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Level 1

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

Message when trying to open states the file cannot be opened, but it exists. 

8 Comments 8

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

Let's resolve the error you've encountered to open the file successfully, mvbirneyoffice.

Are you trying to open a QuickBooks Desktop company file? If so, this error is caused when the file that you want to access is not found in the system. It can also occur if it is used by any other user.

Here are a couple ways to resolve this error:
  • Run as Administrator
  • Update Windows Permissions

To run as Administrator:

  1. Go to the Windows Start menu and search QuickBooks.
  2. Right-click on the QuickBooks version and year you're using. 
  3. Select Run as administrator.
  4. After that, close QuickBooks and reopen it.

If you're still having the error message, proceed in updating your Windows Permissions:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and search File Explorer, then open it. 
  2. Find your QuickBooks program file, right-click your QuickBooks program (QBW32.EXE) file and select Properties.
  3. Select Security, then Edit and Add. This is to set Everyone.
  4. In the Security window, select the checkbox for Full control and then select OK.
  5. Select Add again. In the window, type in "Users" and then select OK.
  6. In the Security window, select the checkbox for Full control and then select OK.
  7. When you're ready, select Apply and then select OK to close your settings.

For detailed instructions, check this how to fix payroll errors The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists article. 

I'm always here if you still have questions with your file and or anything else, by leaving a comment below. Take care and have a wonderful day. 

Level 1

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

We had to log in as an administrator on the PC.   Then open QB with their user info then close all the open windows in QB.  then sign out.  Log in as the user and test good.    

Level 1

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

I am getting this same error "The Specified file was not found" when I am trying to open an attachment in QB.  I CAN open the company file.


I tried the first suggestion on this thread and it does not solve the issue.


I tried to follow the second suggested solution and get lost after going in to the security in the QBW32.EXE after EDIT and ADD.  I don't see where I need to set it to EVERYONE


I attach a scanned pdf file to a transaction, customer or vendor.  When I go in to the transaction, customer or vendor and click on the paperclip attachment after I attach it, it shows the file there but when I click to open it I get the error "The specified file was not found" and can not figure out how to fix it.    


I am using QB 2015 Pro desktop software.  It has done this since 2017.  I get the same error on a WIN 07 or WIN10 machine

QuickBooks Team

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

Hello, Greenriverauto. 


Thank you for the detailed information and the screenshot you've provided. I have troubleshooting steps to fix the issue. 


There are some reasons why this occurs, which may cause damage data, and we can fix this by performing the Verify data and Rebuild utility tools in QuickBooks Desktop. This way, it'll return to its default order and automatically fixes minor company record data issues. Though, you need to back up your data first before performing these steps below to save your company data if file corruption happens.   


Let me show you how:    


Verify Data: 


  1. Press the File menu. 
  2. Choose Utilities from the drop-down option.  
  3. Select Verify Data
  4. Tap Ok to continue.   


Rebuild Data:


  1. Click the File tab at the top. 
  2. Select Utilities from the drop-down option. 
  3. Choose Rebuild Data
  4. Click Ok on Rebuild has completed.     


When the verify/rebuilding data finished, we can close and reopen your file to revamp it. Or restart your computer to refresh your QuickBooks data.   


You can check this link to see which windows 10 works best for QuickBooks Desktop


As always, you can contact our QuickBooks Support team if you need assistance with the steps. They'll be able to pull up your account in a secure environment and help you navigate using one of their tools.  


We'll surely be closely looking into the issue you're currently experiencing. If there's anything else that you need help with, just leave a reply below. You take care!

Level 1

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

I still get the exact same "The specified file was not found" error after verifying the data and rebuilding it.  I did it twice and rebooted the computer both times.  

QuickBooks Team

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

Hello @Greenriverauto.


I appreciate the troubleshooting steps you've shared with us. With this, I'd recommend using the QuickBooks (QB) Tool Hub. This app will help fix common errors.


You may need to download the latest release of this application. First, you need to close your QuickBooks Desktop program. I'd suggest saving the find where you can easily find it such as Windows Desktop or in the Downloads folder. I'd be happy to show you the way on how to run this app.


  1. Open the QuickBooks Tool Hub file.
  2. Follow the on-screen steps to install and agree to the terms and conditions.
  3. Once done with the installation, open the application.
  4. From the tool hub, select the Company File Issues tab.
  5. Click Quick Fix my File.
  6. Select OK when it completes and launch your QuickBooks.


Then, you may refer to Step 3 in this article to continue the process: Fix company file and network issues with QuickBooks File Doctor.


If the issue is still the same after using the QB Tool Hub app, I'd recommend contacting our Customer Care Team through your QuickBooks Desktop Help menu. They have specialized tools to verify this issue and provide you with the best resolution.


I'll be around the Community if you have other questions. Let me know in the comment section. Take care. 

Level 1

"The file you specified cannot be opened."

I am facing the same Error code with my QuickBooks Desktop 2022. My company file is located in the sever computer.


"The file you specified cannot be opened."

Allow me to join you here and offer my help so you can open the program again, James_a.


Can you also tell us if you're using a USA version of QuickBooks Desktop? This error is usually caused if there's a software or payroll update but is not installed because of Windows user restrictions or control settings.


You'll need to access the server and run QuickBooks as Admin. Here's how:


  1. Open the Windows Start menu.
  2. Type “QuickBooks” in the search field.
  3. You should see your results listed in the Search window.
  4. Right-click on the QuickBooks version and select Run as administrator.


run as admin.PNG


Once done, restart the computer and try if you can open QuickBooks again. 


Aside from that, you can also use the QuickBooks Tool Hub or repair the software in case you're still getting the same issue. This tool resolves some of the most common errors and unexpected results when working in the program. Here's how to use it: 


  1. Close QuickBooks.
  2. Download the most recent version ( of the QuickBooks Tool Hub
  3. Open the file you downloaded (QuickBooksToolHub.exe). You can look it up in your Downloads folder or in the location you selected when you downloaded it. 
  4. Follow the on-screen steps to install and agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. Once done, double-click the icon on your Windows desktop to open the tool hub.
  6.  Once opened, look for Program Problems, then select Quick Fix my Program.
  7. Start QuickBooks Desktop and open your data file.



tool hub.PNG



You might noticed that the articles are tagged under the USA banner. However, the steps are still applicable to all versions of QuickBooks regardless of the region you're in. 


Let me know if that removes the error and lets you open QuickBooks again. The Co