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Resolve Problems Opening QuickBooks Desktop or your Company File

If you are having problems opening QuickBooks Desktop, this is a great place to start troubleshooting! Learn to resolve issues related to opening the QuickBooks program or specific QuickBooks company file to get you back to business in no time.

Before You Start Troubleshooting

  1. Before troubleshooting the company file, make sure the issue is related to the company file rather than the program itself. Also, make sure that QuickBooks is updated to the latest release. See Update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release.
    1. Press and hold the Ctrl key while double clicking the QuickBooks Desktop icon.Note: Do not let go of the Ctrl key until you have the No Company Open window in QuickBooks.
    2. If the program fails to open while holding the Ctrl key, see QuickBooks Desktop does not start for steps to resolve, as the following will not help.
    3. If the program does open, proceed below.

  2. Verify that only one computer is hosting your company file. Turn off hosting in all computers aside from the server.
    1. From the QuickBooks File menu, select Utilities.
    2. Select Stop hosting multi-user access. Quick tip: If you see anything other than Stop hosting multi-user access, it mean s hosting is currently turned off on that computer.
    3. Once you verify that hosting is disabled, proceed below.
    1. Make sure that your QuickBooks Desktop Program is not corrupted. Open a sample company file and if you get an error, proceed to troubleshooting Solution 7 QuickBooks Desktop Installation.

 If these steps fail to resolve your issue, proceed below to follow the details steps.


Solution 1: Open the QuickBooks Company File directly from QuickBooks Desktop

If you have determined with the steps above, that you are having problems with only one company file (not the program itself), then sometimes moving it to your Windows desktop can help if there are any folder permission issues.

  1. From the QuickBooks File menu, select Open or restore company.
  2. Select the appropriate radio button for the type of file that you are trying to open.
  3. Browse the location of the file.
  4. Select the file and click Open. Note: You will be prompted to select the location where you want to restore the file if you are opening a .QBX, .QBB or .QBM file.


Solution 2: Prevent QuickBooks Desktop Windows from Automatically Opening

If there are many windows opened in your company file, try suppressing them from opening automatically.

  1. On the No Company Open window, select the company file.
  2. Press and hold the ALT key and click Open.Note: If QuickBooks displays a log in window, type in the password, press and hold the ALT key and click OK. Do not let go of the ALT key until the company file opens fully or an error message is displayed.

If you are able to open the company file without error, follow the steps bellow.

  1. From the Edit menu, click Preferences.
  2. Click Desktop View and select Don't save the desktop.
  3. Click OK.

Solution 3: Rename the .TLG and .ND Extensions on Your QuickBooks Company Files

If the TLG and ND files (special file types that accomany your company file) become damaged, renaming them to old can help the file open.

  1. Open the folder where the QuickBooks company file is saved.
  2. Right-click the transaction log file and rename it to [company file name]OLD.qbw.TLG. It has the same name as the company file with a .tlg file extension. Quick tip: Follow the same process in order to rename the .ND file.
  3. Open the company file. QuickBooks will automatically create a new .TLG and .ND files.


  • Deleting .TLG files are not recommended as it can be used to recover lost data.
  • To prevent the error from happening again, always copy the transaction log file with the company file when moving data from one computer to another.

Solution 4: Copy the QuickBooks Company File to a New Location

If the company file is located to a network drive, copy it to the local drive of the computer you are working on. If the local file opens, troubleshoot your network configuration. You can download and run the QuickBooks File Doctor to help you with this process.

  1. Create a new folder in your C: drive.
  2. Open the folder where the company file is saved.
  3. Press and hold the Ctrl key. Select the company file (.qbw) and the corresponding .TLG of your company file.
  4. Right-click and select Copy.
  5. Open the new folder. Right-click and select Paste. Quick tip: If you cannot paste the file to the new location and the file is networked, someone else may be using the file. Ask this user to log out of the file and attempt to copy the file again.


Solution 5: Check the Properties and File Extension

  1. Open the folder where the company file is saved.
  2. Right-click the company file and select Properties.
  3. Make sure the Type of File is QuickBooks Company file and the File size is at least 7MB.
  4. Click Advanced and make sure that boxes for Compress and Encrypt attributes are unchecked.
  5. Click OK

Sometimes, a file may have the wrong extension for the type of file. See file extensions used in QuickBooks Desktop for more information.


Solution 6: Rename the QuickBooks Company File

  1. Open the folder where the company file is saved.
  2. Right-click the file and select Rename.
  3. Change the name of the file to something that is not more than 3 letters. Important: Make sure to keep the original file extension (.qbw, .qbb, etc)
  4. If .TLG is available for that file, rename it as well.

Note: If the file does not show an icon or 3 letter extension, or if it shows the wrong icon or extension, you will need to add or edit the file extension depending on the type of file. For more information, see file extensions used in QuickBooks Desktop.


Solution 7: Troubleshoot the QuickBooks Desktop Program Installation

If possible, try moving your QuickBooks company file to another computer and opening it there. If it opens on this computer, there are problems on the first computer with QuickBooks, or the system itself.

Go through the following steps, testing the company file after each one until it opens successfully.

  1. Run the QBInstall Tool.
  2. Repair the QuickBooks installation.
  3. Clean install QuickBooks Desktop.

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