QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists

QuickBooks Payroll Update error file exists

What is “The file exists” Error

The QuickBooks Payroll Update error file exists happens 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 The reasons are QuickBooks is outdated, UAC settings are misconfigured, or more.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”

You may confront QuickBooks payroll update error if the file exists while working on different accounting features like opening a state/federal form, paying scheduled liabilities, and downloading payroll updates. Facing the same problem then don’t worry! Here are all possible solutions to fix it.

Windows Error “This File Exists”? – QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll is additional subscription software that is used for the running of the small businesses. Intuit releases payroll updates on 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 be getting 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 resolution.

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

About 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
Cause:While downloading a payroll update., Launching the federal or state formsApplies to:Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
Sysmptom:The file exists (Windows), The specific file that you require fails to open.Possible Solution:Allow The Full Control Access To The User, Check For QuickBooks Desktop Updates

Possible Reasons for QuickBooks Payroll Update Error:

  • 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.
  • It’s possible that your QuickBooks installation has 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.

When the QuickBooks Payroll Update Error occurs you will possibly receive following error messages:

  • The specific file that you require fails to open. Ensure that it is not presently used by another program or a file that is red-only.
  • The file exists (Windows).

Why does the QB Payroll Update error occur?

QuickBooks Payroll Update error is usually occurs when a file is not read correctly/properly. This might occur if your QB Desktop does not have the latest release. So it is very important to ensure that your QuickBooks Desktop has the latest release.

It is very simple; you just have to follow the simple steps:

  • Go to Help -> Click Update QuickBooks
  • Click the Update Now tab -> Get Updates
  • Try turning off User Account Control in Windows

How to Fix the QuickBooks Payroll Update Error The File Exists?

To fix 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 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 the 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 the Security and then click on the option Edit
  • To add 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 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.

If you have any issue or query then you can connect with the QuickBooks customer helpdesk who is here to help you all the time. The information you get is up to date and correct. You can also send the email and do a live chat with the team.

Additional troubleshooting methods to fix QuickBooks Payroll Update Error the File Exists

Because the “The file exists” problem can occur for a variety of reasons, it’s critical to pinpoint the particular cause before using a cause-specific troubleshooting procedure. If you can’t figure out what’s causing the error, make sure you perform all of the troubleshooting procedures in the correct order.

1. Method One: Allow the Full Control Access to the User 

Different sorts of user accounts with varying levels of privileges can be used to operate Windows. On Windows, the Admin user has full control access to files and directories by default, which QuickBooks requires to work properly. If your user account does not have admin access, follow the instructions below:

  • Initially, do a right-click on the QB Desktop icon to select the option “Open File Location”
QB Desktop icon to select the option “Open File Location”
  • Next, click on the Backspace key from your console 
  • Or hit the backward arrow at the top-left to navigate to the root folder 
  • Now, perform a right-click on the QuickBooks Folder and select “Properties” 
QuickBooks Folder and select “Properties”
  • Go to the Security tab and click on the “Edit” then select “Add”  
  • After that, choose “Everyone” followed by clicking on the Ok button 
  • Select the option “Full Control” then click “Apply” 
  • Follow the same procedures as before, except this time instead of selecting everyone, pick your User.

2. Method Two: Configure Windows Firewall, Repair QuickBooks Desktop and Perform a Clean Installation of QuickBooks

For a step-by-step guide on configuring Windows firewall ports, follow the troubleshooting steps on QBDBMgrN Not Running Error to Repair QuickBooks Desktop and Perform a Clean Installation of QuickBooks Desktop.

IMPORTANT: When printing a form with QuickBooks Desktop, you may see the error "The File Exists" and in this case, you’re suggested to follow the below instructions:
  • Open the Run window by pressing the Windows + R keys from your keyboard 
  • Type the Control Panel and then click Ok 
  • Next, select the option “Devices and Printers” 
  • Do a right-click to select the Remove option on any printer which is no longer in use or showing an error sign
  • Now, exit from the QuickBooks Desktop 
  • After that, press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys altogether from your keyboard and then open the Task Manager
  • Move to the Processes tab and then perform a right-click on the QBW32.exe 
  • Select the “End Process” followed by selecting the “Yes” button to confirm action 
  • Navigate the 
  • C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks if you are using QuickBooks Premier or navigate to C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Intuit\(QuickBooks_version)\TSPrinterSettings\ if you are using QuickBooks Enterprise
  • Go to the folder then search and delete the QBPRINT.qbp file  
  • Finally, open the QuickBooks once again to give a print. 

3. Method Three: Turn off the User Account Control in Windows Settings 

  • To start with pressing the Windows + R keys from your keyboard to open the Run window 
  • Next, type Control Panel within the search box and then hit Ok 
  • From the search bar and look for user’s accounts at the top of your Control Panel 
  • Now, click on the option “Change User Account Control” settings 
  • After that, hit “Yes” and move your slider down in order to never notify then turn off UAC 
  • At last, restart the system and then try to update your QuickBooks Payroll.  

4. Method Four: Re-register QuickBooks .DLL and .OCX file using the Reboot.bat file 

QuickBooks Reboot.bat is software that automatically re-registers most of the critical QuickBooks installation files and assists in the resolution of some of the most difficult QuickBooks errors, such as the “The File Exists” error. Exit QuickBooks Desktop by following the on-screen instructions.

  • Select Properties from the right-click menu of the QB icon on your desktop
  • Choose Open File Location and navigate to the folder where the reboot.bat file is located
  • Select Run as Administrator from the context menu when you right-click the Reboot.bat file
  • Wait until the dark command prompt window scrolls through all of the QuickBooks files and then exits
  • Check if the file exists and the error has been addressed by restarting Windows.

5. Method Five: Check for QuickBooks Desktop Updates 

  • First, open your QB software and go to the Help menu then click “Update QuickBooks Desktop” option
Update QuickBooks Desktop
  • Next, go to the “Update Now” tab and then choose “Get Updates” 
“Update Now” tab and then choose “Get Updates”
  • Restart QuickBooks and choose Install Now on the QuickBooks Update Service window once the updates have been downloaded
choose Install Now on the QuickBooks Update Service window
  • After the updates have been installed, try the same activity again to see if the error has been resolved.

Also you can connect with QuickBooks Payroll Support Phone Number that is a well known QuickBooks Consulting Agency that offers prompt and responsive support to the payroll issues. You are assured complete support in minimum time. Connect with the proficient QB professionals by calling the toll free phone number 📞+ and garner services on payroll update.


  1. How to run it as administrator?

    💠Go to the QuickBooks icon
    💠Then right-click on it
    💠From 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 exists 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 Windows + R keys. Type the text appwiz.cpl and then click QuickBooks twice then select Uninstall. Follow the on-screen pops up instructions in order 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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