Wednesday, February 21, 2024

QuickBooks (desktop) Pro 2016 on Windows 11 - Does it work? (spoiler... YES, for me!)


Why is this even a question? Because...

Microsoft states:
"Our promise states that apps that worked on Windows 7/8.1/10 will work on Windows 11"

Intuit states

"…upgrading to Windows 11 might result in compatibility issues since QuickBooks Desktop 2022 and later versions are the only ones compatible with the new OS"

Every other post answered by Intuit (that I found) follows the company line. They won't say that it works and they won't say WHY (or if) it won't work, just that it MIGHT result in compatibility issues. If there's some feature that I don't care about that doesn't work with Windows 11, then I'd like to know about that and upgrade anyway.

So, which is it? Will it work or not? I Googled around for a long time looking for someone who tried it (besides Microsoft or Intuit) who could tell me if it worked, and if not then what exactly failed. I couldn't find a single source. So, I just tried it on a test machine first, before modifying my work computer, to make sure it would work. The short answer is that yeah (for my use-case), it works and was pretty painless (unlike my previous experience getting QB Pro 2006 to work on  Vista/Windows 7).

Method and caveats

  • I only tested UPGRADING an existing Windows 10 Pro machine, with QBD already installed, to a Windows 11 Pro machine. I did not try a fresh QB 2016 Pro install on a Windows 11 machine. I thought that Internet Explorer might be a problem because it is not installed (or just disabled) in Win 11. Maybe because I upgraded a machine that already has IE, that's why it worked?
  • I am an Administrator on my own machine... that might help... or not, I didn't try being a non-Admin.
  • My requirements/features needed for QB are limited as I run a small, service-only company. I need/use:
    • Basic accounting (ledgers)
    • Reports
      • Export to Excel (test machine doesn't have Excel but tested export to CSV)
      • Save as PDF
    • Enter my own payroll
    • Weekly timesheet
    • Invoicing (worked, had to move logo image to test machine)
    • Tax lines for producing reports that help with taxes
    • Customers
    • Vendors
    • Employees
            Features I don't use/need but did some basic testing and they work:
    • Online help (works as well as it did before. I.e. shows up with errors about running scripts)
            I DO NOT use/need/test:
    • Online payroll
    • Connect to banks
    • Accept credit cards
    • Any other online service or add-on
    • Sales tax
    • Create estimates
    • Print checks
    • Multiple users/server setup
    • Messenger (didn't even know it has this until I started looking around to make this list)
I went through the normal Windows 11 upgrade process (I downloaded the installer and ran it). It went smoothly, didn't ask me a bunch of dumb questions and Win 11 was up and running. So, I clicked on my QB shortcut and was greeted with this:

I don't understand why my Win 10 was TLS 1.2 compliant and Win 11 wasn't... I suspect it's really a QB thing (or maybe an IE thing?), not a Windows thing but I clicked the link ( which had me download and install the QuickBooks Tool Hub (I had never heard of this before).

Following the directions from the link above, I ran the TLS 1.2 thing, got green checkmarks and exited.

I then tried again to start QB and it came up with no error messages. The only thing different that I could see was the Special Offers menu item (which I think is actually due to it being a new QB install on my test machine before the upgrade). Other than that, everything looks the same.

Also, the button bar highlights differently now, not a big deal

Will other versions of QuickBooks Desktop work?

I dunno. But given that my version is pretty old I suspect that most others will work just fine. Don't hold me to it though.


If you found this page, then you already know that Intuit wants everyone to switch to their online system (or fork out the big bucks for QB Enterprise). I just don't want to and I don't like being pressured/manipulated to do so, 'nuff said. But eventually, QBD will be completely obsolete. The writing has been on the wall for a long time with price increases, hard to find pages on their web site, and constant ads to try QB Online. Getting it to run on newer Windows versions will buy you some time and for me, it might just buy me all the time I need.
I have not installed on my main machine yet but if something different comes up, I'll edit this post accordingly.

UPDATE: It worked on my main machine as well although I did need to tweak some things:
1. QuickBooks Save to PDF functionality did not work. Turns out that it needs the XPS Doc writer (which used to be a print driver). In Windows 11, run this command: optionalfeatures to open the legacy optional features dialog and install the XPS Document Writer.

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