Move the Program from One Computer to Another

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Move the Program from One Computer to Another

For various reasons you may need to move ACCOUNTS from one computer to another. This would include changing staff (such as Treasurers) in your organization, upgrading to a new computer, or rebuilding your computer after a hard disk crash. (That's not technically another computer, but since the hard disk has been rebuilt or replaced, it has the same effect as if it was another computer!)


Your first step is to check which version or release number and named version of ACCOUNTS is running on the old computer, with the Help ⇒ About ACCOUNTS menu option in it. The named versions are Standard, Local Network Server, Local Network Client, and OnDemand. If for any reason that is not possible, you can contact us to ask what our records show. That information will be needed in various parts of these instructions below.


If you have the OnDemand Version, and are moving from one computer running that version to another computer running the same version, please see Move the OnDemand Version for instructions instead of the rest of this page.


Not all of the steps below are required if your old computer running ACCOUNTS is no longer available. See Reinstalling ACCOUNTS for instructions instead, in that case.


As long as you are up to date on your payments for ACCOUNTS, there is no charge for this - the program is licensed to your organization, not merely for a specific individual or computer. Of course, you can also do this while you are still in your initial 60-day evaluation period plus grace period.


Simplest Instructions


Here are the simplest possible instructions for moving the Standard version to a new computer, as long as you have only one database:


1.Make sure you have a database backup from the old computer available.

2.Download and install your current version (which must be Standard, if you are using these simplest instructions) onto the new computer, from the DOWNLOAD page on the website at

3.When you run that program, choose an appropriate option on the Startup Options screen to restore that backup from the old computer, and follow the prompts to do so.

4.Unless you are still in the initial 60-day evaluation period plus grace period, you will need a license key. You are entitled to it as long as you are paid up for email support and upgrades. In those cases, request the license key or follow the prompts to let the program automatically retrieve it.


Those instructions cover most simple cases, but for more details and full instructions for more complex cases, please see the following sections.


Detailed Instructions


1.If both of the following points are true on the copy of ACCOUNTS on the old computer, you should upgrade that computer before you continue:
- that version of ACCOUNTS is earlier than version 1.28, and
- you have any memorized reports.
If either of those points is not true on the old computer, just go on to the next step in these instructions.
But if those are both true, you upgrade the old computer by downloading and running the appropriate named installation program for your version of ACCOUNTS from the DOWNLOAD page on the program's web site at (This is required to make sure that any memorized reports get transferred to the new computer in the following steps.)
Be sure to run that downloaded installation program to upgrade ACCOUNTS on the old computer, and also run ACCOUNTS after the install, which will pick up your memorized reports, and save them in your database.


2.On the new computer, download the appropriate named installation program for your version of ACCOUNTS from the DOWNLOAD page on the program's web site, at (If you have a saved copy of the most recent full installation file for the program, as downloaded in the previous step, you can use that.)
Run that downloaded installation program to install ACCOUNTS on this new computer. Do not run ACCOUNTS there yet.


Note: It does not work to just copy the ACCOUNTS program directories (C:\Program Files\Accounts etc.) from one computer to the other. You must do the installation on the 2nd computer.


3.Copy your database backup file, which may have names such as OrganizationName-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.S4ABackup or OrganizationName-YYYY-MM-DD.S4ABackup, from the old computer to the new computer. (The OrganizationName is the database's File Name from the Maintenance ⇒ Organization Info window, the YYYY-MM-DD part of the backup filename, if present, represents the date the backup was made, and the HH.MM.SS is the time.) Follow the instructions under Transfer your Data between Computers to do this, via backup and restore. (That Help topic also gives other options, which are sometimes easier, of transferring the database between the two computers by using email backups or Internet backups.)
As long as you have a regular backup or emailed backup (see below) available when you first run the newly installed ACCOUNTS program, when its first window prompts you to answer whether you are a new user, or a returning user with a backup, you can select that second radio button option. That will allow you to restore that backup. (See Startup Options for details.) You can also use the third option on that window if you have made an Internet backup on the other computer, and have access to the Unique ID for Internet backups from that computer, and the backup encryption password that was used.


4.If you have been using the File New Database and File Open Database menu options to handle multiple databases for multiple organizations on the same computer, you will also have to transfer backups of all of your other database files, named for instance OtherOrganizationName-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.S4ABackup or OtherOrganizationName-YYYY-MM-DD.S4ABackup, to the new computer. You can use Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Database on this computer to restore additional regular or email backup databases. You can also use File ⇒ New Database on this new computer to get back to the Startup Options window, to be given an option to restore an Internet backup of a different database.
5.If you are not still in your initial 60-day evaluation period plus grace period, you need to install the license key(s) for your database(s). See below for details.
6.Assuming you need to configure email sending on the new computer (for use in emailing backups, or emailing saved reports) go to the Maintenance ⇒ Email Sending Configuration menu option to do that. It may or may not require the same settings as on the old computer, depending on whether it is the same person using it, with the same email account.
7.If a new user is taking over the program, they should email their full name, email address and phone number to us at, so we can update the mailing list. Please also let us know whether the new user should replace the old one on the mailing list, or be added as a 2nd contact. When the program prompts you to register, as long as your organization has ever registered before (i.e. someone is on our mailing list), you can answer "Already Registered".

That's it. The new computer should now have a copy of ACCOUNTS that is identical to the one on the old computer. Just continue your work on the new computer.


Note on Software Licensing


When you have ACCOUNTS installed on two computers for the same organization, you can apply the same License Key (or keys, one for each database) to both of them. See the section on Software Licensing and Evaluation for more details on License Keys. Alternatively, you can copy the file accountsl.txt from the Data Directory on the old computer to the Data Directory on the new computer - it contains your licensing information.


If you don't have a copy of your license key saved, and copying over the accountsl.txt file seems complicated to you, just re-request your license key from the Evaluation and Licensing window that comes up when you start the program. We will send it to you, as long as you have paid in the last 12 months. In some cases the program will prompt you to automatically retrieve the license key. If it does that, there will be no need to separately request the key. There is no additional charge for this license key, because as mentioned above, the license is for your organization, not per user or per computer.


If you are using a paid version of ACCOUNTS and have not paid within the last 12 months, you will need to first pay the Annual Fee in order to be eligible for your license key.


Using Emailed Backups


Instead of using regular backups, created with Backup/Restore ⇒ Backup Database, and bringing them to the new computer on a USB memory key or in some other way, you can instead email the database backup to an email account that you can access on the new computer, via Backup/Restore ⇒ Email Backup. You then restore it there using the Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Backup menu option.


Using Internet Backups


If the only backup you have access to is an Internet backup made from the other computer, it is possible to restore it, as long as you have a copy of the Unique ID that was used for those backups, and you know the Internet backup encryption password that was used. If you do not have the Unique ID for Internet backups, contact Support to ask for it - as long as the previous user accepted the suggestion made when they configured Internet backups to email it to us, we will have a copy of it. We will not have a copy of your password!


You can restore an Internet backup on the Startup Options window that comes up when you run ACCOUNTS.


This topic was last edited on Mar 1, 2023