How to Fix QuickBooks File Exists Error? [Quick Guide]

Though QuickBooks is a popular software, just like other Windows applications, you may experience some kind of technical errors while using it. One of the most common errors that you may encounter is the “QuickBooks the file exists” error. It is very important to find the exact cause of the problem and the proper technical method to get out of it.

You may encounter the QuickBooks error the file exists while performing different operations in the QuickBooks Desktop app. Generally, the error is encountered while paying scheduled liabilities, downloading payroll updates, or while opening a state or a federal form. If this error occurs on your system, you will see an error message indicating, “The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or a read-only file.” or “The Windows error was “The file exists.” Check various methods to fix QuickBooks unrecoverable error from this article.

What Causes the QuickBooks Get “The File Exists” Error?

There are various methods that can cause “The file exists” or “The file you specified cannot be opened” error. You can experience this problem when the file that QuickBooks want to complete the request is unable to access and is in use by some other application. Some other causes for this error are listed below:

  • There can be outdated or corrupted QuickBooks Desktop applications.
  • User account does not have the required administrative privileges on Windows.
  • Inactive or unstable internet connection.
  • Improper Windows User Account Control settings can interrupt the normal functioning of QuickBooks application.
  • Faulty third-party application or Firewall and Internet security settings.

How do I Troubleshoot QuickBooks “The File Exists” Error?

You can apply any of the following methods to resolve the “QuickBooks error file already open” error with the utmost care:

Method 1: Check for QuickBooks Application Updates

Many QuickBooks application error occurs due to outdated applications. To fix QuickBooks Error 15106 or any other error code that mainly appears due to outdated application, follow the steps given below:

  • Open the QuickBooks Desktop application on your device. Then, click on the Update QuickBooks Desktop option located under the Help tab.
  • Navigate to the Update Now option and click on the Get Updates button.
  • Once the updates are properly downloaded, restart the QuickBooks application and click on the Install Now button on the QuickBooks Update Service window.
  • After installing the updates successfully, follow the on-screen instructions and check if the error is resolved.

Method 2: Allow Full Control Access to the User

Windows applications can be easily operated with different types of user accounts and different levels of rights and privileges. Only Admin user by default has full control access to files and folders can make relevant changes on any Windows applications. You need to follow the steps given below to check if your user account does not have the administrative privileges:

  • Firstly, right-click on the QB Desktop application and then tap the Open File Location option.
  • Now click the Backspace key located on your keyboard or simultaneously tap the backward arrow located at the top-left corner to go to the root folder.
  • Right-click on the QuickBooks Folder and navigate to Properties from the context menu.
  • Then, click on the Edit option from the Under the Security section and choose Add button.
  • Select Everyone and then press the OK button.
  • Now select the Full Control option and then click Apply button.
  • Follow the same steps given above but instead of selecting Everyone, it is recommended to select your User this time.

Method 3: Re-register QuickBooks .DLL and .OCX file

Re-registering the QuickBooks .dll and .ocx files can also help you to fix the QuickBooks the Windows error was the file exists issues. You can easily re-register such files using the Reboot.bat file. QuickBooks Reboot.bat is a utility that re-registers all most all the crucial QuickBooks installation files automatically. For this, follow the steps given below:

  • Close the QuickBooks Desktop application.
  • Right-click on the QB icon located on your desktop and select Properties from the context menu.
  • Choose the Open File Location option and find the reboot.bat file in that folder.
  • Now right-click on the Reboot.bat file and select the Run as Administrator option.
  • Wait for a while till the black colour command prompt window appears on the screen. Scroll down till you reach the QuickBooks files and then it will exit automatically.
  • At last, restart the Windows and check if the file exists error is fixed.


Hope, the above-mentioned methods have helped you to fix the problem. In case the QuickBooks the File Exists error occurs even after applying the troubleshooting steps or if the given solutions are not working for you then you should refer to the detailed QuickBooks guide.

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