QuickBooks Unrecoverable Errors and Solutions

QuickBooks is among the best accounting software for business owners and is always improving efficiency and reliability, but errors still happen. And let’s face it, error messages are the worst, but you aren’t alone. Let us take you out of hiding and on track to a solution.

In this post, we are going to look at some of the most common QuickBooks unrecoverable error codes, when they occur, and some solutions that Intuit recommends to resolve them.

QuickBooks Unrecoverable Errors


Example of a QuickBooks Unrecoverable Error message.

Unrecoverable errors occur because of a lot of different reasons so they can be the most frustrating to resolve. According to Intuit, these are the most common circumstances in which they occur:

  • Attempting to open a company file
  • Closing a company file
  • Closing any open window in a company file
  • Creating a backup
  • Creating a company file
  • Creating a portable file
  • Downloading a payroll update
  • Opening any window in QuickBooks (Home Page, Company Snapshot, Reports, Transaction)
  • Running Verify or Rebuild
  • Saving a transaction
  • Sending payroll via Direct Deposit
  • Using the Open Previous Company feature

The following error codes related to unrecoverable errors are the most common:

  • 00000 14775
  • 00000 15204
  • 00227 55008
  • 00551 46274
  • 02457 79428
  • 13730 84631
  • 13824 75582
  • 15563 13890
  • 19758 63847
  • 20103 33023
  • 20888 41171

If you’ve crossed paths with one of these error codes, rest assured, here are some tried-and-true solutions that Intuit recommends for resolving them.

QuickBooks Unrecoverable Error Solutions

Important: before proceeding, make sure your QuickBooks software is up-to-date, and create a backup of your company file—if you can.

Solution 1: Identify how many users are affected

Note: If you don’t use a username to open your company file or if there are no other users that can access your company file, proceed to solution 2.

Identify how many users are affected by using a different login credential to open the same company file. If the error only happens to one specific user, that user credential might be damaged. If so, recreate the damaged user.

If a regular user is damaged:

  1. From the Company menu, select Set Up Users and Passwords > Set Up Users.
    Enterprise users: Go to the Company menu, then select Users > Set Up Users and Roles.
  2. Select Add User… then type the user name and password. Select Next.
    Note: Do not use the damaged user name.
  3. Customize the user as necessary, then select Finish.
  4. Go to the File menu, then select Close Company/Logoff.
  5. Log in to the company file using the new log in credential.

The admin user is damaged:

If this is the case, please refer to solution 6. You may also want to download and run the QuickBooks File Doctor from Intuit’s website to detect and fix the issue. You can download that by clicking here to be redirected to Intuit’s website with instructions and the download link.

Solution 2: Suppress your QuickBooks Desktop

Step 1: Suppress the Desktop while starting QuickBooks

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key.
  2. Double-click your QuickBooks program icon.
  3. Hold the Ctrl key until the No Company Open window shows.
Example from Intuit of the ‘No Company Open’ window that you’ll want to see.

Step 2: Suppress the Desktop while opening a Company File

  1. Select the desired company file from the No Company Open window.
  2. Press and hold the Alt key, then select Open.
  3. If you are prompted for your log in information, release the Alt key, then enter youruser name and password.
    Important: If you are not prompted for your user name and password, do not release the Alt key.
  4. Press and hold the Alt key, then select OK. Do not release the Alt key until your file is completely open.
    Note: QuickBooks will display a blank screen. If you can highlight a QuickBooks menu by just hovering your pointer to it, your company file is completely open.
Example from Intuit of a highlighted QuickBooks menu indicating an open company file.

Solution 3: Open a sample company file

Opening a sample company file helps you identify if the problem lies with your company file or with QuickBooks itself.

To open a sample file:

  1. From the No Company Open window, select Open a sample file.
  2. Select any sample file on the list.

To copy the company file to a different location:

Copying and opening the company file from a different location can identify if the folder where the company file is saved is damaged or “too deep” where it exceeded the file system path limitation. If you receive the same error after moving the company file in a different location, the company file or your QuickBooks installation is probably damaged.

  1. Right-click anywhere on your Desktop, then select New > Folder. Name the folder QBTEST.
  2. Open the folder where the company file is saved.
  3. Right-click the file, then select Copy.
  4. Paste the company file in the QBTEST folder that you created.
  5. Open the company file from the QBTEST folder.

Solution 4: Run reboot.bat

Running reboot.bat re-registers the QuickBooks related .DLL and .OCX files, which can help address unrecoverable errors in Microsoft Windows.

  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Open the folder containing the reboot.bat file:
    1. Right-click the QuickBooks Desktop icon on your desktop and select Properties.
    2. Select Open file location.
  3. Right-click the reboot.bat file and choose Run as Administrator.
    Important:
  • Make sure that you run reboot.bat as the Windows Administrator.
  • The file may display as reboot.bat or reboot, depending on your Windows Folder Options settings.

Solution 5: Repair QuickBooks Desktop Application

You may need to do more in-depth troubleshooting, and perhaps repair your QuickBooks desktop. Follow the steps below to do that.

  1. Repair QuickBooks Desktop application:
  1. Restart your computer to close unnecessary programs interfering with QuickBooks.
  2. Back up your QuickBooks company file.
  3. Select Start and then Control Panel. (In Windows 8/8.1: From the Start menu, open Search and type Control Panel. From the results, select Control Panel.)
  4. Select Programs and Features. If necessary, choose Uninstall a program.
    Note: If you don’t see these options, select Programs, then Program Features.
  5. Select QuickBooks in the list of programs and choose Uninstall/Change.
  6. Select Continue, then, Next.
  7. Select Repair then Next. Wait for the Repair to complete.
  8. Choose Finish, then restart your computer if prompted.

Repair Errors

During the repair, you may get an error or a message such as Files in use. If you receive these kinds of messages, follow these steps:

  • Select Ignore (reboot required), then,
  • You might have to click Ignore several times. The repair should continue.
  • If the Ignore button is unavailable, select After the Repair, restart the computer.

Solution 6: Create a new Windows Administrator

If the error is associated with a damaged admin user, you may need to create a new Windows Administrator account and proceed from there. Below are the instructions on how to do that. Important: if you do not know which operating system you are running, please click here before proceeding.

Windows 10:

  1. Select the Start menu, then choose Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.
  2. UnderOther Users, select Add someone else to this PC.
  3. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information, then Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  4. Enter the name of the new account, then select Finish.
    Recommended: Assign a password to the new account to ensure security.
  5. Select the newly created account, then choose Account Type.
  6. Choose Administrator, then OK.

Windows 8.1:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows+R to open the Run window.
  2. Type Control Panel, then select OK.
  3. Select User Accounts > Manage another account > Other accounts > Add an account.
  4. Choose Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended), then select Local account.
  5. Enter the user name, password, and password hint. Select Next.
  6. The screen will return to the Manage Other Accounts screen. Select the newly created account, then Edit.
  7. By default, the new user is set to standard user. From the drop-down menu, select Administrator.
  8. Select OK.

Windows 7 and 8:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows+R to open the Run window.
  2. Type Control Panel, then select OK.
  3. Select User Accounts, then Manage another account.
  4. Choose Create a new account, then type in the name of the new account.
  5. Select Administrator, then Create Account.

Windows Server 2012:

Note: Servers are usually maintained by licensed computer technicians. Consult your IT professional before following the steps in this section.

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. Select Tools > Computer Management.
  3. Expand Local Users and Groups, then select Groups.
  4. Double-click the Administrator Groups to open the Administrator Properties window. Select Add.
  5. In the Select Users, Computers, Service Accounts or Groups window, enter the account you want to add to the local admin groups. Select OK.

Windows Small Business Server 2011 and 2008/R2

  1. Run the Windows SBS (2011/2008) console.
  2. Select Users and Groups, then go to the Users tab.
  3. From the Tasks pane, select Add a new user account to run the Add a New User Account wizard.
  4. Enter the details, then select the role for the new user.
  5. Enter a password for the new user.
    Note: You will not be able to continue without adding a password. The password must meet the complexity requirements.
  6. Select Add user.
  7. Follow the rest of the instructions, then select Finish.

Please note: the solutions to these error codes were adapted from QuickBook’s website. If you have any questions or comments about these error codes and solutions, or you would like to learn more, please contact us.

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