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Open 2 company files at once

Note: You can only open 2 company files at the same time in QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. The first file you open is labeled Primary and has a few limitations. The second file is labeled Secondary and has more limitations. If you close the primary file while a secondary file is open, the secondary file becomes the primary file.

How to open a secondary file

There are 2 ways to open a secondary file

  • Locate the company file in the file system and double-click the file name.
  • Double-click the icon that starts QuickBooks.

Note: Don't use the Open command on the File menu to open a secondary company file.

Restrictions on both files

When 2 company files are open, you can't perform the following operations listed in the table below in either file.



Company Menu Items

Prepare Letters with Envelopes

Add QuickBooks Services

Adding any QuickBooks Add ons

App Center

Install Intuit Partner Platform (IPP) applications

Intuit Data Sync (IDS) Setup

IDS Setup and Reset

Internet Connection Setup

Setting up an internet connection from the Windows Control Panel

Registration and Licensing

Registering QuickBooks, License Sync, Changing a License, Unlocking to Premier, and Adding Seats

SDK Applications

Any application that use the QuickBooks Software Development Kit (SDK) to connect to QuickBooks.

Update QuickBooks

Download an update to QuickBooks. If Automatic Download is on, the updates download, but are not installed until you exit from both file windows.


Restrictions on the secondary file

When 2 company files are open, in addition to the operations listed above, you can't perform the operations listed in the table below in the secondary file.




Order Checks and Envelopes
Set up Account for Online Services
Import Web Connect File
Create Online Banking Message
Loan Manager
Set Check Reorder Reminder
Participating Online Institutions
Learn about Online Bill Payments
Change Online Banking Mode

Company Menu Items

Advanced Service Administration
Alerts Manager
Customer Credit Card Protection
Manage Currency
Planning and Budgeting Tools

Customer Center

The Collections Center

The following Credit Card Processing activities:
Add Credit Card Processing
Add Electronic Check Processing
Add Mobile Payment Processing
Link Payment Service to Company File
Process Payments
Authorize/Capture Payments
Set up Recurring Payments
Get Online Payments
Record Merchant Service Deposits
Download Fees
Merchant Service Center
How to Process Credit Cards
Add Billing Solutions

Complex Password

The Complex Password Setup for Credit Card Protection

Customize Design and Layout

Estimate, Purchase Order, Sales Order, Invoice, Sales Receipt, and Credit Memo forms

File Menu Items

All items on the Import and Export submenus of the Utilities menu
Send Forms
Shipping Manager
Ship FedEx Package
Ship UPS Package
Track or Cancel a Shipment
Shipping Settings
Synchronize Contacts
Update Web Services

New Business Checklist

All items on the checklist


My Payroll Service (all items)
Pay Employees (including starting scheduled payroll)
Add, Edit, and Delete Payroll Items
Get Payroll Updates
Create Termination Check
Edit Filing Methods
Edit Payment Due Dates/Methods
Set up Workers' Comp

Printer Setup

You can only setup a printer in the Primary window.

QuickBooks Messenger

Restricted in the Secondary window

Template List


Year-End Guide

Restricted in the Secondary window

Restrictions on QuickBooks Help

QuickBooks Help can only open in 1 window. If Help is already open, and you try to open Help in the other window, Help doesn't open again. Use the Help in the other window to search for a topic.

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