How to Set Up a QuickBooks Server in record time!


QuickBooks is a crucial tool for many businesses, offering robust accounting and financial management solutions. However, as your business grows, managing QuickBooks on a single computer might not be sufficient. Setting up a QuickBooks server can provide better performance, enhanced security, and multi-user access, making it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to set up a QuickBooks server, ensuring you have a smooth and efficient setup process.

Understanding QuickBooks Server Setup

Before diving into the setup process, it’s important to understand what a QuickBooks server is and why it’s beneficial. A QuickBooks server is essentially a centralized computer that hosts your QuickBooks database, allowing multiple users to access and work on the data simultaneously. This setup improves data integrity, enhances performance, and offers better security compared to running QuickBooks on individual workstations.

System Requirements for QuickBooks Server Setup

To ensure a successful QuickBooks server setup, you need to meet specific system requirements:

  • Hardware Requirements:
    • A robust processor (preferably multi-core)
    • Minimum 8GB of RAM (16GB recommended for better performance)
    • Sufficient storage space (SSD recommended for faster access)
    • Reliable network hardware (routers, switches, etc.)
  • Software Requirements:
    • Supported operating system (Windows Server 2016 or later)
    • QuickBooks Desktop software
    • QuickBooks Database Server Manager

Preparing for QuickBooks Server Setup

Preparation is key to a successful setup. Before starting, ensure you have a backup of your current QuickBooks data. This is crucial to prevent any data loss during the transition. Additionally, make sure you have a stable internet connection to download necessary software and updates.

Installing QuickBooks on the Server

The first step in setting up your server is installing QuickBooks on it. Follow these steps:

  1. Download QuickBooks: Visit the official QuickBooks website and download the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Run the Installer: Locate the downloaded file and run the installer. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Select Custom and Network Options: During installation, choose the “Custom and Network Options” setup.
  4. Select Install Type: Choose the option that best describes your setup. For a server setup, select “I’ll be using QuickBooks Desktop on this computer, AND I’ll be storing our company file here so it can be shared over our network.”
  5. Complete Installation: Follow the remaining prompts to complete the installation.

Configuring QuickBooks Database Server Manager

Once QuickBooks is installed, the next step is to configure the QuickBooks Database Server Manager. This tool is essential for managing your QuickBooks database on the server.

  1. Open Database Server Manager: Launch the Database Server Manager from the QuickBooks program group.
  2. Scan Folders: Use the tool to scan the folders that contain your QuickBooks company files. This will ensure that the server recognizes and manages these files.
  3. Monitor Status: The tool will display the status of your company files, indicating whether they are ready for multi-user access.

Setting Up Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks

Enabling multi-user mode allows multiple users to work on QuickBooks simultaneously. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open QuickBooks: Launch QuickBooks on the server.
  2. Enable Multi-User Mode: Go to the “File” menu and select “Switch to Multi-user Mode.”
  3. User Setup: Set up user accounts and permissions to control access levels.

Mapping the Network Drive

Mapping a network drive ensures that all users can access the QuickBooks company files stored on the server. Follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer: On each workstation, open File Explorer.
  2. Map Network Drive: Click on “This PC” and select “Map network drive.” Choose a drive letter and enter the path to the QuickBooks server.
  3. Connect: Complete the process by clicking “Finish.” The network drive will now be accessible on the workstation.

Configuring Firewall and Security Settings

Proper firewall and security settings are crucial to protect your QuickBooks data. Here’s how to adjust these settings:

  1. Open Firewall Settings: Access your firewall settings through the Control Panel.
  2. Create Exceptions: Add QuickBooks and the QuickBooks Database Server Manager as exceptions in the firewall.
  3. Ensure Security: Use strong passwords and consider additional security measures like antivirus software and regular security updates.

Testing QuickBooks Server Setup

After completing the setup, it’s essential to test the server to ensure everything is working correctly.

  1. Verify Installation: Check if QuickBooks is running smoothly on the server and all workstations.
  2. Test Multi-User Mode: Ensure multiple users can access and work on QuickBooks simultaneously without issues.
  3. Troubleshoot Common Issues: Address any errors or performance issues that arise during testing.

Managing User Access and Permissions

Properly managing user access and permissions is crucial for data security and workflow efficiency.

  1. Set Up User Roles: Define roles and assign permissions based on job responsibilities.
  2. Manage Permissions: Regularly review and adjust permissions to ensure they meet your business needs.

Regular Maintenance and Updates

Regular maintenance and updates are essential to keep your QuickBooks server running smoothly.

  1. Perform Regular Backups: Schedule automated backups to protect your data.
  2. Update QuickBooks: Regularly check for and install updates to ensure you have the latest features and security patches.

Using QuickBooks Server for Remote Access

Setting up remote access allows users to work on QuickBooks from anywhere, enhancing flexibility and productivity.

  1. Choose a Remote Access Solution: Options include QuickBooks Remote Access, third-party services like LogMeIn, or VPN setups.
  2. Configure Remote Access: Follow the provider’s instructions to set up and secure remote access.

Backup and Recovery Plans

Having a robust backup and recovery plan is essential to protect your business data.

  1. Set Up Automated Backups: Use QuickBooks or third-party tools to schedule regular backups.
  2. Create Recovery Plans: Plan for potential data loss scenarios and ensure you know how to restore backups quickly.


Setting up a QuickBooks server might seem daunting, but with the right steps, it’s a manageable process that can significantly benefit your business. From installation to regular maintenance, each step is crucial to ensuring a smooth and efficient setup. By following this guide on how to set up a QuickBooks server, you can enhance your QuickBooks experience, improve data security, and enable multi-user access.


  1. What are the benefits of setting up a QuickBooks server?
    • Setting up a QuickBooks server provides enhanced performance, improved data security, and allows multiple users to access the QuickBooks data simultaneously.
  2. Can I set up QuickBooks on any server?
    • QuickBooks can be set up on any server that meets the system requirements, including sufficient hardware and compatible software.
  3. How often should I update my QuickBooks server?
    • It’s essential to regularly update your QuickBooks server to ensure you have the latest features, security patches, and performance improvements.
  4. What should I do if I encounter issues during setup?
    • If you encounter issues, refer to the troubleshooting section of this guide or contact QuickBooks support for assistance.
  5. Is remote access to QuickBooks server secure?
    • Yes, remote access can be secure if you use strong passwords, reliable remote access solutions, and regularly update your security settings.