple process with a few steps to follow:

  • Open the file QuickBooks.exe.
  • Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Accept the software license agreement and choose the option Next.
  • Mention the product number and License Number and click on the Next option. 

Step 3: You have two options for installing QuickBooks. It is possible to do express or custom install and network. 

Express install

An express is recommended if you’re:

  • Using it for the first time
  • Reinstalling QuickBooks
  • Visiting to use QuickBooks on a single computer (Not like a part of a computer network)
  1. Choose the option Express and click on Next
  2. Choose the option Install
  3. After finishing, choose the option, Open QuickBooks.

Network and Custom Install

It is suggested to try a custom install if you’re:

  • Installing QuickBooks somewhere other than the default location (like on a server).
  • Hosting the company files on the server.
  • Set up a Multi-user network.
  1. Choose Custom and Network Options and check on Next.
  2. Choose the option for describing the ways to use QuickBooks
  3. On the next screen, choose the option Change install location. 
  4. Choose the option Browse for deciding ways to put the QuickBooks folder. Many people put their Programs folder. 
  5. Choose the option Next for beginning the installation process.
  6. After finishing it, choose the option Open QuickBooks.

After seeing an error, we’re there to help you with the same. Here is how you can Fix QuickBooks Desktop installation errors. 

Step 4: Activating QuickBooks Desktop

Right after installation, QuickBooks prompts users to activate and update the same. To activate the latest version you must update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest version beforehand. 

It is possible to display a to-do List on QuickBooks Dashboard. After you log in for the first time, you would have to find various tutorials to help you set up various parts of the new account. After this, you must set up the company preferences to let you move forward with QuickBooks.

  • Click the “Company Tab” on the top menu, and choose the option “Preferences”/ Fill e
  • There are various installation types: Network and custom express install. You should select the best installation for your requirements.

Steps For Downloading The Latest QuickBooks Desktop Version

To download the QuickBooks Desktop software into the system, you would need to follow the process to completely download the software. Also, take care of the software you need to fill in the details. Then it would download the software you would need for the business. Here are the steps for the same:

  • Visit the website QuickBooks Intuit, and then open the download page
  • When it is about downloading then before that you need to fill out a form.
  • In the form, there are options for filling out and providing the software for downloading.

There are 3 options available for filling:

  • Select the country where you use the software
  • After that, you would need to select the QuickBooks Desktop Product version to download like Enterprise, Premier, and Pro. 
  • Then you need to choose the version that you intend to download. 
  • On doing it the below button isn’t grayed so click on the search button.
  • Now a download page also opens up where you would need to click on the download button
  • Then the installation file downloads and you need to save the same in the location that you want or you’ll download the same in the default location.
  • After finishing the download, you need to open File Explorer.
  • Visit the folder Download and search the installation file with the .exe extension.
  • Make sure that the file is complete without any problems or issues.

How to Download QuickBooks Through A CD

For downloading QuickBooks through a CD, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Insert the QuickBooks CD into the CD drive of your computer.
  • When you don’t automatically start the installation process, navigate to the CD drive on the computer and also double-click on the setup file QuickBooks.
  • Follow the instructions listed on the screen for installing QuickBooks on the system. While you’re in the installation process, you might be asked to agree to a license agreement and you would have to specify the location where you would want QuickBooks to get installed. 
  • After finishing the installation process, users must follow the instructions specified on the screen for activating the software and setting up the company file. 

After you’re done with the setup, you’re ready to use the QuickBooks software. 

Basic System Requirements To Set Up QuickBooks Desktop

You must be sure that all the system requirements are fulfilled whether the same is related to hardware or software. The system requirements can also vary based on the version that you use. It is also helpful for avoiding issues and errors that you can face when you don’t have the complete requirements. The system needs are as follows:

Operating System

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • All editions that include 61-bit are natively installed.

Database Servers

  • For Windows Server 2011, 2012 R2, 2012, 2016, 2019
  • Linux OpenSuse 42.3, Fedora 29, and Red Hat Enterprise 7 (RHEL 7.4). 

Basic Browser Needs

  • Internet Explorer 11 (32-bit)

Hardware and OS Needs

  • Processor – 2.4 GHz
  • RAM – A minimum of 4 GB is needed and the recommended RAM capacity is 8 GB
  • Screen Resolution – 1024 x 1280 
  • Optical Drive – 4 x DVD-ROM
  • Disk Space – 2.5 GB

Software Compatibility

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office 2019 is compatible with R3, 2016, Office 2013, 2010, Office 365
  • Pro-Series Tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020
  • QuickBooks POS V12.0 and V18.0
  • Turbo Tax 2018 and 2019
  • Quicken 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • The required internet speed is 56 kbps and the suggested is 1 MBPS.

Antivirus and Firewall Software Compatibility

  • Avast
  • AVG
  • Avira
  • Bitdefender
  • ESET
  • Malwarebytes
  • Kaspersky
  • McAfee
  • Norton LifeLock
  • Windows Server Firewall
  • Windows 8.1 Firewall
  • Microsoft Security Essentials


After you follow all the aforementioned instructions and steps, you’ll know how to start with QuickBooks Desktop and become a QuickBooks master within the least possible time and you can easily set up the QuickBooks desktop for the first time. When you’ve got any queries or questions, you can get in touch with QuickBooks experts to help in the entire process of installation, troubleshooting or updating the software in the least amount of time. 

You have to be sure that you’re following the provided steps in their particular order to ensure the installation process won’t crash in the middle. For any situation, when you face any issue or an error about the Quickbooks desktop installation after following the steps in their provided order, it is possible to contact the QuickBooks error support team. They offer assistance on any issue you face.

Frequently Asked Question

What installation type is perfect for installation and setting up a QuickBooks desktop?

When you’re new to the accounting software QuickBooks your best bet would be following the Express Install procedure so that it is simply done and you won’t have to do a lot.

Would you need to make a backup pre and post-installation and set up QuickBooks Desktop?

As a current user, you need to make a backup before you visit the new QuickBooks product. When you’re a new user then you need to take a backup or also schedule a backup after you use the software that you have recently backup in case you face any data loss or damage.

Is it possible to Merge QuickBooks Files after installing and setting up QuickBooks Desktop when you have a File from another person?

No, in this case, it won’t be possible to merge QuickBooks company files. 

I have installed and set up the QuickBooks Desktop but it still doesn’t automatically open up. What should I do?

You won’t need to open File Manager and locate the installed file where you saved it. To manually open the file, you need to double-click and open it.

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