Upgrading Microsoft Money 2004 to a newer Microsoft Money version should be possible, assuming that the versions are both using the same currency rates (i.e. not U.S. to U.K.). There are possible obstacles to opening old files with the new program, however, such as when a necessary patch was downloaded on the older version of MS Money but has not been for the newer version yet.
If the upgrade from a trial version of Microsoft Money 2004 to a retail version, this is simply a matter of purchasing the retail version and installing it.
Backup all Microsoft Money 2004 files to a file on the computer or to an external hard drive. It is best to make certain these files are saved separately from the software program, just in case something happens during the upgrade process and information is lost.
Purchase the upgraded version of Microsoft Money that will be installed on the computer. The upgrade from MS Money 2004 to MS Money 2005, 2006, 2007 and so forth should be relatively easy because there is not a significant gap between the technologies. If the upgrade was from a very old version of Microsoft Money to a very new version, there could be conversion issues.
Insert the new version installation disc into the computer and follow the instructions that should begin with autorun. If the autorun does not start the installation, click on "Start" and click on "Computer" then select the drive containing the disc and double-click it. Start the program from here. If the installation process cannot be completed without first deleting the older version, go to "Start" then "Control Panel" and select "Add/Remove Programs" or "Programs," depending on the version of Windows on that computer. Uninstall the necessary MS Money 2004 files. Then install the new version.
Transfer the files saved (backed-up) from the previous version to the appropriate folder for the Microsoft Money upgraded version. Open a couple of files to make sure they are accessible through the new version of Microsoft Money.