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Can't open your company file in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 5 months ago

Learn how to fix general problems when your company file won't open.

If your company file won’t open in QuickBooks Desktop, we're here to help.

Solution 1: Update QuickBooks and check your file type

  1. Update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release.
  2. Make sure the file you want to open is a company file (.QBW). You can't open other file types, like backups (QBB) and portable files (QBM) the same way.
  3. Make sure your file isn't compressed or encrypted:
    1. Right-click the company file and select Properties.
    2. Select Advanced.
    3. Clear the Compress and Encrypt checkboxes.
    4. Select OK.

If you still can’t open your company file, continue to Solution 2.

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Solution 2: Don’t save the desktop when you close QuickBooks

QuickBooks will re-open any windows left open when you close your company file. If you have a large report or several windows set to open automatically, QuickBooks can freeze on startup. 

To open your company file without saved windows:

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. In No Company Open, select your company file. 
  3. Press and hold ALT on your keyboard and then select Open. Don’t let go of ALT until the file opens. If QuickBooks asks you to sign in, release ALT and enter your password. Press and hold ALT again and select OK.

If your company opens successfully, turn off the Save the desktop when closing preference.

  1. Go to Edit and select Preferences.
  2. Select Desktop View.
  3. Select Don't save the desktop and then OK.
  4. Close and open QuickBooks again and open your company file.

If it opens successfully, you're good to go.

If you can’t open your company file, continue to Solution 3.

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Solution 3: Turn off hosting on your workstations

If you host your company file on a network, turn off Host Multi-User Access on your workstations. Only the server computer should host the file.

To turn off hosting on your workstations:

  1. Open QuickBooks on one of your workstations.
  2. Don't open your company file. Instead, go to File and then Utilities.
    1. If you see Host Multi-User Access, don’t select it. Move on to the next workstation. This one isn’t the problem.
    2. If you see Stop Hosting Multi-User Access, select it.
  3. Repeat these steps on all of your workstations.

After you check your workstations, move to your server computer. This is the computer that normally hosts your company files.

  1. Open QuickBooks on your server computer.
  2. Open the File and then Utilities. If Host Multi-User Access is an option, select it.
  3. Switch the multi-user setting off and on.
    1. Go to File, Utilities, and then select Stop Hosting Multi-User Access
    2. Go to File, Utilities, and then select Host Multi-User Access.
  4. Try to open your company file again.

If the file won’t open, move on to Solution 4.

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Solution 4: Open a sample company file.

Try to open a sample file to find out if your company file or QuickBooks is the issue.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.
  2. Press CTRL on your keyboard and select QuickBooks. Don’t let go of CTRL until QuickBooks opens.
  3. Select Open a Sample file.

If QuickBooks or the sample file don't open or you see an error, the program is the issue. Here's how to fix QuickBooks if it doesn’t open.

If the sample file opens normally, continue to Solution 5.

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Solution 5: Move your company file

Your company file’s location might be the issue. Move your file to your desktop and open it from there.

If you share your company file on a network, make sure everyone is signed out. Then continue with these steps.

  1. Go to Start then enter File Explorer into search and open File Explorer.
  2. Find the folder with your company file. It’s usually in your QuickBooks folder. It looks like this: [Your company name].qbw.
  3. Right-click your company file and select Copy.
  4. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select Paste.
  5. Open QuickBooks. Then go to File and select Open or restore company.
  6. Select the company file you copied to your desktop and select Open.

If the company file opens from your desktop, the file location is the issue. You’ll need to move your company file to a new folder. If you share your file on a network, you’ll need to share the new folder.

If you still can’t open your company file, repair and reinstall QuickBooks. Try to open your file again.

If you still can’t open your company file, it might be due to data damage. Especially if you're able to open another file. You can try restoring a recent backup or try and fix the data damage in your company file.

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