Skip to content

How to Fix QuickBooks Error 1646 (When Installing QuickBooks)?

Error 1646 When Installing QuickBooks

Users usually bump into Error 1646 when installing QuickBooks. When the error occurs, it displays an error notification which says “Error 1646 installing quickbooks.msi uninstallation of the update package is not supported”. Moreover, it can happen when you try to install QuickBooks Desktop Premier on a computer that already has QuickBooks Desktop Pro installed from the same year. Not only that, but this problem can also occur when installing QuickBooks accountant on a system that already has a premier edition from the same year installed. Because the error message itself seems annoying, we’ve compiled a list of the most appropriate solutions to this problem. Make sure you read this article all the way to the conclusion.

Reasons behind the occurrence of Error 1646 when installing QuickBooks 

Here is the list of possible causes that could hinder the error code 1646 during your installation process. 

  • If the Microsoft NET 1.1 SP1 installer is incorrectly installed.
  • When the company file is locked, you can detect the issue.
  • If your operating system is out of date.
  • It’s possible that your temporary folders in Windows are full.
  • It’s possible that the installation procedure isn’t receiving permissions.
  • Damaged Microsoft C++ and MSXML components may also indicate the same thing.

Quick ways to repair Error 1646 when installing QuickBooks

To fix the QuickBooks error 1646, you can simply use the Clean Install Tool. Because the company file and everything it contains aren’t involved, a Clean Install will have no effect on the accounting data. The following are the steps involved in using the Clean Install Tool:

  • The installer for your QuickBooks version must be downloaded in your initial step
  • Make sure you have your license number with you at all times
  • Make a note of the year and version of the product you’re using.

Step 2: Uninstall your QuickBooks Desktop 

  • To uninstall QuickBooks, go to the Start menu and search for the Control panel which you should open
  • The following step is to select programs and features, or to uninstall a software
  • Choose the QuickBooks Desktop version with which you’re having problems
  • After that, you must select uninstall or change, then remove followed by hitting the “Next” tab.

Step 3: Manually rename the QuickBooks Desktop installation folders

The next step is to rename the folders manually to reflect the hidden files, and then rename the folder location. This can be accomplished by adding. That’s all there is to it. Put old at the end of the folder names and that’s all. This operation will allow you to prevent QuickBooks from recognizing the folder when you create a new one. Now, move to the final step. 

Step 4: Reinstall your QuickBooks Desktop 

After you’ve completed the above procedures, you should reinstall QuickBooks and see if the issue still exists.

  • Open the QuickBooks.exe file
  • Follow the directions on your screen
  • Also, accept the software license agreement before moving on to the next step
  • Enter your Product and License numbers in the fields provided and then choose “Next”.

Choose the best installation method for you

When you install QuickBooks, you have two options. You have the option of either an Express Install or a Custom and Network installation.

Express Install 

If you’re in the following situations, we propose an express:

  • An inexperienced user.
  • QuickBooks is being reinstalled.
  • QuickBooks will be installed on a single PC (not as part of a network of computers).
  1. Select the “Express” tab before clicking on the “Next” button
  2. In the next step, Install should be chosen
  3. Select Open QuickBooks after it’s finished.
Custom and Network Install 

If you’re looking for a custom installation, you’re recommended:

  • Installing QuickBooks at a different place than the default (such as on a server)
  • On a server, you can host your company’s files
  • Set up a multi-user network
  1. Select Custom and Network Options before hitting on the “Next” button
  2. Choose the one that best represents your QuickBooks usage
  3. Select “Change the install location” on the next screen
  4. Choose Browse to find a location for your QuickBooks folder
  5. The majority of users save it to their Programs folder
  6. To begin the installation, select “Next”
  7. Select Open QuickBooks after it’s finished.

Additional ways to overcome Error 1646 when installing QuickBooks

o fix QuickBooks error 1646 (installation error), you have to uninstall the version of QuickBooks already installed on your system. Then you can install the version for which you got the error. Then install the version you uninstalled.

In this post, you’ll learn how to fix QuickBooks error 1646, which occurs when the user is installing accounting software on his or her system. The error blocks the software from installing on the system. Error 1646 generally occurs when the user has a different version of QuickBooks Desktop installed on his or her system.

Read ahead for solutions to fix QuickBooks error 1646.

Solutions for QuickBooks Installation Error 1646

I’ve provided multiple solutions to deal with this error. Go through them one by one so that you can easily fix this error and install the software on your system.

Solution 1: Reinstall the other edition

You need to uninstall the older version of QuickBooks Desktop before you can install the new one. Before you uninstall, however, you should create a backup of your company file and store a copy of the company file folder in another directory.

Steps to uninstall the old version of QuickBooks Desktop from your system.
  1. Go to the start menu and click on the control panel.
  2. Click on programs and features, then uninstall a program.
  3. Choose quickbooks from the provided list of programs.
  4. Right click on QuickBooks desktop and choose uninstall/change.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to uninstall quickbooks and click on finish once the process is over.

Now you can restart your system. Restarting enables windows to clear files that are currently in use. However, when it comes to QuickBooks error 1646, you need to use the clean install tool in order to clear all files for the program. When all the files are removed, you’ll be able to install the other version of QuickBooks Desktop on your system.

Steps to Install QuickBooks Tool Hub:
  1. Now that you’re ready, you can go to the link in the description below to download the setup for the latest version of Quickbooks tool hub.
  2. Double-click on the Downloaded Setup.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions. Click on Finish after the installation ends.
  4. Launch the QuickBooks tool hub and choose installation issues.
  5. Click on continue.
  6. Choose Ok when the following message appears: “please install your copy of quickbooks to the default location”.

You can now install the other version of QuickBooks Desktop, and then install the version that you just uninstalled. It will enable you to install both the versions on the same system.

Steps to install a fresh copy of QuickBooks Desktop:
  1. Download the setup for your version of QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. After downloading the setup, launch it and accept the terms and conditions.
  3. Simply proceed with the onscreen instructions and to continue with the installation.
  4. Enter your product and license numbers required to activate the accounting software and click on next.
  5.  Choose one of the two options provided below:
  • Express Install → Host Software and Data Locally
  • Custom and Network Install → Enable Multi-user Mode
Steps to install QuickBooks with Express Install:
  1. If you chose Express Install, then click on next
  2. Choose install and select the option to open QuickBooks when the installation completes.

Multi-user mode requires you to choose the Network Install option, because this option also installs the QuickBooks Database Server Manager on your server computer. The tool keeps track of changes made to the company file and syncs the data across multiple computers.

Steps to install QuickBooks with Custom and Network Install:
  1. If you chose Custom and Network Install, then click on Next.
  2. Choose additional options to configure the accounting software as per your personal requirements.
  3. Click on Change the Install Location.
  4. Click on Browse, then choose the directory that you want to install the software in.
  5. Click on Next, then Open QuickBooks.

Now that you’ve installed both the versions of QuickBooks successfully, you can activate the software.

Steps to find the serial number for your version of QuickBooks Desktop:  
  1. Go back to your Intuit account and check for the products that you have purchased in the past. 
  2. Then simply choose the edition of QuickBooks that you are reinstalling
  3. And note down the product and license numbers required to activate the product.
Steps to activate QuickBooks Desktop after installation:
  1. Launch QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Go to the Help menu.
  3. Choose Activate QuickBooks Desktop.
  4. Verify the information by providing additional details.

You’ll get a confirmation message when the software has been activated successfully.

Solution 2: Reinstall .NET Framework & C++

These components are essential for many programs, including QuickBooks Desktop, to load on your system. In fact, these components are mentioned as a requirement for installing QuickBooks Desktop.

Here are the steps to fix Microsoft .NET Framework errors on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7:
  1. Exit all the programs that you have opened on your desktop.
  2. Go to the start menu and type in the control panel. Hit enter.
  3. Choose programs and features from the list of provided options.
  4. Click on uninstall a program. Note that even though we are choosing this option you are not going to uninstall any program from your system. Instead we are going to pick the repair or toggle features option.
  5. Click on turn Windows features on or off.
  6. Go to the Microsoft .NET framework and turn it on so that installer can use it to install QuickBooks Desktop on your system.
Here are the steps to reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ on your system:
  1. Log into a windows admin account.
  2. Go to the Control Panel.
  3. Choose Programs & Features > Uninstall a Program.
  4. Select Microsoft Visual C++ and click on Uninstall/Change from the top toolbar.
  5. Follow instructions from the installer to uninstall the program.
  6. Repeat the steps for each edition of the Microsoft Visual C++ installed on your system.
  7. Restart your computer.
  8. Download the setup for all these editions of Microsoft Visual C++ required by QuickBooks desktop to run smoothly.

Solution 3: Fix MSXML Files

Damaged MSXML files can cause the QuickBooks error 1646 during the installation of the software. Luckily, you can easily fix the damage to these files by recreating them and registering them on your operating system.

Reasons for MSXML-related QuickBooks errors:
  • QBRegistration.dat file cannot be accessed as it’s in the XML format, which can’t run because of damage to MSXML 4 components.
  • Unregistered MSXML (Microsoft XML Parser.)
  • MSXML.dll file is unregistered, missing, encrypted or damaged.
To troubleshoot QuickBooks desktop installation errors caused by damaged MSXML files, follow these steps:
  1. Type in CMD into the Start menu.
  2. Right click on the Command Prompt.
  3. Choose Run as Administrator. Enter authentication details if you’ve logged in with a standard user.
  4. In the command prompt, enter “cd\windows\syswow64”.
  5. In the next line, input “regsvr32 MSXML6.dll” and press Enter.

Solution 4: Use QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool

Employing the QuickBooks install diagnostic tool can simplify the process of fixing QuickBooks error 1646. The installation diagnostic tool scans your system and checks for errors and missing components. Once it identifies the problems, it simply fixes them and installs the missing components required by QuickBooks Desktop to run.

Steps to Download QuickBooks Tool Hub:
  1. First, you need to download the setup for QuickBooks Tool Hub, and save it on your desktop. You can find the download link in the description below.
  2. Then you can launch the setup by double clicking on it.
  3. Now simply follow the on-screen instructions to install the tool on your system.
Steps to Install QuickBooks Tool Hub
  1. After finishing the installation of the QuickBooks tool hub, go to the start menu and launch the tool.
  2. Right click on QuickBooks tool hub and choose to run as administrator.
  3. Click on installation issues from the left panel.
  4. Choose QuickBooks install diagnostic tool which will scan your system for up to 20 minutes in order to identify missing dependencies and damaged files that are interrupting the installation of this accounting software.
  5. Finally, Restart your system after the program has completed scanning and fixing the errors.
Steps to use QuickBooks install diagnostic tool to fix common installation errors:
  1. Go to the start menu and type QuickBooks tool hub.
  2. Right click on QuickBooks tool hub and choose to run as administrator.
  3. Click on installation issues from the left panel.
  4. Choose QuickBooks install diagnostic tool which will scan your system for up to 20 minutes in order to identify missing dependencies and damaged files that are interrupting the installation of this accounting software.

Restart your system after the program has completed scanning and fixing the errors.

Uninstall your QuickBooks and rename the installation folders manually 

  • To begin, you must uninstall QuickBooks
  • In order to display hidden files, follow the procedures below
  • Open the Start menu in Windows
  • You must search for and open the “File Explorer” application
  • The next step is to locate and access the folder containing QuickBooks company files
  • In most circumstances, this will be the QuickBooks folder
  • This can be found in any of the paths listed below:
    • C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks(year)
    • C:\Users\(Current user)\AppData\Local\Intuit\QuickBooks(year)
    • C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
    • 64-bit version C:\Program Files (x86)\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
  • Now, do a right-click on the folder and select the rename option
  • The next step is to append the term “old” to the folder’s name
  • When you reinstall QuickBooks, the software will not attempt to open it
  • In the end, reinstall QuickBooks Desktop.

If you receive an access error warning while attempting to rename the folder, follow the instructions below:

  • To begin, right-click the windows task bar and select Task Manager from the menu that appears
  • After that, switch to the processes tab
  • To sort the list, choose the name column header
  • The next step is to select and terminate the following processes: QBDBMgrN.exe, QBDBMgr.exe, QBCFMonitorService.exe, and Qbw32.exe
  • If an error warning appears “WARNING: Terminating a process can cause undesired results…“at the end of the process, you should select the “Yes” tab.


If you have another version of QuickBooks desktop installed on your system, then you may receive QuickBooks error 1646 on your system during the installation of the software. Go through the solutions in this post, and get in touch with our QuickBooks Desktop experts if you need help.


  1. What do you understand with QuickBooks Error Code 1646?

    It is an installation error that occurs if you’re installing QuickBooks Desktop Premier on a computer that already has a Premier installation from the same year. Or, if you’re installing QuickBooks Accountant on a computer that already has a Premier installation from the same year, you’ll receive this prompt.

  2. How do I check the QuickBooks Desktop version and release while implementing the Clean Install process?

    It is pretty simple to check, you just move to the Home screen then press and hold the Ctrl + 1 or F2 key to open the Product Information window. Here, you can find the version, edition, and release which appear on the top of the Windows on the product line.

  3. Is it also important to activate the QuickBooks Desktop after installation is successfully done?

    Yes, It is very important to activate your software after the installation process. Well, QuickBooks will also ask you to activate and update your software after you install it successfully. To activate QB Desktop, follow the steps given below:

    1. Open your QuickBooks software 
    2. Go to the Help menu and select the option named “Activate QuickBooks Desktop”
    3. Perform the steps prompts on your screen to verify the information that you’ve given.

  4. What happens to my accounting data when I uninstall QuickBooks Desktop?

    As your data is stored in the company file folder, it isn’t removed when you uninstall QuickBooks Desktop. Only the program files are cleared from the system. However, it is still recommended to create a backup of your company file and store the backup in a separate location. If you want to preserve the user preferences, then move the company file folder to another location.

  5. Where do I find the setup for my version of QuickBooks Desktop?

    You can go to QuickBooks Download Page and download the setup for your version of QuickBooks Desktop. First, you need to choose the country, then the version, and finally the edition. You can then choose the Download option to begin the download of the file.

  6. What’s the cost of the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic tool?

    The tool is absolutely free of cost. QuickBooks Tool Hub can be downloaded for free from Intuit’s website. And all the tools in the tool hub can be used without any payments. However, make sure that you download the setup from the official page of Intuit; otherwise, you may receive an infected copy from a third-party website.

Speak to A Specialist about QuickBooks Software

Headache🥺. Huh, Save time & money with QuickBooks Support 24×7 @ +1/, we provide assistance to those who face problems while using QuickBooks (Support all U.S. & Canada Editions)

--- Support - We provide solutions for the following QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, Accountant, Enterprise, Payroll, Cloud) ---

  • Error Support
  • Data Import
  • Data Conversion
  • Payment Solutions
  • Upgradation
  • Payroll Support
  • Data Export
  • Software Integration
  • QuickBooks Printer Support
  • Complete QuickBooks Solutions
  • Tax-Related Issues
  • Data Damage Recovery
  • Installation, Activation Help
  • QuickBooks Windows Support

Disclaimer : We are a third party agency working on providing authentic support and full fledged services for for accounting software QuickBooks 2018 version. It is one of… Read more