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Edit the Windows hosts file

SOLVEDby QuickBooksUpdated 3 weeks ago

Get help with error H202 or other multi-user errors when opening QuickBooks Desktop.

If you already followed the solutions on this article but still get an error when opening QuickBooks on multi-user mode, no worries. We’re here to help. Here’s how to edit your Windows hosts file to fix and prevent error H202 or other multi-user errors.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

  • If you’re uncomfortable with these steps, reach out to an IT professional, or refer to this Microsoft article to know more about DNS settings.
  • These steps require your computers to use static IP addresses. If your computers use dynamic addresses, the solution might not work when you restart any of your computers.

Step 1: Get your computers’ names and IP addresses

Before you start with the steps, make sure you have a pen and paper handy. You also need access to both server computer and workstations as a user with admin rights.

Follow these steps on your server computer first. Then, do the steps again on your workstations.

Note: Your server computer hosts your company file. The workstations are the other computers that access the company file saved in the server.

  1. On the server computer, press Windows+R on your keyboard.
  2. Type “cmd” in the Run window, then press Enter.
  3. Type “ipconfig /all” (make sure there’s a space after ipconfig), then press Enter.
  4. Take note of the host name and IP address (or IPv4).
  5. Repeat the steps on the workstations.

Step 2: Edit Windows hosts file

Do the following steps on both the server computer and workstations.

  1. Close QuickBooks.
  2. Open the Windows Start menu in the server computer.
  3. Select Computer.
  4. Go to either:
    • C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
    • C:\Windows\Syswow64\Drivers\Etc
  5. Double-click the host file, then select Notepad.
  6. Enter the IP address followed by the computer name. Use the Tab key to enter space.
    • The server computer should have the workstation’s IP and computer name.
    • The workstation should have the server computer’s IP and computer name.

Step 3: Save your changes to the hosts file

After you’re done updating the IP addresses in Notepad on both server computer and workstations, save the file.

  1. In Notepad, go to File menu, then select Save.
  2. Enter the file name as “hosts”, including the quotation marks.
  3. Select Desktop, then Save.
  4. Find the file you just saved, right-click, then select Copy.
  5. Browse to the file location you used in Step 2. Either:
    • C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
    • C:\Windows\Syswow64\Drivers\Etc
  6. Find the hosts file, right-click, then select Rename.
  7. Rename the hosts file to hosts old, then select Continue.
  8. Press Ctrl+V on your keyboard, then select Continue.

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