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Fix payroll errors: The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists

by Intuit Updated 9 months ago

If you see these errors when you update payroll, pay your taxes, or open state or federal forms:

  • The file you specified cannot be opened, or
  • The file exists

We're here to help get your payroll back on track. Here are a few ways to fix these errors.

Solution 1. Run as Administrator

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.
  2. Type “QuickBooks” into the search.
  3. You should see your results listed in the Search window.
  4. Right-click on the QuickBooks version and year you wish to open.
  5. Select Run as administrator.
    Shows the Run as administrator option when you right-click on QuickBooks Desktop
  6. Run the payroll update.
  7. Once complete, close QuickBooks and open it normally (not running as admin).

If you still see an error, move on to Solution 2.

Solution 2: Update Windows Permissions

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.
  2. Type "File Explorer" into the search and open File Explorer.
  3. Find your QuickBooks program file. It should look like this:
    Processor Type
    File Path for QBW32.EXE
    32-bitC:\program files\intuit\quickbooks (year)
    64-bitC:\program files x86\intuit\quickbooks (year)
  4. Right-click your QuickBooks program (QBW32.EXE) file and select Properties.
  5. Select Security and then Edit.
  6. Select Add. In the window, type in "Everyone" and then select OK.
  7. In the Security window, select the checkbox for Full control and then select OK.
  8. Select Add again. In the window, type in "Users" and then select OK.
  9. In the Security window, select the checkbox for Full control and then select OK.
  10. When you're ready, select Apply and then select OK to close your settings.
QuickBooks Payroll AssistedQuickBooks Payroll BasicQuickBooks Payroll EnhancedQuickBooks Payroll Standard

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