System Requirements for QuickBooks Online

By Elaine Marmel

Using a web-based software product typically doesn’t require a lot of hardware and software; in fact, the demands of QuickBooks Online (QBO) and QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) aren’t extensive. In particular, you need

  • An Internet connection, and a high-speed connection is recommended.

  • One of the four supported Internet browsers:

    • Chrome

    • Firefox

    • Internet Explorer 10 or higher

    • Safari 6.1 if your operating system is iOS 7 or higher

Although QBO and QBOA work in all the major browsers, they work best in Chrome. You also can use the QuickBooks Online mobile app, which works with the iPhone and iPad, and with Android phones and tablets.

The requirements for the QuickBooks Online mobile app are the same as those outlined for the non-mobile versions: You need a browser on your device and an Internet connection, and your device needs to meet the basic requirements for the operating system installed on it. Be aware that mobile devices do not support all features of QBO and QBOA.

Whether you work on a computer or on a mobile device, the computer or device should meet the basic requirements of the operating system you use on that computer or device. For example, if you’re using a Windows desktop computer, you need the amount of RAM (random access memory) specified by Microsoft to load Windows on the computer before you ever launch your browser.

If you don’t have sufficient RAM to run the computer software, you certainly won’t be happy with the behavior of QBO and QBOA. You won’t be happy with the behavior of the computer, either.

Basic requirements for a Windows 7 computer, as specified by Microsoft, are

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)

  • 16GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)

  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Windows 7 works with multi-core processors, and all 32-bit versions of Windows 7 can support up to 32 processor cores, whereas 64-bit versions can support up to 256 processor cores.

If you’re working with PCs that have multiple processors — that is, multiple CPUs such as commercial servers and high-end PCs, make sure you’re using Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium recognize only one physical processor.

Basic requirements (again, the stress goes on basic) for a Windows 8.1 computer, as specified by Microsoft, are

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info coming up on the alphabet soup mentioned here)

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)

  • 16GB (32-bit) hard disk space or 20GB (64-bit)

  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

On the alphabet soup mentioned in the first Windows 8.1 requirement, PAE stands for Physical Address Extension, NX refers to an NX processor bit (NX), and SSE2 stands for Streaming SIMD Extensions 2. According to Microsoft:

  • PAE gives 32-bit processors the ability to use more than 4GB of physical memory on capable versions of Windows, and is a prerequisite for NX.

  • NX helps your processor guard the PC from attacks by malicious software.

  • SSE2 is a standard instruction set on processors that is increasingly used by third-party apps and drivers.

If your hardware doesn’t support PAE, NX, and SSE2, you won’t be able to install Windows 8.1. You might be able to install and use Windows 8, but you won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 8.1.