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Giving Admin Rights in QuickBooks

Contents1 Admins in QuickBooks 2 Difference between Primary Admin and

Admins in QuickBooks 

There are two admins in QuickBooks:

  • Primary Admin: The primary Admin is a main admin-level user who can access every corner of the QuickBooks account. Every QuickBooks account must have a primary admin, which needs to be created when setting up your business account. They are allowed to manage all users or other admin tasks and also have unrestricted access to all data or tools. Being a primary admin, you can run reports, view balances, pay bills, and even create or remove other users.
  • Company Admin: The company admin is a secondary user who has the same rights or access as primary admins, such as running reports, viewing balances, and paying bills, except for editing or removing the primary Admin’s access. Company admins are simply optional users covered under the primary Admin.

Note: Primary admin and company admin are both billable roles, i.e., they are counted towards the user limit.

Difference between Primary Admin and Company Admin

Well, the primary and company Admin look alike as they are both able to perform many of the similar processes, but they aren’t. The primary Admin is required for each Quickbooks account, and you can’t set up Quickbooks for your business without creating a primary admin. Most importantly, you can only create a single primary admin for your business account. Quickbooks accounts are not compatible with multiple primary admins. 

Whereas the Company admins are optional, which means you’re not bound to create Company admins when setting up your business Quickbooks account. They have a slightly lower level of permissions than primary admins. For example, company admins can’t remove the primary admins associated with their Quickbooks account. They can add or remove other users, like standard users, but can’t edit or remove the primary Admin.

Admin access in QuickBooks Desktop

Giving Admin Rights to Existing Users

Perform the following steps to provide admin rights to existing users:

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop in the first place and then log in using your admin details.
  2. Now, go to the company menu on the top menu bar. 
  3. Click on Users and then select Set up Users and Roles. 
Admin access in QuickBooks Desktop, step-1
  1. Under the User list, select the User to whom you want to give admin rights. 
  2. After this, hit the user name to highlight it. 
  3. Search for the Role column and choose Admin from the dropdown menu next to the user name. 
  4. Moving ahead, press the Edit User button if you want to adjust or modify the user rights and permissions. 
  5. Select the Set up Users option to configure or change the password. 

Note: Ensure that you’ve created a unique and strong password for the admin user. 

Admin access in QuickBooks Desktop, step-2
  1. Once done, review the changes and press OK or Save to confirm and apply the new admin rights. 
  2. In the end, restart the QuickBooks application using the correct admin credentials. 

Remember: We recommend you always keep your passwords secure and review or update user permissions at regular intervals so you can maintain efficiency with your accounting software. 

Add Users and give them Admin Rights in QuickBooks

  1. Open the QuickBooks application in your system and log in with your admin credentials. 

Note: Only an admin can add new users and modify their roles. 

  1. Now, go to the Company menu in the top menu bar and then click on Users.
  2. On the next window, select Set up Users and Roles.
  3. After this, choose the Add User option to add a new user. 
  4. Enter the required information for the new User, including their name and email address. 

Note: Make sure the password meets the security standards. 

  1. When you’re done, click on Admin from the dropdown menu under the Role column.
  2. Press the Next button to set permissions for the new User. 
  3. Next, you need to check the information entered and then hit the Finish tab. 
  4. Then, press Save to confirm and create a new user. 

Note: If you haven’t set a password yet, select Set up Users to configure it immediately. 

  1. At last, restart the QuickBooks software to verify the admin rights and their Role in the User List. 

Revoking admin rights or removing admin access

To Remove admin rights, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the QuickBooks Desktop application on your system. 
  2. After this, log in using the admin credentials. 

Note: Only an admin can make changes to user access.

  1. Navigate to the Company menu on the top menu bar.
  2. After this, click on Users, then select Set up Users and Roles.
  3. Identify and choose the User for whom you want to revoke admin privileges. 
  4. Hit the User name to highlight it. 
  5. Under the Role column, click the dropdown menu and select Standard User, not Admin. 
  6. Once done, press the Edit User button to review and adjust the User’s permissions as required. 

Note: Make sure that the User has proper access to all the accounting features without admin rights. 

  1. If necessary, click on Set up Users to configure, change, or update your password. 
  2. When everything is set, see the changes you’ve made, including role and permission adjustments, then press the OK button. 
  3. To finish, log out and log in back to QuickBooks and check if the user no longer has admin access.

Create Windows users and give them admin access in Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks

You are recommended to log in to Windows as a user with administrator rights if you run QuickBooks Desktop in a multi-user environment. This allows you to change things like your firewall settings and folder permissions. You also need to give permissions or admin rights to programs like Database Server Manager. Let’s create a Windows user using admin rights so you can set up programs and configure Windows settings. 

Step 1: Add a Windows user with administrator rights

Here are the steps from Microsoft to create Windows users and give them admin rights:

For Windows 10/11:

Create a local user account

  1. Hover over the Start menu and choose Settings, then Accounts.
  2. Now, choose the Family & Other Users option.

Note: In some versions of Windows, you’ve to click on Other users.

  1. Select Add someone else to this PC.
Create Windows users and give them admin access in Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks, step-1
  1. After this, click on I don’t have this person’s sign-in information, and select Add a user without a Microsoft account on the next page.
  2. Type a username, password, or password hint—or choose security questions—and then press the Next button. 

Change a local user account to an Administrator Account

  1. Go to the Start menu and then click on Settings > Accounts.
  2. Choose the account owner name (you will see the Local Account window below the name) under Family & Other Users, then select the option Change account type.

Note: If you choose an account that displays an email address or doesn’t say Local account, then you have to give administrator permissions to a Microsoft account, not a local account.

  1. After this, select Administrator in the Account type and then press OK.
  2. Lastly, log in with the new administrator account.

For Windows Small Business Server 2011 and 2008 R2

  1. Navigate to the Windows Start menu.
  2. Next, choose All Programs. Open Windows Small Business Server and then select Windows SBS Console.
  3. Click on Users and Groups. Then, hit the Add a new user account tab.
  4. Fill out the user info, then do follow the Add a New User Account wizard.
  5. Once done, give the new user administrator rights and press Finish. 

Step 2: Give admin access to QuickBooks programs

Some programs need admin rights to work on multi-user networks. For example, QuickBooks automatically creates a new Windows user when you install QuickBooks database server manager. You are just required to give this user admin rights so that it can run easily on your network. Go through the steps below to give admin rights to QB programs. 

  1. Initially, close the QuickBooks Desktop application. 
  2. Now, go to the Windows Start menu.
  3. Search and open the Control Panel and then choose User Accounts.
  4. After this, locate the QBDataServiceUserXX for your QuickBooks Desktop version. Look for QBDataServiceUser30 for QuickBooks Desktop 2020 and look for QBDataServiceUser29 for the 2019 version. The number goes down for each version.
  5. Select Change the account type and then hit Administrator. Later, click on Change Account Type.
  6. Press Apply to save your changes.
  7. Re-perform the same steps for each QuickBooks Database Server Manager version in use.

Change the primary admin user in QuickBooks Online or transfer the primary Admin to QuickBooks

If you’re a primary admin, you can simply transfer the primary admin role to an existing QB user, or if the person is not a QuickBooks user yet, you can change the primary Admin or also add them as a new user. Later, transfer the primary admin role to them once they’re added successfully.

You are recommended to log in as the primary Admin to transfer/change the primary admin role. You can send a request to be the primary Admin in case the current primary Admin is no longer with the company.

Here’s how to transfer/change the Role to an existing user.

Note: Being an accountant, you need to be the primary Admin of your business to change the primary admin role in a client’s account.

To make a primary Admin, go through the following steps:

  1. Firstly, log in to QuickBooks Online as the current primary admin. If you are unable to sign in, recover your user ID or password.
  2. Now, go to the Settings menu.
  3. Select Manage Users and then locate the User you wish to make the primary Admin. 
  4. After this, make sure they are selected as Admin under the User Type column. If they aren’t, hit the Edit icon to change their Role to Admin.
  5. Choose the small arrow in the Action column. Then, click on the Make primary admin option.
  6. Once done, select Make Primary Admin again to confirm the change.
  7. At last, sign out from QuickBooks.

To change primary Admin, perform the steps below: 

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online as the current primary Admin. If you are not able to sign in, you can recover your login credentials.
  2. Now, click on the Settings menu. 
  3. Choose to Manage users.
  4. After this, locate the User you want to make the primary Admin.
  5. Under the User Type column, check that they are listed as Admin. If they’re not, click on Edit to change their Role to Admin.
  6. Select the ellipsis icon in the Action column. Then, choose the Change primary admin option.
  7. Once done, click on Change Primary Admin again to confirm the change.
  8. Finally, sign out from the QuickBooks application.

When the users are notified of the invitation email, they are prompted to click on the link and accept the Invitation to be the primary Admin.

Add users and give them admin rights in QuickBooks Online

When you add users, this will help with different business operations and bookkeeping tasks. You can customize each role, give individual permissions, and also allow your accountant access to your company’s books.


  • Only users having the right permissions can manage user profiles in QuickBooks Online. 
  • User roles are either billable or non-billable. Billable users count toward your user limit, while non-billable users don’t. 

Add a New user

When you add a user, your subscription plan determines how many users you can add. Some certain roles don’t count toward your user limit, like Reports or Time tracking only.

  1. For this, click on the Settings menu and then select Manage Users.
  2. Now, choose Add User, then type the User’s name and email address.
  3. Hit the Roles dropdown and then select the Role you’d like to assign to the User.
  4. After this, review the features this Role gives access to. You can expand each section.
  5. Choose the Account management settings you wish to manage (if applicable for the selected Role). Note: If you click on View all permissions, you’ll be able to check the list of features the User will not have access to.
  6. Press the Send invitation icon.

Once done, new users receive an invite notification to join the company. Ask them to click on the link in the email. From here, they can create a new Intuit Account or login if they already have one.

Giving admin rights to the users

  1. Firstly, open QuickBooks and go to the Manage users.
Create Windows users and give them admin access in Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks, step-2
  1. This will direct you to the window where you have to click on Add User.
Create Windows users and give them admin access in Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks
  1. Now, you’re required to fill in personal details such as first name, last name, and email.
Create Windows users and give them admin access in Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks, step-3
  1. After this, select the Role from the dropdown menu and then click on Send Invitation.
Create Windows users and give them admin access in Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks, step-4
  1. Once done, hit the OK tab to save the changes and restart your QuickBooks application. 

Delete a user

Note: After deleting a user, you can still view their history in the audit log. 

  1. Navigate to Settings and then select Manage Users.
  2. Choose the ellipsis icon on the User you’d like to delete, then click on the Delete option.
  3. When you’re ready, hit Delete user from the pop-up window to confirm.

By : June 25, 2024
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