When it comes to the accounting world, QuickBooks is exceptional software that comes into every accountant’s mind. It is a one-stop solution to managing your accounting operations. But just like the other software, the QuickBooks software has its positive and negative aspects. One such conspicuous disruption encountered in the software is in the form of assorted technical error codes. One common error that keeps on obstructing users comes up in the form of the following message “The file you specified cannot be opened”. Notably, this payroll error may also show up in various forms. These include the following:

Payroll Error:The file you specified cannot be opened” It must not be already in use by another program or a read-only file.
Error:The Windows Error was The File Exists.”
The file you specified cannot be opened or The file not exists - Screenshot Image

These error messages may pop up on the screen in a variety of circumstances. This error may annoy you while downloading payroll, paying scheduled liabilities, and also while opening a federal or state form. If you have encountered these errors or any one of them, then don’t worry, as we are here to assist you with the procedure to get the payroll back on track. This article will brief you on the various aspects associated with this error, along with the various avenues of fixation the same. Meanwhile, if you feel the need for technical help, you may reach us by ringing us a call at 1-800-761-1787. To start off, let us first provide a concise brief of this QuickBooks error.

You may also read: How to Fix QuickBooks Error PS077 or PS032?

A Brief into the Errors “The file you specified cannot be opened” and “The file exists”

Throwing light on the payroll errors: The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists, these errors can be confronted while working on various accounting operations like paying scheduled liabilities, opening a state/federal form, and also at the time of downloading the payroll update. You could see the error messages like The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or read-only file. Also, you could face an error message stating “The Windows error was the file exists”. There can be a variety of different factors contributing to payroll errors, which we will be discussing in the later section of this post.

Causes of “The File you Specified Can’t be Opened” & “The File Exists” Errors

These payroll errors can be noticed due to a couple of factors, out of which the major ones are being earmarked below:

  • These errors can be caused due to inactive/poor internet connectivity.
  • Improper and outdated firewall may also be a contributory cause behind the error message ”the file you specified cannot be opened.”
  • Misconfigured internet security settings may at times provoke such errors in the payroll.
  • Any outdated QuickBooks desktop application file may also instigate this error. In this context, it is highly recommended that you keep updating your QuickBooks Software at regular intervals.
  • You might end up in the error if the QuickBooks is being interrupted by Windows user account control.
  • If you are not having admin rights, then this error message may show up.
  • Another major reason behind the payroll errors is if the installation of the software is not done correctly.

Important points to remember

There are certain important points that you should take into consideration and perform carefully. Let us have a look at these points:

  • In the beginning, you are supposed to click on the OK tab till the error message gets updated.
  • Besides the above-mentioned pointer, you should close and again open the QuickBooks software once again.
  • Ensuring that the QuickBooks version is the latest version is also recommended.
  • Along with that, close QuickBooks software and reboot the desktop.
  • While restarting QuickBooks, you are supposed to right-click the QuickBooks icon and choose the run as admin option.

Read Also: How to Fix Client Ready Reports Compile Error in QuickBooks?

Viable Solutions for Payroll Errors: “The File you Specified Cannot be Opened” and “The File Exists”

You can conform to a number of different solutions in order to fix The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists errors. We will be exploring and implementing each of these solutions one by one, so let us have a look:

Solution 1: Updating Windows Permission

The first troubleshooting approach requires you to update relevant permissions to allow for unhindered access to QuickBooks. The steps for configuring the permissions are given as under:

  • You can update the Windows permissions by opening the Windows Start menu.
  • And then, type in File explorer and open the same from the Search bar.
  • Next, spot the QuickBooks program file. It should show up like this:
Windows permission - Screenshot Image
Processor TypeFile Path for QBW32.EXE
32-bitC:\program files\intuit\quickbooks (year)
64-bitC:\program files x86\intuit\quickbooks (year)
  • After this, hit a right-click on the QuickBooks program file and then click on the Properties tab.
  • Upon visiting the Properties tab, you need to opt for Security and Edit options.
  • Follow it by selecting Add, and in the Windows, type Everyone and hit on the OK button.
  • Now, choose the checkbox for Full control and then hit on the OK tab.
Windows Permissions for Common Files - Screenshot
  • Also, choose Add again and type in users in the Windows type, and then tap on the OK button.
  • The next step involves choosing the check box beside Full control in the security Window and hit the OK tab.
Allow full control - Screenshot Image
  • To end the process hit on Apply and then choose OK to close the settings.
  • Hopefully, this solution, involving an alteration in the permissions should have helped in resolving ”the file you specified cannot be opened” error.

Solution 2: Running QuickBooks as a system administrator

In several instances, launching the QuickBooks software as an admin can be an effective remedy to the myriad of error codes encountered within the software. As such, it is advisable that you always launch the QuickBooks desktop as an system administrator. The process is quite easy and can be realized by implementing the following steps:

  • Firstly, hover your mouse over the Windows Start icon and then hit on the same to open it.
  • After that, type in ”QuickBooks” within the Search box.
  • After typing, look for the results that show up in the search Window.
  • Then, follow it up by hitting a right-click on the QuickBooks version (and also the year) that you want to open.
  • Now, choose the Run as admin option from the drop-down menu.
Run QuickBooks as admin- screenshot
  • Follow it by running the Payroll updates.
  • Now, perform your usual QuickBooks operations and examine whether the error(s) associated with the payroll got sorted out.

Check Also: QuickBooks Payroll Is Not Taking Out Taxes – How to Correct It?

Solution 3: Run the QuickBooks file doctor form tool hub

QuickBooks File Doctor - Screenshot

You can employ the QuickBooks file doctor tool to repair and restore the company file-related issue. You can download this tool from the QuickBooks tool hub program. To make things clear, our experts have come up with the lucid and easy-to-implement steps provided below

  • You need to close your QuickBooks desktop software first.
  • After that, download the latest version of the QuickBooks Tool Hub program.
  • The file should be saved somewhere that you can find easily (For example: Downloads folder)
  • Now, double-click on the download file named as QuickBooksToolHub.exe. This action will initiate the installation process.
  • Follow every step that is appearing on your desktop screen to install and agree to all the Terms & Conditions of the software.
  • After the successful installation of the tool hub, it will create an icon on your desktop screen. Just double-click on this icon to open it.
QuickBooks Tool Hub - Icon
  • Now, from the tool hub, navigate to the Company File Issues.
  • After that, go for the Run QuickBooks File Doctor option. Please note that it that the file doctor may take up to one minute to open.
QuickBooks file doctor in tool hub - Screenshot Image
  • Next step is to choose your Company file from the drop-down menu.
  • Also, choose to Check your file and then hit on Continue option.
QuickBooks file doctor in tool hub - Screenshot Image 2
  • Now, finally, enter your Admin password and then choose Next tab.
QuickBooks file doctor in tool hub - Screenshot Image 3

Your file size will determine the scan time. It can take between 3 to 5 minutes in most cases. After the scan is complete, you can open QuickBooks and check your company file is repaired or not.

  • When asked, choose the desktop as the Default app location.
  • And then run once the download process concludes.
  • After the QuickBooks file doctor tool runs, you will be prompted to opt for the error causing file, which will further lead to two options. You need to opt for the one that suits the situation.
  • If this solution resolves the error, well and good. However, if it doesn’t serve the purpose, it is advisable to jump to the next solution.

Solution 4: Reinstalling QuickBooks Desktop

Sometimes, your QuickBooks Desktop software may be facing certain issues, which directly embolden the payroll errors. Under such circumstances, it is advisable to reinstall the QuickBooks software. The process is a cakewalk and can be performed by implementing the steps below:

  • First of all, tap on the Windows + R keys and open the Run tab.
  • After that, in the run box, you will need to enter the text appwiz.cpl, followed by hitting on the Enter key.
Type appwiz.cpl - Screenshot
  • And then, hit a click on the QuickBooks software twice and hit on the Uninstall option.
Uninstall or Reinstall QuickBooks - Screenshot
  • Now, you are required to download the Clean install tool.
  • You can use this tool for installing the QuickBooks desktop software again. Take a note that you will require your License and product keys at the time of re-installing the QuickBooks software.

Read it also: How to Eliminate QuickBooks Error 1723?

Solution 5: Re-register QuickBooks .DLL and .OCX file using reboot.bat file

You should consider registering the DLL and OCX files of QuickBooks via the batch file named reboot.bat. The file can be located in the QuickBooks folder. The brief set of steps given below should assist you:

  • Firstly, you are required to make an exit from QuickBooks Desktop initially.
  • And then, right-click the QuickBooks icon on the Desktop and also opt for Properties.
  • Herein, you are required to opt for the Open file location option and then look for the Reboot.bat file.
Run ‘reboot.bat’ file - Screenshot
  • And then right click the Reboot.bat file and opt for the Run as admin option.
  • Now, wait for a few minutes until the Command prompt scrolls all the files.
  • Finally, reboot the Windows and then check if the error ”the file you specified cannot be opened” persists.

Solution 6: Turn off user account control (UAC) in Windows

This solutions demands disabling the UAC option in the Control Panel. To know more, follow the steps given as under:

  • You need to first hit on the Windows + R keys and type the Control panel.
  • Spot the User accounts from the Search bar.
  • Now, hit a click on the Change user account control settings.
  • Hit on Yes and then move the slider down to Never notify and then Turn off UAC.
Turn Off UAC in Windows - Screenshot
  • The last step is to reboot the system and then update the QuickBooks desktop.
  • Hopefully, the payroll errors must have been sorted by now. If that isn’t the case, then you should consider visiting the subsequent solution.

See Also: How to fix Error 1601, 1603, and 1642 in QuickBooks?

Solution 7: Checking for QuickBooks updates

It is recommended that you keep following regular QuickBooks updates rolled out by intuit. This action will safeguard your copy of QuickBooks against malicious technical issues while also ensuring a seamless use experience.

  • Initially, launch the QuickBooks desktop and then hit the F2 key to reveal the product information option.
  • Pick the correct QuickBooks version.
Product Information of QuickBooks desktop - Screenshot
  • Choose the option labeled Get the latest updates.
Update QuickBooks desktop (Screenshot)
  • Follow it by making a new folder and then Save the file.
  • Double-click the Installation file to start the update process.
  • Reboot your system now and check if the payroll errors got rectified.

Solution 8: Fixing the error while printing forms issue

At times, this QuickBooks error may also occur while printing your forms in QuickBooks. The steps to resolve the error in such a circumstance are given as under:

  • In this process, open the desktop and press the Windows + R keys, and hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • Move to the Devices and printers option.
Devices and Printers option - Screenshot Image
  • Hit a right-click on the Device and choose to Remove the printer facing the issue.
  • Now, make an exit from QuickBooks and open the Task manager or alternatively, use the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys to access the Task manager.
  • Locate the QBW32.exe process and right-click the same.
End task in QuickBooks-screenshot
  • End the process by clicking on the Yes option.
  • Moving ahead, navigate to the C drive > Program data > Intuit > QuickBooks.
  • Lastly, find and delete the find named QBPRINT.qbp. And reboot the system.

Read Also: How to Fix QuickBooks Payroll Error Code 15218?

Solution 9: Configuring the Internet and Firewall Security Settings

Configuration of the Internet/Firewall settings requires the addition of new Inbound and Outbound rules pertaining to QuickBooks in the Windows Firewall.

  • Click the “Control Panel” link in the start menu.
  • Select “Windows Firewall,” then “Advanced Settings.”
  • Additionally, choose the “Inbound” tab.
  • Navigate to the New Rule to create a new inbound rule.
Create a new rule in firewall settings - Screenshot Image
  • After that, select “Port.”
  • Select the “Next” tab.
  • The number of ports must now be entered.
  • When finished, select “Next.”
  • Select the “Next” option after navigating to the “Allow Connection” option.
Allow the connection - Screenshot Image
  • Give this Firewall rule a name, then click “Finish.”

Solution 10: Basic troubleshooting steps

Besides the above-mentioned solutions, you can also implement some basic troubleshooting steps below to fix payroll errors.

  • At first, check if the file is open on the other server.
  • After opening the file, check if the QuickBooks file is damaged.
  • Next step is to Scan the system with the help of Virus and threat protecting on the antivirus software.
Virus and threat protecting - Screenshot Image
  • Followed by checking if you are using the Admin account.
  • Lastly, check if the QuickBooks and the Windows are updated and installed properly.
  • That’s it.! Check the payroll error must be resolved by now.

Also see: Move or reinstall QuickBooks Desktop to another computer

Need Technical assistance? Reach us out

After carrying out the steps stated above, you should be able to get rid of the payroll errors: “The file you specified cannot be opened” and “The file exists”. However, if you feel the need of availing advice from our QuickBooks payroll support team, then you can connect with us through the helpline i.e. 1-800-761-1787.

Give us a call and find apt resolutions to all kinds of QB-related issues. We are available to provide you with quality services and assistance for resolving all the QuickBooks intricacies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I resolve the “The File Exists” error in QuickBooks Payroll?

To address the “The File Exists” error, you can try the following steps:
1· Rename the file to some different name.
2· Check if the file has the same name as an existing file in the specified location. If that is the case, opt for a different file name.
3· Make sure that the file is not open or used by any another program.
4· Multiple users should not be trying to create the same file.

Can I encounter the “The File you Specified Cannot be Opened” error if the file is located on a network drive?

Yes!  In case the network drive is inaccessible, users can encounter this QuickBooks error.

I renamed the file, but I’m still encountering the “The File Exists” error. What should I do?

If renaming the file does not fix the error, then, double-check the specified location to ensure that there are no other files with the same name. If that is the case, then opt for a different file name for averting any conflicts.

Is it possible that the QuickBooks company file itself is causing these errors?

Technical errors in the Company file or corruption in the same could potentially lead to these errors. In such cases, it is advised to use the tools like QuickBooks File Doctor Tool, Quick Fix My Program, QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool, etc.


Related articles:

How to Resolve QuickBooks Error Code 6073 and 99001?

Fixation methods for QuickBooks Payroll Error 2000

How to Correct the Incorrect COGS in QuickBooks Desktop?

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Looking for QuickBooks Support & Help?

  • Error support Team

Fix Your Error & Issues Instantly

Get instant assistance from our experienced and certified professionals.


    Request a Call Back!

    Our customer support representatives are readily available to help You!


    This will close in 0 seconds

    Call Now +1-800-761-1787