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How to Fix QuickBooks Error The File Exists?

quickbooks error the file exists

You may confront QuickBooks error the file exists issue while working on different accounting features like paying scheduled liabilities, opening a state/federal form, and downloading payroll update. You will see the error message on the screen saying that “The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or a read-only file.”  Also, you may receive the error message saying, “The Windows error was the file exists.”

The error QuickBooks the windows error was the file exists might appear because of various reasons. Before reaching to the solutions, you need to know the reasons for the error.

Reasons for QuickBooks Error The File Exists

Here are the reasons for QuickBooks error the file exists:

  • Windows User Account Control is interfering with QuickBooks.
  • QuickBooks users do not have credentials to access the Windows.
  • The internet connection is performing slowly on your system.
  • Improper internet and Firewall security settings in your PC.
  • QuickBooks Desktop application is outdated.
  • Error message is visible while installing QuickBooks.

Now, after knowing the reasons for the occurrence of the error, let’s discuss the solutions to fix this error.

Also Read: How to use QuickBooks Online? – A Detail Guide   

Troubleshooting Solution to Fix QuickBooks Error “The File Exists”

These solutions are effective in fixing the permanent QuickBooks file exists error: 

Solution 1: Check for QuickBooks Updates Desktop Application Updates

  • In the beginning, you need to open QuickBooks Desktop and click on the Product Information option.
  • Next, choose the correct QuickBooks version as well as year.
  • Then after, press search and click Get the Latest Updates choice given.
  • Make a folder and save the file.
  • Double-click the installation file so that the update process can be initiated.
  • Finally, restart the system.

Solution 2: Turn off User Account Control in Windows Settings

  • To begin with, press Windows + letter R from your keyboard to open the run Window.
  • Now, in the search box of run window, you have to type Control Panel and then click ok.
  • Then search for user’s accounts from the search bar which is at the top of the Control Panel.
  • Next, you have to click change user account control settings.
  • Click yes and then move the slider down to never notify and to turn off UAC.
  • Finally, restart your PC and update QuickBooks Payroll.

Solution 3: Allow Full Control Access to the User

  • Choose Open File Location option by right-clicking on the QB Desktop icon.
  • After that press the Backspace key.
  • Select properties by clicking right on the QuickBooks folder.
  • And press Edit then select Add.
  • Choose Everyone and then OK.
  • You have to select the Full Control option
  • Then click on Apply option.
  • In the end, you have to follow the steps aforementioned. Make sure that, rather than selecting Everyone option, choose your User.

Solution 4: Re-register QuickBooks .DLL and .OCX File Using Reboot.Bat File

  • Initially, make yourself exit from QuickBooks Desktop application.
  • Then, right-click the QB icon and choose Properties.
  • The next step is to open File Location and then search the reboot.bat file.
  • On the screen, right-click the Reboot.bat file and choose Run as Administrator.
  • You have to wait for a few minutes, till the black color command prompt window scrolls all the files of QB.
  • Lastly, it’s necessary to restart Windows and then check if the file exists error is fixed.
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Solution 5: Re-install QuickBooks Desktop

  • At first, you have to press Windows + R keys together to open the Run box.
  • Provide the box with the text appwiz.cpl.
  • Click QuickBooks twice and then select to Uninstall.
  • You have to follow the on-screen prompts to remove QuickBooks from windows.
  • The next step is to download a clean install tool from the authorized website and save it on your PC.
  • Finally, use it for installing the QB software.

These troubleshooting solutions are helpful in fixing QuickBooks the windows error was the file exists issue.


The content has covered what QuickBooks payroll update error the file exists is, the reasons for the error occurrence, and different solutions to troubleshoot it. The consistent error problem will be solved by implementing the given solutions.

If QuickBooks error the file exists issue still doesn’t resolve by the solutions, feel free to give a call on QuickBooks Error Support Number.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How I should update QuickBooks Payroll?

A: Follow the given steps to update QuickBooks Payroll:

1. In the beginning, you have to select update QuickBooks from the help menu.
2. Then, go to the update now tab option.
3. Choose get updates option.
4. Finally, when the download process is completed, exist QuickBooks desktop.

Q2: Why does QuickBooks Payroll update error arise?

A: The update Payroll error occurs when a file is not read properly. Along with this, might also occur in case QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t have the most recent release.

Q3: Is QB software good for Payroll?

A: QuickBooks Payroll is the perfect choice for small businesses due to its flexibility.

Q4: What are the features of QuickBooks Payroll?

A: Here are the features of QuickBooks Payroll:

1. It gives you regular payment reminders.
2. You can access Payroll within few minutes.
3. Its feature allows you to instantly pay employees and contractors.
4. It’s easy to E-file the taxes by yourself in the new self-service payroll, and much more.

Q5: What are the Windows versions in which you will get “the file exists” error?

A: You may experience the error on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, 8, & 10.

About The Author

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

At QAsolved, we are a team of skilled professionals dedicated to delivering unparalleled accounting and bookkeeping services. With backgrounds in finance and technology, our collaborative efforts focus on providing practical solutions and guidance. Our services are tailored for a range of businesses, covering advisory, CFO services, bookkeeping, and financial systems consulting.QAsolved is an award-winning consulting firm and Intuit’s #1 QuickBooks Reseller Partner. We offer comprehensive QuickBooks services, including consulting, integration, migration, maintenance, data conversion, training, and support, among other services. Over the years, we have assisted over 30K customers across various industries with their Intuit products.

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