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How to Fix QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311?

QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311

Quick Summary

Error 15311 in QuickBooks occurs when the software is unable to read or access a company file. This can be caused by several factors, such as damaged or missing data in the file, interference from other programs or antivirus software, or issues with the file path.

To fix this error, you can try the following steps:

  1. Close QuickBooks and any other programs running on your computer.
  2. Open the file in the program that created it. If the file opens successfully, save it in a new location and then try opening it in QuickBooks again.
  3. If the file cannot be opened in the original program, try repairing it using a file repair tool.
  4. Check for and resolve any issues with the file path. Make sure that the file is located in a directory that is accessible and not locked or restricted in any way.
  5. Check for and resolve any issues with antivirus or firewall software that may be blocking access to the file.
  6. If none of these steps help, you may need to restore a backup copy of the file.

QuickBooks payroll error 15311, like the other 15xxx error codes, occurs when updating payroll on your desktop. The error interrupts the update process and leads to the software crashing.

Without the updates, users cannot have the latest tax tables and forms on their system, so the user is stuck with the problem until and unless he or she resolves it. So this error can frustrate the user’s attempts to get back to work and prepare taxes.

While several solutions exist, the QuickBooks payroll error 15311 error generally occurs because of a failure to verify digital signature certificates. These certificates authenticate the connection with the server so that the software can download the updated files from the internet.

However, if your connection isn’t authenticated because of a particular reason, then you’ll get this or a similar type of error along with the error message that further explains the underlying cause.

In this post, you’ll learn how to fix QuickBooks payroll error 15311.

Error Code:Error 15311
Error Description:QuickBooks has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Developer:Intuit Inc.
Applies to:Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
Cause:Some files of QuickBooks are corrupted or damaged, The installation of Quickbooks software causes problems
Symptoms:Windows Operating System got frozen many times, system crashes while running the active program
Solution:Check for the key of QuickBooks Payroll, Set Up The Configuration of Your Internet Explorer Browser

About QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311

The QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311 shows you an error message on your screen as-

“QuickBooks update cannot be completed successfully and cannot connect to QuickBooks Payroll”

“Error 15311: QuickBooks has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

So, this is the error message that you get on your screen when you are not able to download QuickBooks Payroll update properly in your system or facing any related issue with Payroll. 

Now, the first thing that you have to do after getting the error is that you have to identify the root of the problem from where it started or from where it was raised. This helps you to identify the reason and then accordingly you can apply the solution to fix it on your own.

What is QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311 cause in your system?

Here are the reasons that you must know about what causes you QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311 in your software program. With this list get the root of the error caused to you and then choose the solution.

The list of reasons is as follows:-

  • Some files of QuickBooks are corrupted or damaged
  • Windows Registry has some problems
  • The installation of Quickbooks software causes problems
  • Few important files are missing
  • Viruses or malware attack your files and they got infected
  • Your download got interrupted that causing you the error
  • You have some damaged or broken files in your download of the QuickBooks Payroll update
  • The product key is incorrect
  • The certificate of the digital signature is missing
  • Some browser-related issues
  • The file got deleted mistakenly from your system or from a downloaded file the files got deleted.

What are the symptoms or effects that are shown in your system in this error?

The list of effects and symptoms that you are facing in your system because of QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311 is as follows:-

  • Your Windows Operating System got frozen many times while working
  • The system crashes while running the active program and interrupts your working
  • The system not responding to the inputs that you are providing
  • Not able to continue the work with your QuickBooks Payroll software
  • You get the error message shown on your screen and you won’t able to work.

Methods to fix QuickBooks Payroll Error 15311?

There are 5 methods that you can implement to fix this error code 15311 in your system. You just have to identify the reason for the cause and then choose the solution. After that follow the steps and then fix the problem. 

If in case you didn’t recognize the reason then follow the solution methods one by one. After each method, check for the error, and when your issue is resolved just stop implementing the solutions.

①. Method One: Check for the key of QuickBooks Payroll

  • In your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, check for your subscription first that it is active
  • If it is not then make it active
  • But if it is active then check for the update of the software
  • If the update is required then do it 
  • After the update, you have to enter the service key 
  • By entering the service key, you get to know whether it is correct or not
  • Click on the Employees menu at the top left side of QuickBooks
  • Select the My Payroll Service from further drop-down options
  • For more options, choose Manage Service Key
  • You have to click on the Edit option shown to you that helps you in checking for the key
  • Click on the Next button and after that click on the button Finish
  • After completing this method restart or reboot your system to save and refresh the settings you have done.

②. Method Two: Set Up The Configuration of Your Internet Explorer Browser

  • Open the browser Internet Explorer as it is the default browser that you have to use for QuickBooks
  • If Internet Explorer is not your default browser then make it default
  • Check the system’s Date and Time
    • The Date and Time are at  the bottom right side of the Taskbar
    • Click on the date and Time shown then a window opens up
    • Check the date and time information and if you want to change it in case of incorrect information then do it.
  • Check the Cipher Strength and for this the steps are:
    • Initially, open  the Internet Explorer 
    • Then open the website of Intuit
    • Press the Alt key from your keyboard
    • From the display menu, choose the option File menu 
    • After that click on the Properties option
    • The window of Properties opens up in this go to the Connection tab
    • Check for the number before the Byte Encryption
    • Then do update the settings of the Internet Explorer browser
    • Got the menu of browser that is on the top right side has 3 dots in the vertical position
    • Click on it and Select Tools 
    • Then further select the Internet Options option
    • Go to the General tab and click on the Temporary files of the internet
    • After selecting click on the Delete button to delete these files
    • In the connection tab, click on the option LAN Settings 
    • Click on the Advanced tab 
    • Check that the SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0 are selected
    • After selecting this unselect the Publisher’s Certificate
    • Also, check that TLS 1.2 is selected.

③. Method Three: Add The Certificate of Digital Signature to Your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

  • In your system, search for the file QBW32.exe
  • Then after locating it, right-click on it and select the Properties option
  • The window of Properties opens up
  • Click on the Digital Signature tab
  • In this tab, tick mark the option 
  • After that click on the Details option to check its details
  • Click on the View Certificate option so that you can view it by enlarging the certificate to verify for details
  • Press the Install button for certificate installation and this option is within the window that is already opened on your screen
  • Now in installation, click on the Next button and continue until you get the Finish button
  • After pressing the Finish button, wait for a few minutes to complete the process of installing the Digital Signature Certificate
  • In the end, restart the system and then freshly open the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll software in your system
  • Do download the update without any issue, error, or problem.

④. Method Four: Reset The Updates of Your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll

  • Firstly, open your QuickBooks software in your system
  • Then click n the Help menu option
  • In the further drop-down menu, select the Update QuickBooks Desktop
  • After that, click on the button Update Now
  • Now, hit your cursor on the Get Updates
  • When you are done with the update of your software then click on the button Close
  • In the end, run the software to check for the problem if any.

⑤. Method Five: Re-register QuickBooks File by Running The Reboot.bat File

  • Initially, close the QuickBooks software if it is opened in your system
  • Go to the QuickBooks icon and right-click on it
  • From drop-down options, select Properties
  • The window of Properties opens up
  • Click on the Open File Location
  • Then select the Reboot.bat file that you get in the folder of QuickBooks
  • Now right-click on it and then click on the option Run as Administrator
  • After this, wait for it to complete the registering process that registers all the files of QuickBooks
  • Reboot the system and then check by updating QuickBooks Desktop Payroll if any error persists.

⑥. Method Six: Again Install the QuickBooks in Safe Mode

  • Open the Run window by pressing Windows + R buttons together or in the Start menu type Run and press Enter button
  • The Run window opens up on your screen that you get at the bottom left side of the screen
  • In the text field of the Run window, type the Msconfig and then press the Enter button
  • You see the window of System Configuration opens up on your screen 
  • In this window, click o the BOOT
  • Then a new window opens up 
  • Remove the tick mark from the box of Safe boot
  • After that, click on the Apply button to apply all the changes, and then click on the OK button to save and close the window
  • Give a restart to your system but the system restarts in the Safe mode
  • When you are done with this run the software to check for any issues.


  1. Do I require to do all the 7 methods to fix QuickBooks Payroll error 15311?

    No, you don’t have to implement all the methods. It depends on the reason for the error according to that choose the solution and then do that process to fix the problem.

  2. How can I verify and check the services of Payroll before implementing the solutions for QuickBooks Payroll error 15311? 

    In this, you have to try to run the payroll services to check and verify whether that is working or not. If not working then there is an issue with the QuickBooks software using method 1. Do check for the subscription is active or not. Reinstall your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll software using the above method 6.

  3. How to run QuickBooks Desktop Payroll as Administrator to fix the QuickBooks Payroll error 15311?

    You have to go o the QuickBooks icon and then right-click on it now from the options select Run as administrator and it launches the software as administrator. Sometimes when you run the software as an admin then your software automatically gets much access as an administrator and the error resolves automatically.

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