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Fix errors when activating QuickBooks, or adding license and product numbers

Learn how to fix errors when entering your product and license numbers, or adding your activation code in QuickBooks Desktop.

We'll walk you through how to fix these errors so you can get back to working in QuickBooks.

If you get the error, "You have entered incorrect license/product numbers"

Make sure the license number and product code match

  • If you bought QuickBooks Desktop from our website: Look in the purchase confirmation email you received from us.
  • If you bought QuickBooks from a retail store: Look for the brightly colored sticker on the original CD envelope.
    User-added image

Note: If you can't find them, here's another way to get your license and product numbers.

If you get the error "The validation code is incorrect" or "This service is temporarily unavailable"

If you get these errors while you activate your QuickBooks, follow these solutions:

Solution 1: Check your date and time settings

  1. Close your QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Right-click the time display on the Windows taskbar, then select Adjust Date/Time.
  3. Check if your date and time settings are correct. If they are, move on to the next solution. If not, continue with the steps 4 to 8.
  4. Select the Date & Time tab, then set the date for the current year.
  5. Select Apply, then OK.
  6. Open your QuickBooks Desktop, then go to Help.
  7. Select Activate QuickBooks, then Begin Activation.
  8. Enter the validation code, then select Next.

You should be able to activate your QuickBooks now. If you get the same error, proceed to Solution 2.

Solution 2: Close all running QuickBooks tasks

A problem with QuickBooks' background processes might be preventing you to activate. Use the QBRefresher tool to close and refresh all of QuickBooks' background tasks.

After running the tool, open QuickBooks and try to activate. If you still get the error, move on to Solution 3.

Solution 3: Run the QBInstall tool

If something wrong happened when you installed QuickBooks, it could be causing a problem when you try to activate. Run the QBInstall tool to fix common install issues.

After running the tool, you should be able to activate QuickBooks without any error. If you get the same problem, move on to Solution 4.

Solution 4: Reactivate MSXML

You should only do this if you're an IT professional, a confident Window user, or working with an expert from Microsoft support. Follow the steps for the version of your computer.

If you have a 64-bit computer

  1. Go to the Start menu, then type cmd.
  2. Right-click cmd, then select Run as Administrator.
  3. At the C: prompt, enter cd\windows\syswow64, then press Enter.
  4. Enter regsvr32 MSXML4.dll, then press Enter.
  5. Enter regsvr32 MSXML6.dll, then press Enter.

If you have a 32-bit computer

  1. To open the Run window, press Windows key + R on your keyboard.
  2. Type cmd, then press Enter.
  3. Enter regsvr32 MSXML4.dll, then press Enter.
  4. Enter regsvr32 MSXML6.dll, then press Enter.

If you can activate and open QuickBooks, you're good to go. If you still see the same error, continue troubleshooting.

Solution 5: Reset the .ecml file

Re-create damaged EntitlementDataStore.ecml file to fix activation problems. Then try to activate your QuickBooks again.

If you're still getting an error, move on to Solution 6.

Solution 6: Create a new Windows admin

  1. Add a Windows user with admin rights.
  2. After creating the new user, sign out of Windows and sign back in as the new user.
  3. Install and activate your QuickBooks Desktop.

If this fixes the error, you can keep the new admin user, or remove it and continue using your existing user.

Solution 7: Clean install QuickBooks Desktop

If the solutions above didn't fix the problem, perform a clean install of QuickBooks. Rest assured, a clean install won't affect your accounting data since your company file and everything it holds aren't involved at all.

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