2.6. Migrating GnuCash data

Sometimes you may need to move your financial data and GnuCash settings to another machine. Typical use cases are when you buy a new computer or if you want to use the same settings over two different operating systems in a dual boot configuration.

2.6.1. Migrating financial data

Migrating GnuCash financial data is as simple as copying .gnucash files with a file manager if you know where they are saved. If you can’t remember where a file is stored but you can open it directly within GnuCash, save it in the desired path from within GnuCash.

All other files in the folder are either backups or log files. It won’t do any harm to copy them too, but it’s not likely to do any good, either.

2.6.2. Migrating preferences data

Preferences are stored in three different locations: one for GnuCash preferences, one for reports, and one for online banking settings. Preferences are managed by gsettings, reports are managed by GnuCash itself, and online banking is managed by aqbanking. If you do not use online banking, then you will not have this folder on your machine.

Where the GnuCash preferences are stored varies depending on your operating system (see Table 2.3, “Application Settings Locations”, Table 2.4, “Saved Reports Locations”, and Table 2.5, “Online Banking Settings Locations”). To back up and transfer your entire installation, you must copy these preferences as well.

Table 2.3. Application Settings Locations

Operating system folder
Unix GnuCash preferences are stored in dconf. You can use the commands dconf dump /org/gnucash/ on the old machine and dconf load /org/gnucash/ on the new machine to migrate your preferences.
macOS ~/Library/Preferences/gnucash.plist
Windows The preferences are stored in the Windows registry HKEY_CURRENT_USER/software/GSettings

Table 2.4. Saved Reports Locations

Operating system folder
Unix ~/.local/share/gnucash/ [a]
macOS ~/Library/Application Support/gnucash
Windows Documents and Settings/Username/.gnucash or Users/Username/.gnucash

[a] Up to GnuCash 2.6.21 it was ~/.gnucash/

Table 2.5. Online Banking Settings Locations

Operating system folder
Unix ~/.aqbanking
macOS ~/.aqbanking
Windows Documents and Settings/Username/.aqbanking


On Unix and macOS, these folders will generally not display in the file manager. You must set the file manager to show hidden files and folders to see them.


On Unix and macOS, the ~ symbol means the home folder.