Fix ‘The File Exists’ Error in QuickBooks [A Windows Error]

‘The File Exists’ Error in QuickBooks

The File Exists error in QuickBooks can occur because the company file is being read incorrectly. This error is very prominent with users who work with multiple company files at once. Users have reported that relying on traditional methods doesn’t solve the issue. Further, an inability to access the company file can lead to loss of work.

In this article, you’ll find the methods to fix ‘The File Exists’ error in QuickBooks.

Error Message:

“The file you specified cannot be opened. It must not be already in use by another program or a read-only file”
“The Windows Error was The File Exists.”

File Specified Not Opened
‘The File Exists’ Error in QuickBooks

What is ‘The File Exists’ Error in QuickBooks?

This error is one of many related to user account control settings. Users cannot access multiple files because of restrictions from either QuickBooks or windows. On other instances, creating forms can trigger this error. The user won’t be able to close the application without going to the task manager. This error can be quite frustrating to deal with.

Causes of QuickBooks Windows Error ‘The File Exists’

There are many reasons for this error. Some of these reasons are mentioned below:

  • Accessing Two Company Files at Once
  • Issues with Forms in QuickBooks
  • User Account Control Settings

Troubleshooting Methods for QuickBooks Error ‘The File Exists’

Troubleshooting this error can be quite cumbersome, especially if it isn’t resolved by simply installing the updates. Luckily, most users reported that the error automatically resolved as soon as they installed the latest updates offered by Intuit. Intuit usually addresses errors faced in QB by offering updates, which you must install if you wish to avoid encountering issues.

Method 1: Update QuickBooks Desktop Application

Simply updating the software can resolve many of the issues. The update files contain solutions to many reported errors in the accounting software. To resolve ‘The File Exists’ error in QuickBooks, follow the steps provided below:

Update QuickBooks to latest release verson Ultra Light Patch
  1. Click on Ok till the error keeps occurring. Then Close QuickBooks.
  2. Launch QuickBooks again.
  3. Update to the latest release of the program.
    • Click on Help from the main menu.
    • Click on Update QuickBooks Desktop.
    • Hit the option to Update Now.
    • Mark the option to Reset Update, which will delete all the previous updates that were downloaded by you manually or by QuickBooks automatically.
    • Click on Get Updates. The update will start downloading.
    • Once you get the confirmation that the update is downloaded, click on the Install button.
  4. Restart your system.
  5. Launch the program with administrator privileges:
    • Right Click on the Program Icon.
    • Click on Run as Administrator.

If following the aforementioned steps resolves your issues, then you should consider configuring automatic updates in QuickBooks. With automatic updates turned on, QuickBooks will download the update files as soon as they’re available. You will get a prompt to install the update. Since the update is downloaded in the background, you’ll be able to work on your accounting software without any hassle.

For most users, simply updating QuickBooks resolves the error. However if this isn’t the case with you, then you should follow the methods provided below to resolve this error.

Method 2: Repair QuickBooks Desktop Application

You can use the repair tool to fix any error with the program file of QuickBooks. Before beginning the process, we recommend that you create a backup copy of your company file. Although the repair tool doesn’t alter the company file in any manner, it’s better to take precautions.

To repair program files related to QuickBooks, follow the steps provide below:

  1. Close QuickBooks and Restart your system.
  2. From the start menu, select the Control Panel.
  3. Click on Program and Features.
  4. Select Uninstall a Program.
  5. Click on QuickBooks. Select Uninstall/Change.
  6. Click on Continue, then Next.
  7. Click on Repair, then Next.
  8. Follow on-screen instructions. Once you get the confirmation, click on Finish.
  9. Restart your system.

If you encounter an error while the repair tool is running, simply click on ignore. Usually these errors don’t create conflict with the accounting software. You should also scan your system for any virus or malware, if the repair process fails.

If the repair process fail, you should follow the steps provided below:

  1. Download the setup for your version of QuickBooks.
  2. Launch the setup.
  3. Instead of Install, click on Repair.
  4. Follow on-screen instructions to repair all the files related to QuickBooks.
  5. Click on Finish and Restart your system.

The setup for QuickBooks contains all the required files that may be damaged. This should fix your company file error along with the repair file error.

Method 3: Check Windows Firewall Settings

In some cases, the firewall blocks connection to the company file stored on a server. This automatically results in an error. If this is the case with the error you’re facing, then creating new rules to exempt QuickBooks will do the trick.

To create firewall rules to exempt QuickBooks, follow the steps provided below:

  1. Go to the Start Menu.
  2. Type in Windows Firewall.
  3. Click on Advanced Settings.
  4. Select Inbound Rules. Click on New Rule.
  5. Choose Port, and Click on Next.
  6. Select the check-mark against TCP.
  7. Enter the specific ports required by your version of QuickBooks to access a company file on another network.
  8. Click on Next.
  9. Mark the option to Allow the Connection. Click on Next.
  10. Mark all the profiles and click Next.
  11. Input a unique name and description for the rule.
  12. Click on Finish.

Repeat the same steps and create an outbound rule for QuickBooks. To there, both these rules will ensure that QuickBooks has the required authorization to access the specified network ports through your system.

This should do the trick to resolve the error. If everything fails, you can install a fresh copy of QuickBooks, but before doing so, you must backup your company file. To create a backup of your company file, you can follow the steps provided below:

  1. Go to the File menu in QuickBooks.
  2. Click on Back up company.
  3. Click on Create Local Backup.
  4. Choose Local Backup and click on Next.
  5. Click on Browse. Go to the location at which you want to store the company file.
  6. Click on Ok.
  7. Click on save it now.

Once the backup file is created and saved, you’ll get a confirmation message. Click ok on the confirmation message for backup completion.

In QuickBooks, you also have the option to create a portable file, which contains the essential accounting data. This type of file is often used for dealing for errors related with the company file. If you’re facing a company file error, you can create a portable company file and then import it into QuickBooks Desktop.

A backup file contains all the data from the accounting software in a compact form; however a portable file only contains the essential data which excludes many of the lists and accounts.

To know more, you can get in touch with our QuickBooks ProAdvisor experts.