Do you came across payroll errors and unable to decide what to do? Well, need not to worry anymore, as we are here with this illustrative article, where we will be discussing the fixes to the payroll errors “The file you specified cannot be opened” and “The file exists”. This error might appear when the user downloads payroll, or while paying scheduled liabilities, and also at the time of opening a federal or state form. This error is very much common in recent times and has been reported by many QB users.

There can be multiple factors causing payroll errors and file exists errors, which we will be discussing later in this article. Thus, read ahead to unleash the fixes to the payroll errors. Moreover, if you feel the error to be too technical for you to handle, then in that case, leave the task on our accounting professionals and certified ProAdvisors, they will ensure to fix the issue for you instantly. All you have to do is give us a call at our toll-free customer support number i.e., 1-800-615-2347, and we will be there to assist you immediately. 

You might see these errors when you try to update payroll, pay your taxes, or open state or federal forms:

WarningThe file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that is not currently being used by another program or read-only file.
The Windows Error was“The file exists.”.
The file you specified cannot be opened or The file not exists

Causes behind to payroll errors: The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists

The user can end up in ‘The file you specified cannot be opened’ or ‘The file exists’ errors in QuickBooks due to a couple of reasons, which include the following: 

  • In case the QuickBooks software is outdated
  • Moreover, if the internet connection is slow
  • The user might also face this error if the internet security is wrongly configured
  • Incorrect or outdated Firewall
  • The user might also face such an error in case he/she does not have valid admin rights
  • Not running QuickBooks as an administrator

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Quick Fixes for QuickBooks Payroll Errors: The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists

The causes mentioned in the foregoing section should have given you some idea about the different sources of this “payroll update error”. Let us now try out various solution to rectify the QuickBooks Error “The file you specified cannot be opened”.

Method 1: Re-installing QuickBooks Desktop

The very first method to fix these errors can be to reinstall QuickBooks desktop. The steps involved in this process are as follows: 

  • Initially, the user needs to press Windows + R to open the run box 
  • And then, the user should enter the command appwiz.cpl 
appwiz.cpl - Screenshot Image
  • After that, click on QuickBooks and choose the Uninstall option 
Uninstall or Reinstall QuickBooks

Method 2: Turn off User Account Control (UAC)

One viable solution to fix this snag requires the users to turn off UAC in Windows settings. The steps involved in this particular process are as follows: 

  • The user needs to first visit the Windows settings.
  • After that, spot the UAC option. 
  • And then, the user needs to ensure that the UAC feature is turned off.
Turning off User Account Control (UAC) - Screenshot
  • The last step is to reboot the system.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot QuickBooks Won’t Open or doesn’t start Error?

Method 3: Allowing for the Full Control Access to the User 

It is prudent that the user provides full control access to the user. The steps involved in this particular process are as follows: 

  • At first, select the open File location option by right-clicking the desktop icon. 
  • After that, the user needs to press the Backspace key. 
  • Followed by selecting the properties by clicking on the QuickBooks folder. 
  • Following that, head to the Edit tab.
  • There, click on Add
  • Now, select the Full Control option. 
Allow full control - Screenshot
  • Once done, tap on Apply
  • For the culmination of the procedure, follow the onscreen prompts.
  • Select the user rather than selecting the Everyone option. 
  • Now, perform the same steps that led to the error “The File you Specified Cannot be Opened.” If it proliferates, then jump to the next method.

Method 4: Use Reboot.bat for registering DLL and OCX files

This troubleshooting method requires the user to re-register QuickBooks .DLL and .OCX file by using the reboot.bat file. The steps involved in this process are: 

  • Initiate by closing the QuickBooks program. 
  • Follow up by right-clicking the QuickBooks icon.
  • Soon after, head to Properties. 
  • Follow up by opening the File location.
  • Now, search for the reboot.bat file. 
Run ‘reboot.bat’ file - Screenshot
  • Right-click the reboot.bat file and proceed by tapping on the run as admin option.
  • The next step is to wait for a few minutes and until the black color command prompt window scrolls all the files of QuickBooks.
  • Towards the end, the user needs to reboot the windows and also check if the error continues to reappear.

Check Also: How to Transfer QuickBooks Desktop to a New Computer?

Method 5: Checking for QuickBooks Desktop application Updates 

Users should also perform QuickBooks desktop application updates. This is an effective strategy for warding off diversified technical issues emanating from QuickBooks. 

  • Run QuickBooks desktop.
  • Opt for the product information tab under the Help tab. Alternatively, press the F2 key to reveal the Window.
  • After that, check the Correct year and version of the QuickBooks software from the drop-down list. 
  • The next step is to navigate to the Help menu and then click on Update QuickBooks.
Update QuickBooks desktop
  • Now, proceed by clicking on the Get latest updates tab. 
Update QuickBooks desktop (Screenshot)
  • After the user has located the relevant files, the user needs to Save the Data on the system. 
  • And also, run the Installation process and ensure to follow all the on-screen instructions perfectly. 
  • The last step here is to reboot the system once all the updates are installed. 

Method 6: Running QuickBooks payroll as an Administrator

Since the main cause of this error is insufficient permissions, running the QuickBooks program as an admin can sort this issue. The steps are:

  • Right-click the QuickBooks icon on the Desktop. If the shortcut is not available on the Desktop, search for QuickBooks in the Start menu and then right-click the QB icon.
  • Now, go for the option to Run as Administrator.
  • Now, try the QB update process again, or the same process which previously led to the error message “The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists”.
  • In the next step you need to run the payroll update.
  • Lastly, close your QuickBooks desktop and open it normally (not running as admin).

Check Also: How to Change SDI Rate in QuickBooks?

Method 7: Updating Windows Permissions

The steps to update permissions in Windows are:

  • From the Start menu, access the File Explorer. Another easy way is to press the short-key Win + E.
  • If you are using a 32-bit system O/S, the path to navigate to is:

C:\program files\intuit\quickbooks (year)

  • On the contrary, if you are using a 64-bit system, navigate to the path:

C:\program files x86\intuit\quickbooks (year)

  • Now proceed by right-clicking on QBW32.exe and subsequently hitting on Properties.
Setting up folder permissions - Image
  • The next step involved clicking on the Security tab, and following that, tap on Edit.
  • Now, click on Add.
  • Now, incorporate Everyone in the window and then hit on OK.
  • The next step is to head to the Security tab again and herein, opt for Full control.
  • Now, hit on OK tab.
  • The subsequent step is to click on Add one more time.
  • This time around, incorporate Users, and subsequently, click on Ok.
  • Now, choose Full control in the Security tab and hit on OK.
  • Follow up by hitting on Apply and then choosing OK tab.

Method 8: Make corrections to the network and firewall settings

The user should incorporate new Inbound and Outbound rules corresponding to QuickBooks to make sure that the accounting program is given a green flag by the Firewall. The steps are:

  • Open Control Panel, and visit the Advanced Firewall Settings.
  • Herein, make a choice for the Inbound tab.
  • Then, click on the New Rule tab and proceed with the creation of a new rule.
Create a new rule in firewall settings - Screenshot
  • The following step requires opting for the Port tab.
  • Then, hit on Next tab and then head to the Allow Connection option.
Allow the connection - Screenshot
  • The new rule should be given a name and once that is done, hit on Finish tab.
  • Repeat the steps for Outbound rules as well.

Read Also: How to Fix QuickBooks Shipping Manager Database Not Working Error?


We have tried to summarize the complete processes to fix the payroll errors: The file you specified cannot be opened and The file exists, and we believe that this would help in fixing the error from its root cause. But if, in any case, the error persists or in case you have any query, then feel free to give us a call at any point in time at +1-800-615-2347. Our QuickBooks payroll error support and certified ProAdvisors will be there at your rescue and will ensure to fix the issue for you.


Suggested Reads:

How to Navigate QuickBooks in a Faster Way?

Advanced Methods to Fix Payroll Errors in QuickBooks Desktop

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