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Level 1

Where do I get my payroll service key?

11 Comments 11
QuickBooks Team

Where do I get my payroll service key?

I'm here to help you get our payroll activated, kimmierscpa. 


We can use the Automated Service Key/Disk Delivery Key Tool to get the payroll service key. We just need to log in to our Intuit account. Once we have the service key, we can now enter it in QuickBooks. 


I'll show you how:

  1. Log in to your QuickBooks Desktop company file.
  2. From the Employees menu, choose Payroll > Enter Payroll Service Key
  3. Click the Add button.
  4. Enter the Payroll Service key and click Next
  5. Type the Disk Delivery Key
  6. Click Finish once done. 

For more detail about your payroll service you can check out this article: Activate QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.


I'll be here if you need more help. Take care!

Level 1

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Hi Catherine,


I am a college student and trying to do the Payroll Setup Interview/Wizard. It errors out on me every time.


This is a college software QB Accountant Desktop 2018.

The EIN is for [Company name removed] company.  [EIN removed]


When I try to get a Payroll Service Key it gives me error 20004


My software is activated.


How do I get this working? I need it for my homework this week and to pass this class.

thank you,


QuickBooks Team

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Thanks for visiting this thread, @Roubalsm


Since this is a public forum, the system masked your company EIN for security reasons. That being said, we're unable to check and provide you with the service key. 


I'd recommend contacting our QuickBooks Desktop Support team to pull up your information securely and help check with the service key. 


I want to make sure you'll get your payroll activated on time, and beat your homework deadline. Check out our available hours of operation first before calling us. 


Here's a great article that can guide you in setting up your payroll account: New Payroll setup interview. It also includes links that may answer your questions related to payroll taxes. 


Know that we're always delighted to help in any way we can if you have more questions. Stay safe. 

Level 1

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Hi Catherine,


Well, it's a fake company and a fake EIN, that is probably why it doesn't have a key.


Just trying to figure out how to get the software for a college class to work. It's not real data.

Kendra H
QuickBooks Team

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Hi there, @Roubalsm


I hope your day is going well. Thanks for following up on this thread. 


Yes, you're correct. For security purposes, you'll have to contact to get the necessary information you need with the payroll service key. 


For now, you can download one of our free QuickBooks Desktop trials, and please refer back to this article: Download a trial of QuickBooks Desktop


Feel free to comment below if you have any more questions or concerns. Take care!

Level 2

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Hi, question. I re-activated my expired Payroll Service a month ago. I use QB Desktop 2020 Pro, and the program won't accept my now-newly-activated payroll service. The payroll service is active in my account info; I did not receive a new service key with my re-activation. When I attempted to use the automated service key system, I received an error 20004. The "contact us" link in the error message doesn't link to anything.


Help?! Thanks.


Where do I get my payroll service key?

We'd want to sort this out for you so you can process your payroll again, Jimbo1955.


You'll be using the same service key if you renewed or reactivate the same payroll license. However, we'll need to take a look at the status of the service key in our system to determine what's causing the error.


For us to verify your account details, please contact our Payroll Support Team. Here's how to reach out to them:


  1. Go the Help menu and select QuickBooks Desktop Help.
  2. Click Contact Us.
  3. Let them know that you're having issues with you service key.
  4. Click Continue, then select between the available options. 


Please take note that our phone and chat support teams are only open during weekdays from 6:00 AM-6:00 PM, and from 6:00 AM-3:00 PM during Saturdays due to the ongoing pandemic. You can see more details about our operating hours here: Support hours and types.


Add another reply below or submit another question in the Community if you need anything else. 

Level 1

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Did you get this issue resolved? I have the same problem. Cannot process payroll. I had a subscription in 2016, cancelled it in 2017. Tried to reactivate in QBDesktop (QBD) and needed to call 800 number. Called 800 number, rep processed my credit card payment, told me I was all set. I saw the credit card charge was successful. Next day, I see a credit card refund! Then, a new credit card charge (for less money) was on my credit card. I have tried to get the service key every day for over a week and still cannot. I thought maybe there was a startup time so I just kept trying every day. I still receive the error 20004 though.

QuickBooks Team

Where do I get my payroll service key?

Hello there, @johnsoucy.


I'd like to ensure that you'll be able to process payroll in QuickBooks Desktop.


To help verify if your service has been re-validated, I recommend contacting our Customer Care Team. This way, they'll be able to check your payroll account to see if it is active and guide you with the validation procedure, so can process payroll.


For your reference, I've got here some links that you can visit to give you more details about entering service key in QuickBooks Desktop and resolving issues when verifying your subscription:

I'll be around to lend a helping hand if you have any other questions. I'll make sure you;re taken care of. Have a lovely day!

Level 1

Where do I get my payroll service key?

I need to get a PR ser key. 

the new key is not working 


can you call me


Where do I get my payroll service key?

Hello @DaveO57,


As much as I'd love to offer help so you can get a new service key for your payroll subscription, we've got a separate team who can better address this concern of yours.


That being said, I'd recommend contacting our Customer Care Support directly from the Help menu. Let me show you how.

  1. Go to Help.
  2. Select QuickBooks Desktop Help.
  3. Click Contact Us.
  4. Enter Payroll Service Key in the Tell us more about your question? field.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Chose a channel where you want to connect with our specialists.

With their tools, one of our specialists can work with you and share a new service key so you can get back to business in no time.


On top of that, I've also included this reference for a compilation of articles you can use while working with us: Account Management for QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.


If there's anything else that I can help you with, please let me know in the comments. I'll be here to lend a hand.

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