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How to Setup to Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks Desktop?

Understanding Multi-User Mode

Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks enables several users to access and work on a company file simultaneously. The number of users who can work on the same QuickBooks file at the same time is typically determined by the seat count associated with the QuickBooks license.

For example, QuickBooks Pro typically allows a maximum of 3 seats/users to log in simultaneously. It’s quite likely the user may spend most of his time in multi-user mode unless doing a specific task. 

Multi-User Mode lets multiple users access the same company file at a single point of time. On the condition that all users are networked and have appropriate valid QuickBooks licenses.

Precautions To Take Before Switching to Multi-User Mode

 Make sure that QuickBooks software is installed with the latest version to gain benefit from the latest features and security enhancements.

  • Store your QuickBooks company file on a centralized server. This allows easy access for multiple users who need to work on financial data.
  • Install an independent and licensed copy of QuickBooks on each local workstation. This ensures smooth functioning and avoids conflicts.
    • QuickBooks has an alternative allowance for the number of users.
    • QuickBooks Pro supports up to 3 simultaneous users.
    • QuickBooks Premier permits up to 5 users to work concurrently.
    • QuickBooks Enterprise provides the capacity for up to 30 simultaneous users. 

System Requirements for QuickBooks Multi-User Mode

Make sure your system meets the necessary criteria before enabling Multi-User Mode:

  • QuickBooks Desktop Version: Multi-User Mode is supported in QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise editions.
  • Network Setup: The company file must reside in a shared network folder or on a server that all users can access.
  • Licenses: Each user who accesses QuickBooks in Multi-User Mode needs a valid QuickBooks license. 

Keep these requirements in mind to ensure smooth operation when using QuickBooks in a multi-user mode.

Setup Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks Desktop

To make the switch from the QB Single-User mode to Multi-User mode follow the steps mentioned below:

Step1: Install QuickBooks

  1. Download QuickBooks from the official web page.
  2. Complete the installation process by following the on-screen instructions.
  3. Choose the Multi-User Host Installation option. 

Step 2: Enable Multi-Host User Access

  1. Open QuickBooks and click on File.
  2. Select Utilities and then choose Multi-Host User Access.
  3. If the option Stop Hosting Multi-User Access appears, it means you are already hosting QuickBooks in multi-user mode. 

Step 3: Scan Company File with QuickBooks Database Server Manager

  1. Locate your company file on your PC.
  2. Click on the Start button and go to Programs.
  3. Open QuickBooks Database Server Manager.
  4. Choose Scan Folder to continue.
  5. Add the specific location and folder where you want to save the File.
  6. Click OK to proceed.
  7. If needed, add a new folder using the Add Folder option.
  8. Click Scan to automate the scanning process.
  9. After completion, mark the tick and click Close.

Step 4: Prepare the Company File for Multiple Users

  1. Add all users and grant them access to the company file.
  2. Secure your company data by setting a password to protect it from unauthorized access. 

Step 5: Log In to the Company File with Other Users

  1. Coordinate with different users to access the QuickBooks company file and log in.
  2. Ensure that the PC hosting the company file is powered on. 

To set up the recommended multi-user mode:

  1. Navigate to the File menu and select Utilities.
  2. Choose Host Multi-User Access.
  3. Confirm by selecting Yes in the confirmation window.

Advantages of Multi-User Mode

QuickBooks’ multi-user mode promotes collaboration, efficiency, and accuracy, which makes it an excellent choice for businesses with multiple team members.

Collaboration Efficiency:

  • Multi-user mode allows several team members to work simultaneously on the same QuickBooks company file.
  • Users can input data, reconcile accounts, and generate reports at the same time, which helps in enhancing productivity.

Real-Time Updates:

  • Any Changes made by one user are instantly visible to others.
  • This real-time synchronization ensures accurate financial data and prevents conflicts.

Centralized Data Storage:

  • The company file is on a centralized server, which makes it accessible to all authorized users.
  • Reduces the transference of files manually.

Enhanced Security:

  • User-specific access levels can be set, and certain actions or sensitive data can be restricted.
  • The Password protection feature ensures that only authorized personnel can access the File.


  • As your business grows, multi-user mode accommodates additional users seamlessly.
  • There is no need to switch software or disrupt operations.

Reduced Downtime:

  • Users can work independently without waiting for others to finish tasks.
  • This minimizes downtime and keeps operations running smoothly. 

How do you set up a multi-user network in QuickBooks Desktop?

In QuickBooks, a multi-user network refers to a configuration that allows multiple users to access and work with the same QuickBooks company file simultaneously. Consider the steps mentioned below to set up a Multi-User Network in QuickBooks:

Step 1: Download and Install QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Download QuickBooks and save the installation file.
  2. Follow the installation process, choosing the custom and network install options.
  3. Select whether you’ll use QuickBooks Desktop on the current PC or if you want the full version on the server system (which will host files). 

Step 2: Switch to Multi-User Hosting

  1. Open QuickBooks software.
  2. Update your QuickBooks company file to the latest edition if needed.
  3. Go to the File menu and click on Utilities, then select Host Multi-User Access.
  4. If you’ve already set up multi-user hosting, proceed to the next step. 

Step 3: Firewall and Security Settings Configuration

  1. Open the Start menu and check the firewall settings.
  2. Select Windows Firewall and click on the Advanced Settings.
  3. Choose Inbound Rules and then select New Rules.
  4. Click on Port and proceed.
  5. Specify the required ports for your QuickBooks version using TCP.
  6. Allow the connection.
  7. Register profiles and move to the next step.
  8. Assign a name to the rule and complete the process.
  9. Finally, open QuickBooks in multi-user mode. 

Step 4: Set Folder and Windows Access Permissions for Sharing Company Files

  1. Right-click on the folder which contains the company file.
  2. Go to Properties and select Security.
  3. Click on Edit.
  4. Choose QBDataServicesUserXX (where XX represents a specific QuickBooks version).
  5. Select Full Control and click Allow.
  6. Click Apply and then OK.
  7. Set up Windows access permissions for sharing company files. 

On Windows 10, 8, or 7:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the file explorer.
  2. Locate the folder with the company files.
  3. Right-click on the folder with company files.
  4. Choose Properties and Sharing Options.
  5. Click on Share and select the corresponding QBSataServiceUserXX. 

Step 5: Download Database Server Manager:

  1. Download and update QuickBooks Desktop, and the Database Server Manager will update automatically.
  2. Install it on your server computer (the one hosting your company files).
  3. Ensure the Database Server Manager has permission to run on your server computer.
  4. Scan your company files so they can be accessed over your network. 

Step 6: Give Windows Admin rights to allow multi-user access:

For Windows 10 users:

  1. Open Settings, go to Accounts and select Add another person on this PC.
  2. Choose “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information” and create a user without a Microsoft account.
  3. Assign a name and password to the account.
  4. Provide admin rights to the new user and select the account type as Admin. 

For Windows 8 and 7 users:

  1. Press Ctrl + R, open the Control Panel and select Manage another account.
  2. Create a new account, assign a username, and choose the admin role. 

Step 7: Start with a company file located on a remote system in QuickBooks:

  1. Open the QuickBooks file menu.
  2. Select Change to Multi-User Mode.
  3. In the Multi-User Setup Hosting window, choose Yes.
  4. Click OK on the Multi-User Setup Data window.
  5. Add anticipated users by opening the company file and clicking on Set Up Users and Passwords.
  6. Click Next, then select Add Users separately. 

Best Practices 

Here are the guidelines for managing QuickBooks in Multi-User Mode:

  • Backup Company File Regularly: Perform regular backups of the company file to safeguard against data loss or corruption. Schedule automatic backups to ensure data integrity and quick recovery in case of any issues.
  • Train Users on Multi-User Etiquette: Educate all users on proper Multi-User Mode etiquette to minimize data conflicts. Encourage users to communicate effectively and avoid editing the same transaction simultaneously.
  • Restrict Access to Sensitive Data: Assign user permissions carefully, granting access only to the data necessary for each user’s role. Restrict sensitive financial information to authorized personnel to maintain data security.
  • Monitor System Performance: Regularly monitor your network and computer performance, especially during peak usage times. Upgrade hardware and network infrastructure if needed to maintain optimal performance of QuickBooks in Multi-User Mode.
  • Keep QuickBooks Updated: Regularly update QuickBooks to the latest version. Install any available updates or patches to gain access to the latest features, security upgrades, and bug fixes.


QuickBooks Multi-User Mode allows seamless collaboration and efficient financial management within the organization. You can streamline workflows and boost productivity by following the setup process and best practices mentioned in this article.

By : December 21, 2023
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