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Reinstall QuickBooks for Windows using clean install

When a QuickBooks Desktop function is damaged or when a simple reinstall does not correct an issue, you may need to uninstall QuickBooks Desktop for Windows, rename installation files left behind, and then reinstall the program. This process is called a Clean Install or Clean Uninstall.

Reminder: Before uninstalling QuickBooks Desktop, be sure to have your QuickBooks Desktop download file or your installation CD and license numbers available.

Step 1: Uninstall QuickBooks Desktop

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows+R to open the Run command.
  2. Type in Control Panel, then select OK.
  3. Select Programs and Features (If Control Panel is in Category View, choose Uninstall a Program.)
  4. In the list of programs, select QuickBooks, then select Uninstall/Change.
  5. Follow the prompts to complete the process.
    Important: If you get an error message and are unable to uninstall QuickBooks, you will need to contact a qualified IT professional or Microsoft as this indicates there is a problem/corruption with your Windows Operating system (which is not an Intuit product).

Step 2: Rename the Installation folders

You have the option to use QuickBooks Clean Install Tool to rename the folders for you. If you do not want to run this tool, you can manually rename the QuickBooks installation folders.

Download and run the QuickBooks Clean Install Tool

  1. Download the QuickBooks_Clean_Install_Tool.exe file and save it to your desktop.
  2. Open QuickBooks_Clean_Install_Utility.exe.
  3. Select I Accept on the license agreement.
  4. Select your version of QuickBooks Desktop, then click Continue.
  5. Click OK when you see the message "QuickBooks is now ready for a clean install, please install to the default directory."

Manually rename the QuickBooks Desktop installation folders.

Use Windows Explorer to display hidden files and rename each of the folder locations listed for your version of Windows. As a suggestion, add 'old' or 'damaged' at the end of the folder name. This will prevent QuickBooks from recognizing the folder in order to create a new one.

Folder Location

  • C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
  • C:\Users\(current user)\AppData\Local\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
  • C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks(year)
  • 64-bit version C:\Program Files (x86)\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)

Error: Access Denied when renaming folders

  1. Right-click the Windows Task Bar and select Task Manager.
  2. Under the Processes tab, select the Image Name column header to sort the processes alphabetically by name.
  3. Select QBDBMgrN.exe, QBDBMgr.exe, QBCFMonitorService.exe, Qbw32.exe, then choose End Process.
  4. Select End Process.
  5. Click Yes to the message, "WARNING: Terminating a process can cause undesired results including loss of data and system instability...."

Step 3: Reinstall QuickBooks Desktop

Download and install QuickBooks Desktop