QuickBooks Error the File Exists: Main Causes and Fixes

QuickBooks Error the File Exists: Main Causes and Fixes

The QuickBooks error the file exists hints at the possibility of a file having certain issues. Due to these issues, it may not be read. When you try to run such a file, you may come across a message that mentions this error. The file can be affected due to some issues. However, in a few instances, the presence of malware on a Windows system or a bug in QB may also produce this problematic error message. Tracing the main cause of the problem becomes vital. Once this has been done, you can try fixing the file exists error in Intuit QuickBooks via measures including software reinstallation and updation.

What are the Causes of QuickBooks Error the File Exists?

Your internet connection may not remain active at times. Or, it may be active but not working correctly. When you use QB in such an instance, you may see certain errors. One of these can be the file exists error in QuickBooks.

Such an issue can arise due to other reasons as well. Some of these are given as follows:

  • Sometimes, the system firewall is improper or outdated which can lead to such an issue.
  • This problem can be likely given that the internet security setting is incorrect.
  • The accounting software may be outdated.
  • You may see the file exists error when Windows User Account Control interrupts the QuickBooks software.
  • At times, the user does not have admin rights. This is why the problem may be frequently emerging.
  • QuickBooks installation can be improper and, as a result, it may cause this error.

Fixing the File Exists Error QuickBooks

The fix for the QuickBooks error the file exists can be employed depending on whether the issue is arising due to Windows or the software itself. Presuming that it is occurring on a Windows computer, you can ensure that the UAC settings are not on. Along with this, Full Control Access can also be allowed to a user. When the software is resulting in the file exists bug, you can reinstall it, register its files properly, and implement more such fixes.

Fix 1: Disable UAC in Windows Settings

Your Windows computer can be better managed with UAC or User Account Control. It is largely efficient in preventing damage because of viruses/malware. At times, though, it may interfere with system programs including Intuit QB. This interference may show in QuickBooks the Windows error was the file exists.

Disabling UAC can, hence, be useful. To turn it off, these steps will guide you:

  • Firstly, go to Windows Settings on your PC.
  • Here, you can search for the “UAC” option.
  • If you find that the UAC is enabled already, then you can turn it off.

At the end of this, you need to reboot your system. Wait for it to properly start. Then try to verify whether the file exists error has been resolved by running QB on Windows. On finding that the QuickBooks the Windows error was the file exists issue is still present, please ensure that the above-given steps were properly executed.

Fix 2: Register QuickBooks.DLL and OCX with reboot.bat 

QuickBooks DLL and OCX files are necessary to run certain programs. Prior to running them, it is vital to see whether they are registered. Only after this has been made certain, the files can be put to use. When the same has not been done, the accounting software by Intuit may not run as expected. This can further affect it with the QuickBooks error message the file exists.

  • To re-register for “QuickBooks.DLL” and “.OCX” files, you need to exit the accounting software.
  • Next to this, you can right-tap on the QB symbol on the “Desktop”. 
  • Then you can select “Properties”.
  • Now, go to the “Open File Location” option. 
  • Then search for the folder where the “reboot.bat” file is stored.
  • When you have found the folder in which the said file is present, begin to run it as the administrator.
  • At this point, you will have to wait for a short while until the “Command Prompt” appears. Then close it.

Once you are done following these steps, reboot your system. Eventually, you have to run the Intuit software. The issue is less likely to appear now.

Fix 3: Allowance of Full Control Access to the User

For certain actions on Windows, Full Control Access is necessary. When you run QuickBooks as well, enabling the feature is suggested. Assuming that it is disabled, the Windows error was the file exists QuickBooks may emerge. 

For preventing the error in the software, you can enable Full Control Access by accessing the Properties of the QuickBooks folder. To do so, here are the directions to go through:

  • The first thing that you can do is right-tap on the QB icon on your PC. 
  • Choose the option of “Open File Location”.
  • After that, you can go back by pressing the “Backspace” tab on the keyboard.
  • Right-tap on the folder of the software.
  • Select the option of “Properties”.
  • Following this, you can hit the “Edit” button. 
  • Pick the “Add” option.
  • Ensure that you choose “Everyone”. 
  • Then tap “Ok”.
  • Now you need to go ahead with the feature “Full Control”. 
  • Push “Apply”.
  • After giving access to the user, it is necessary to reboot your system. 

Fix 4: Checking Firewall Settings on System

Windows Defender Firewall may block certain apps and programs on your computer. Due to this, you may not be able to access the company files. Hence, you may see a problematic message stating “QuickBooks Error the Windows Error was the File Exists”. 

To resolve an error message of this kind, you need to check the settings of the Firewall. When you enter the Advanced Settings of the same, you can start the process of checking them.

  • In the Windows “Start Menu”, please find “Windows Firewall”.
  • On opening the Firewall, go to its “Advanced Settings”.
  • Opt for “Inbound Rules”.
  • Then you have to choose the option “New Rule”.
  • Tap on “Port”.
  • This is followed by hitting the “Next” option.
  • Next to “TCP”, you will see a box. Check-mark it.
  • Ensure what QB version you are using.
  • The ports needed by this version are to be entered.

Note: This step is essential when you need to run a QB company file on a different network.

  • Press the “Next” option.
  • When you see the following button, press it:
    • “Allow the Connection”
  • Hit “Next”.
  • Every profile needs to be selected afterward.
  • Click on the tab “Next”.
  • The rule made by you needs to be given:
    • Name
    • Description
  • Then last of all, tap on the button for “Finish”.

Fix 5: Reinstall QuickBooks using Clean Install Tool

Clean Install Tool is featured mainly for the reinstallation of this accounting software. It is used when the QuickBooks file exists error is occurring due to a glitch in the software itself. The tool will enable you to properly remove as well as install QB. This will reduce the scope of the error appearing again.

Important Note: Prior to getting started with the QB reinstallation process, please make certain that you take a backup of all your company files. During the process, it is likely that the data may be removed from the software.

  • Download as well as install the “QuickBooks Clean Install Tool” on your system.
  • Head to the “Downloads” folder in which the tool’s file will be stored.
  • Search for the file that is named “QucikBooksCleanInstallUtility.exe”.
  • Then you have to hit on the button for “I Accept”.
  • Choose the “QuickBooks” version.
  • Hit the “Continue” tab, followed by pressing “Ok”.

Reinstall the software using the same tool. After the process has been properly completed, activate it using the QuickBooks License Number and Product Number. Then as the software begins to work, try to find if the file exists error has been troubleshot.

Troubleshooting the File Exists Error in QuickBooks Desktop

Sometimes, running the old version of QuickBooks Desktop may create conflicts. Or, the current version may not support all the features. This can result in an issue like the file exists error in QuickBooks Desktop. As you decide to update QBDT, the bugs or problems that may be leading to this error should get resolved. 

  • To check for QuickBooks Desktop updates, you can launch the software.
  • Then you can Head to the “Product Information” screen. It is located below the “Help” tab.
  • From the dropdown menu, you can select the option of the correct year. 
  • Also, choose the version of the software.
  • Now, you can go to search and proceed by tapping on the option “Get the Latest Updates”.
quickbooks the windows error was the file exists
  • Once the relevant files have been located, you can save the data on your computer’s desktop.
  • When the downloading process is done, you can go ahead with the installation. 
  • Make sure that you are following the instructions properly that appear on your screen.
  • In the end, you can start to reboot your PC after all the updates are completely installed.

This is how you can download and install the new updates of the QBDT program. Once it is updated, you can check whether you are still able to find the Windows error was the file exists in QuickBooks Desktop.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is QuickBooks the File Exists Error?

The QuickBooks the file exists error means that you are trying to run a file. However, the said file is not being properly read by the software. This may also be an indication that the file is being used by another user. Hence, it may not be accessed when you try to open it.

2. Why Do I See QuickBooks Warning the File Exists?

The file you specified can be unavailable for accessing or using. This happens when the file is being used by another program on a system. There can be other issues related to your program due to which you may see the Windows error was the file exists warning.

3. How to Fix the File Exists Error in QuickBooks?

To fix this error, you can try to update the software. This is a simple solution that lets the software use the latest updates to prevent the causes of the QuickBooks error the file exists. In addition to this, you can see to it that Full Control Access is enabled in the Windows system on which you are running QB.

4. What is the QuickBooks payroll update error the file exists

A message stating the presence of the QuickBooks payroll update error the file exists means that a file cannot be accessed. It may become problematic due to anything going wrong during the process of downloading payroll updates or using this feature of QB.


A problem like the QuickBooks error message the file exists can be the consequence of so many causes. As seen here, viruses, software issues, etc., can lead to it. You can prevent the bug by making certain that these causes are taken care of. Along with this, when the situation is faced, you can employ the suggested fixes. Thus, the file exists error will be removed and the software will be up for use once again.

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3 years ago

I was constantly facing this issue on my QuickBooks screen so I tried upgrading my QuickBooks version but it didn’t work. Then I came across your blog and used that reboot.bat file method. It really helped me. Thanks for posting.