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QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists

QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists

The QuickBooks Payroll Update error file exists when you are updating the payroll, opening federal or state forms, or paying liabilities. The reasons are QuickBooks is outdated, UAC settings are misconfigured, or more. To fix, turn off the UAC, check Windows permissions, and perform the QuickBooks clean install process.

Error: QuickBooks Payroll Update Error File Exists
Error Message: ”The file you specified cannot be opened” and “The file exists”

QuickBooks Payroll update error stating “the file exists” occurs when you’re doing payroll or updating the software. It can also occur when paying your liabilities or checking tax forms that you need to fill out. In some cases, simply running QuickBooks desktop as an administrator solves the problem, especially for users who’ve set the user account control set to too high. Windows permissions may have to be updated accordingly to enable QuickBooks to quickly fetch information from the web without interference from the operating system.

When you’re using the software for filing your taxes, you may get the Quickbooks payroll update error “the file exists”, which further prevents you from updating the software or filing your taxes. You can even download and install the updates manually, but in this post, you’ll learn how to resolve this issue once and for all.

To resolve the QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists, follow the solutions provided in this post.

Quick Overview of QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists

Error Name:The File ExistsDeveloper:Intuit Inc.
Error Description:The file you specified cannot be opened” It must not be already in use by another program or a read-only fileSoftware:QuickBooks
Symptom:The file exists (Windows), The specific file that you require fails to open.Applies to:Windows 10, and Windows 11
Cause:While downloading a payroll update., Launching the federal or state formsSolution:Allow Full Control Access To The User, Check For QuickBooks Desktop Updates

What is the QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists?

QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists error occurs when a user tries to do payroll, prepare taxes, update the software, or pay scheduled bills. In rare cases, it may occur when you open a federal or state tax form in the QuickBooks desktop software.

This error has a few easy solutions that you can rely on. But first, ensure that you’re connected to a network and your internet is working properly. If not, then you may have to get in touch with your internet service provider.

Windows Error “This File Exists”? – QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is an additional subscription software that is used for the running of small businesses. Intuit releases payroll updates on a quarterly, half-yearly, and annual basis. The update of the QuickBooks payroll includes periodic tax tables, tax forms, etc.

When changes are made by the federal or state government to payroll taxes or forms, you will get a notification about the availability of the new tax table. For updating the QuickBooks payroll you need to ensure that you are having strong internet connectivity and the availability of the new tax table. Updating payroll helps in the resolution of the errors that might occur in handling the software.

At times due to some technical or functional disorder, the users face QuickBooks payroll issues: Windows Error “This File Exists“. You need to approach the QuickBooks payroll customer support team to fetch a resolution.

Possible Reasons for QuickBooks Payroll Update Error:

Go through the reasons, error messages, and fixing steps for the error mentioned below:

  • While downloading a payroll update
  • Launching the federal or state forms
  • Payment of scheduled liabilities
  • QuickBooks Desktop is an old application that hasn’t been updated in a long time.
  • The Internet connection is currently inactive.
  • Firewall and internet security settings that aren’t configured correctly.
  • Your QuickBooks installation may have problems.
  • The Windows User Account Control settings are interfering with QuickBooks’ usual operation.
  • On Windows, the user account does not have the needed administrative rights.

Troubleshooting Solutions to Fix Quickbooks Payroll Update Error the File Exists

If you can’t figure out what’s causing the error, make sure you perform all of the troubleshooting procedures in the correct order:

Solution 1: Configure User Account Control (UAC) settings

  • Open the Run window by pressing the Windows + R keys together
  • In the Run window, type the Control Panel
  • Then press the Enter button from the keyboard
  • In the Control Panel window
  • Click on the User Accounts
  • Further, selecting User Accounts (Classic View)
  • After that, click on the Change User Account Control settings
  • You have to move the slider according to your settings
    • Set the slider towards Never Notify then click on the OK button to Turn the UAC Off
    • Set the slider to Always Notify and hit on OK button to turn the UAC ON
  • Restart your computer to refresh all the changes you have made.

Solution 2: Update Windows

  1. First, press the Start button from the bottom left corner.
  2. Now, navigate to Settings.
  3. Choose the Update & Security icon.
  4. Then, select the Windows Update tab in the left sidebar.
  5. Finally, hit the Check for Updates tab if there is any update available then it will begin downloading automatically.

Solution 3: Login into your system as an administrator user

  • In your Windows Desktop
  • You have to log in as the administrator so that you have all the admin rights to run the software smoothly
  • After that, you also have to run the QuickBooks software as an administrator
  • Locate the QuickBooks Desktop icon
  • Right-click on the icon
  • From further options, select the Run as Administrator option
  • The QuickBooks Desktop opens up with admin access.

Solution 4: Run the Reboot.bat File

  • To begin with, you need to close QuickBooks Desktop. 
  • Make right-click on the QuickBooks icon.
  • After that, select Properties.
  • Now tap on Open File Location followed by clicking on the OK button.
  • Then navigate to the top right search field and type reboot/reboot.bat.
  • Here, you will see a file named reboot/reboot.bat.
  • Select the file and make right-click on it.
  • Select the file and perform right-click on it. 
  • Choose the Run as administrator option.
  • Next, click yes if prompted. 
  • You are supposed to restart your computer to implement the changes and then reopen QuickBooks.
  • Head to Update Now if you are prompted to install the update.
  • If still, you are still having trouble installing the update, you have to take the actions outlined below.

Solution 5: Run the QuickBooks File Doctor Tool from the Tool Hub program

To get the most out of the QuickBooks File Doctor tool, follow the instructions below:

  • The very first, QB should be closed 
  • Next, save the QuickBooks tool hub file that you just downloaded
  • Then, open the file that you already downloaded
  • To solve the problem, follow the on-screen instructions 
  • The terms and conditions must be accepted
  • Now, go to the QuickBooks tool hub and click on it
  • Choose the company file problems that you want to work on
  • To use the QuickBooks file doctor, go to the Tools menu and select Run QuickBooks File Doctor
  • In QB file doctor, you can also choose the company file from the drop-down option
  • Look for a similar product
  • Select the option to check your file and click “Continue”
  • In the end, you enter the QuickBooks admin password and then press the “Next” button.

Solution 6: Configure QuickBooks Firewall and Security settings exceptions

  • You need to add the QuickBooks firewall Exceptions to the QuickBooks communication funnel 
  • Now you need to configure the QuickBooks and settings of the port exception to the security software.
  • Once done, restart the computer and check the settings if they are applied
  • Try to send any other report or form through email, and check if the error persists or not.

Solution 7: Basic troubleshooting steps

To fix the QuickBooks Payroll Update error you need to click ok on the error message.

In case you confront the same error message follow the below-listed steps:

  • When you click on the OK button it shifts the install progress bar
  • In case you still receive the error message -> click OK till the update is complete.
  • Close the QuickBooks program and reopen it.
  • Ensure that your QuickBooks version has the latest product updates downloaded and installed properly.
  • Close QuickBooks application
  • Re-start your computer
  • Reopen QuickBooks as the administrator

1. For updating the Windows permission

  • In your system, click on the Start menu
  • Then open the File Explorer by searching it OR In the taskbar, there is the icon of the File Explorer; double-click on it to open it
  • Now in File Explorer, you have to find the QuickBooks file path. For 64-bit- C:\programfiles x86\intuit\quickbooks XXXX. For 32-bit- C:\programfiles\intuit\quickbooks XXXX. Note- XXXX is the version of the software 
  • Now find the file QBW32.exe and then right-click on it
  • From the drop-down menu, click on the Properties option
  • Go to Security and then click on the option Edit
  • To add a new click on ADD; then in the Type field select Everyone and then click on the OK button
  • Here, you see the checkbox as Full Control; select it and click on the OK button
  • Again, click on the ADD now select the Users in the Type field and click on the OK button
  • After that again, click on the Ful Control checkbox in the Security window and click on the OK button
  • Click on the Apply button and then the OK button when you are ready.

Above, you get to know the causes of why QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists happens and also the solutions to get it to resolve on your own. So, do follow the solutions steps to get it resolved easily.

Also, you can connect with QuickBooks Payroll Support Phone Number which is a well-known QuickBooks Consulting Agency that offers prompt and responsive support to payroll issues. You are assured complete support in a minimum time.


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. How to run it as an administrator?

    💠 Go to the QuickBooks icon
    💠 Then right-click on it
    💠 From the drop-down menu select Run as administrator option
    💠 Now you are done.

  2. When I encounter this error?

    This error happens when you are updating the payroll while opening the federal or state forms, or while paying the scheduled liabilities.

  3. Why are we getting the file existence issue in QuickBooks?

    Your inactive internet connection or dropped internet packets can lead to an “incorrectly read a file” error. To prevent this mistake, make sure that you have upgraded your QuickBooks to the latest available edition.

    If a user does not have the requisite administrative privileges on windows, then the error is susceptible. Erroneous installation of QuickBooks or incorrect Internet security settings is also potential explanations for a QuickBooks file error.

  4. What are the different troubleshooting solutions to fix the QuickBooks payroll update error?

    There are multiple effective solutions to get rid of this error.

    Here are a few of them:

    💠 Solution 1: Turn off User Account Control in Windows Settings 
    💠 Solution 2: Re-register QB .DLL and .OCX file with the help of Reboot. Bat file
    💠 Solution 3: Reinstall QuickBooks Desktop can help you to amend this error
    💠 Solution 4: Allow full Control Access to the User 
    💠 Solution 5: Check for QB Desktop updates

  5. How do I Reinstall my QuickBooks Desktop?

    You need to first open the Run box by pressing the Windows + R keys. Type the text appwiz.cpl and then click QuickBooks twice then select Uninstall. Follow the on-screen pop-up instructions to remove QB from your windows. Download the Clean Install tool from the official website and save it on your desktop. Install your QuickBooks application using this tool.


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