QuickBooks 2021 End of Life – What’s Next

Are you still using QuickBooks 2021 and wondering what to expect as the End of Life date approaches?

With the upcoming End of Life for QuickBooks 2021 set for May 31, 2024, it’s crucial to understand the implications of this transition. Intuit typically discontinues support for its products three years after their release. This article is designed to address any urgent questions you might have about the discontinuation, such as “Can I continue using QuickBooks 2021 after support ends?” and “What services will no longer be available with my QuickBooks 2021 edition?” We strongly recommend reading through to the end for detailed insights into these important topics.

When will QuickBooks Desktop 2021 Support End?

Starting from June 1, 2024, QuickBooks Desktop 2021 will reach its End of Life. This discontinuation affects various versions including QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions v21, Desktop Premier, and Pro 2021. If you are not using any additional “Add-on” services, your QuickBooks software may continue to function normally. However, it is crucial to be aware that you will lose access to live technical support and additional QuickBooks services, such as newly released security features and updates. Additionally, a broader range of services will be discontinued for QuickBooks Desktop for Windows.

It’s important to keep this timeline in mind to plan your workflow accordingly and consider upgrading to a supported version of QuickBooks to continue receiving full technical support and updates.

What does mean by QuickBooks 2021 End of Life or services discontinuation?

The term “service discontinuation” or “End of Life” in the context of QuickBooks Desktop refers to the cessation of support and updates for specific versions of the software by Intuit. As of May 31, 2024, QuickBooks Desktop 2021 will be discontinued. This includes all its versions such as QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021, QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2021 (across all industry-specific editions), QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 21, QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2021, and QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2021.

From this date, the following implications will take effect:

  • Loss of Critical Services: Access to essential services like QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, Desktop Payments, Online Backup, and Online Banking will be discontinued.
  • No Live Technical Support: Direct support from QuickBooks technical teams for any issues or inquiries will no longer be available.
  • Security Risks: There will be no more critical security updates starting June 1, 2024, which could leave your data vulnerable to threats.
  • Additional Feature Discontinuation: Features such as online backup services, payroll processing within QuickBooks, and time-tracking capabilities will cease. Also, the ability to sync data with mobile devices and the Intuit Store Exchange Service will be discontinued.

Intuit typically enforces this policy three years after a product’s release, aiming to streamline their support and focus on enhancing newer versions of the software. It is crucial for users to plan ahead—upgrading to a newer version or transitioning to QuickBooks Online can ensure continued support, updates, and security. If any updates are available before the End of Life date, installing them is strongly recommended to keep your software as secure and functional as possible.

Products Affected by QuickBooks 2021 Service Discontinuation

This discontinuation will affect a range of QuickBooks products, impacting not only day-to-day operations but also system security and support.

  • QuickBooks Pro 2021
  • QuickBooks Premier 2021 (across specialties including Contractor, General Business, Nonprofit, Manufacturing and Wholesale, Retail, and Professional Services)
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 21
  • QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2021
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant Edition 21
  • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2021

All add-on services integrated with these versions of QuickBooks Desktop will also cease. This includes critical services that many businesses rely on, such as payroll, payment processing, and online banking functionalities. If you are not using these add-on services, your QuickBooks Desktop 2021 may continue to operate, but it will be without Intuit’s support, including access to live technical help, security updates, and new feature enhancements.

Implications of QuickBooks 2021 Service Discontinuation

The upcoming discontinuation of QuickBooks 2021 offers users several pathways for moving forward:

  1. Upgrade your existing QuickBooks 2021 installation to a newer desktop version, such as QuickBooks 2024, which will include the latest features and enhancements.
  2. Transition to QuickBooks Online to benefit from a cloud-based solution that offers real-time access, automatic updates, and scalability.
  3. Update to the latest version, QuickBooks Desktop 2024, which includes updated features across Pro, Premier, and Enterprise versions, ensuring compatibility with the most current operating systems and security standards.

With the termination of QuickBooks 2021 scheduled for May 31, 2024, specific functionalities, add-on services, and live support that were available will cease. However, many of these services can still be utilized through QuickBooks Online. Here are the details:

Payroll Services Impact

After upgrading to a newer version such as QuickBooks Pro 2024, users will lose access to several payroll services previously available on QuickBooks Desktop 2021:

  • Assisted Payroll: Post-discontinuation, QuickBooks 2021 will not automate payroll tax calculations or file payroll forms. The subscription will end, and payroll data transmission will cease.
  • Worker’s Comp Payment Service: Processing these payments will be unmanageable without a newer QuickBooks desktop version.
  • Basic, Standard, or Enhanced Payroll: Subscription deactivation and lack of updates will lead to inaccurate paychecks.
  • QuickBooks Workforce: Access to this service will require an active payroll subscription and a supported version like QuickBooks Enterprise Gold 2024.

Credit Card Processing Changes

The discontinuation will affect several credit card processing services:

  • Recurring Payments: While transactions will continue, they won’t be downloadable in QuickBooks 2021.
  • Payment Processing: After the upgrade, processing credit card and check transactions through QuickBooks Desktop 2021 won’t be possible. Notifications will guide users to process these transactions outside QuickBooks.
  • E-invoice: The ability to send invoices with payment links will be discontinued, requiring a supported version and active payment subscription to continue.
  • Merchant Service Deposit: The functionality to verify and download credit card data in QuickBooks Desktop 2021 will be disabled.

Termination of Additional Services

Several other services will also become inaccessible:

  • QuickBooks Time: Syncing QuickBooks Time Data with QuickBooks will not be possible within QuickBooks 2021 without an upgrade. Users will need to switch to QuickBooks Online or use a web connector.
  • Contributed Reports: This feature will no longer be available in QuickBooks Desktop 2021.
  • Online Banking: Downloading transactions, making online payments, and transfers will become infeasible, with error messages varying based on the download method.
  • Multi-currency/Exchange Rate: This feature will be inaccessible without upgrading to a newer version.
  • Accountant Copy Transfer Service: Transmission of accountant copies will no longer be supported in QuickBooks Desktop.

These changes underscore the necessity for QuickBooks 2021 users to plan an upgrade or transition to ensure continuous access to essential services and features, while leveraging the advancements offered by QuickBooks Desktop 2024. This ensures not only continuity in business operations but also access to enhanced functionalities that can streamline business processes and improve financial management.

Best Practices for Transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop 2021 Discontinuation

If you’re concerned about the discontinuation of QuickBooks Desktop 2021 and looking for guidance on how to proceed without disrupting your business operations, follow these steps to smoothly transition to QuickBooks Desktop 2024 Edition.

Migrate to QuickBooks Desktop 2024 Edition

Ensuring a seamless migration from QuickBooks 2021 to 2024 is our top priority. Follow these steps to start the migration process:

Purchase and Install QuickBooks Desktop 2024

  • Visit Intuit.com to purchase a QuickBooks 2024 license.
  • Download the QuickBooks 2024 setup file.
  • Run the “Setup.exe” file to start the installation.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions during the installation.
  • Accept the QuickBooks Desktop License Agreement and click “Next.”
  • Enter your Product Number and License Number. If you purchased a digital license, these details would likely be emailed to you.

Prepare Your Company File for QuickBooks 2024

  • Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Go to the “File” menu, select “Utilities,” and then choose “Rebuild Data.”
  • Follow the prompts to select and run your company file.

Upgrade Your Company File for QuickBooks 2024

  • Ensure all users have closed the company file before upgrading.
  • Open the new QuickBooks Desktop 2024.
  • If no company file is open, select “Open or Restore Company” from the “File” menu or from the No Company Open window.
  • Choose “Open a company file” or “Restore a backup copy” followed by “Local backup” if you are working from a backup file (QBB).
  • Locate and select your company file (.qbw) on your PC. Use File Explorer (accessed from the Windows Start menu) to search by file name or .qbw extension if necessary. Check if the file is hidden if you still cannot find it.
  • Log in with admin credentials to your company file.
  • QuickBooks will automatically create a backup of your current company file. You can choose to change the default location for this backup if desired.
  • Click “Update Now” to start the upgrade, and select “Done” once QuickBooks completes the process.

Following these steps will help you effectively manage the transition from QuickBooks Desktop 2021 to the latest version, ensuring that your financial data remains secure and your business operations continue smoothly.


We hope this guide has been helpful in addressing the phase-out of QuickBooks 2021. Should you face any challenges during your upgrade to QuickBooks 2024, please don’t hesitate to seek help. Our team of QuickBooks Data Services professionals is on hand to assist you. You can contact them through our toll-free number at +1-888-538-1314. They are prepared to offer the necessary support to ensure a smooth transition to the latest QuickBooks version.

Frequently Asked Question

What does ‘End of Life’ mean for QuickBooks 2021?

End of Life (EOL) for QuickBooks 2021 indicates that Intuit will cease providing technical support, security updates, or any additional services for the product. While the software may still function, it will no longer receive the necessary updates and support services.

Can I continue to use QuickBooks 2021 after the End of Life date?

Yes, you are able to continue using QuickBooks 2021 for your basic accounting needs even after the End of Life date. However, the software will no longer receive updates or security patches, and access to add-on services or technical support will not be available.

What services will be discontinued after QuickBooks 2021 reaches its End of Life?

Services including online backup, payroll service, technical support, data service support, updates and security patches, payment services, timesheet service, mobile sync features, and the Intuit store exchange service will all be discontinued.

When exactly is the End of Life date for QuickBooks 2021?

The End of Life for QuickBooks 2021 is scheduled for May 31, 2024.

What should I do if I’m still using QuickBooks 2021?

If you are still using QuickBooks 2021, upgrading to a newer version like QuickBooks 2024 is advisable. This ensures you continue to receive the latest features, updates, security patches, and support from Intuit.

Can I get support from Intuit if I experience problems after the End of Life date?

After the End of Life date, Intuit will no longer offer technical support for QuickBooks 2021. You may need to seek support from third-party providers or consider upgrading to a more recent version of QuickBooks for continued support.

Can I still process payments and payroll in QuickBooks 2021 after the End of Life?

No, the functionality to process payments and manage payroll through QuickBooks 2021 will be discontinued once it reaches its End of Life. For continued payment processing and payroll services, an upgrade to a newer QuickBooks version will be necessary.

Will my data be secure after QuickBooks 2021 End of Life?

Following the End of Life, QuickBooks 2021 will no longer receive security updates, which could leave it more susceptible to security threats. To ensure the continued security of your data, upgrading to a newer version of QuickBooks is recommended.


James is a Technical Content Writer at QBDATASERVICES, specializing in QuickBooks, Sage50, MySQL Databases, Active Directory, email recovery, Microsoft 365, pattern recognition, and machine learning. He creates engaging technical blogs that help organizations and Database Administrators resolve issues. In his free time, James enjoys social media, web series, books, and experimenting with new recipes.

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