QuickBooks Error The File You Specified Cannot Be Opened (Easy Fix)

Quickbooks payroll error the file you specified cannot be opened

Many users around the world have faced the QuickBooks error “the file you specified cannot be opened”. It can hamper day to day functioning of an organisation and leave the users in a state of confusion. It arises when the users try to run their company file but the application fails to do so. The error message that appears on your screen is:-

The file you specified can not be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or a read-only file.
The windows error was 'the file exists.'
the file you specified cannot be opened QuickBooks
QuickBooks error message the file you specified cannot be opened

In this article, we will discuss the possible causes behind the issue and all the troubleshooting methods. If you faced “QuickBooks error the file you specified cannot be opened” and are not very tech-savvy to follow troubleshooting steps, reach out to our experts at +1-(855)-955-1942 in order to prevent any data loss.

When do you run into QuickBooks Payroll Error the file you specified cannot be opened?

There are three different occasions when QuickBooks payroll error the file you specified cannot be opened occur. Let’s look at them:-

  • While updating payroll account in QuickBooks.
  • While paying scheduled payroll liabilities in Quickbooks Online. 
  • While opening payroll federal or state forms. 

What are the Reasons behind QuickBooks error “the file you specified cannot be opened”?

There are four major reasons for the QuickBooks Error Message “the file you specified cannot be opened”. They are as follows:-

  • Your windows system is misreading QuickBooks data files.
  • You don’t have the required windows permissions.
  • Your file has data damage.
  • You are using an outdated version of QuickBooks.

The ways to fix QuickBooks error message “the file you specified cannot be opened” includes changing your application permissions, repairing damaged files and updating your application. Let’s look at the step by step guide to fix this error:- 

Solution1- Running QuickBooks as Administrator

The file you specified cannot be opened QuickBooks can be caused due to insufficient permissions. Running your application as an Administrator, write off a few permissions that might cause hindrance in general. Follow these steps in order to do so:- 

  • Close down all the application that is running on your system.
  • Tap on the Windows start button and search QuickBooks.
  • Find your QB version and right-click on it. 
  • Select Run as Administrator 
  • Once QuickBooks opens, close it and then reopen it normally.

If the error message still appears, jump on to the next solution.

Solution 2- Manually Update Windows Permission

As discussed above, insufficient permissions are one reason for QuickBooks payroll error “the file you specified cannot be opened”. In case you faced the error even after the first solution, you need to manually update your windows permission following these steps- 

  • Tap on the Windows start button and search File Explorer, then open it.
  • Find QuickBooks program file (QBW32.exe), Right-click on it and select properties.
  • Now go to Security followed by Edit and then Add. Set it to Everyone.
  • Security window would be open, tickmark the checkbox for Full Control and then tap on OK. 
  • Choose Add again. Type Users in the window and click on OK.
  • In the security window, tick the checkbox Full Control and then tap on OK.
  • Click on Apply and then select OK.

Solution 3- Update QuickBooks Application

Outdated Quickbooks Desktop is one reason for QuickBooks error “the file you specified cannot be opened”. You can simply update it by following these steps:- 

  • Run QuickBooks as Administrator using steps from solution 1. 

Note:- QuickBooks should open in No company file window, so close your company file it is open.

  • Tap on the Help Menu and choose Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Now click on the Options tab and select Mark All. Then tap on Save. 
  • Click on Update Now tab and choose Reset Update checkbox.
  • Now select Get Updates.

Solution 4- Run Quick Fix My File 

QuickBooks tool hub can fix any damage to your file. If QuickBooks payroll error “the file you specified cannot be opened” is occurring because of the damaged file, follow these steps- 

  • Download and install the QuickBooks tool hub if it is already not on your system and run it.
  • Click on the Company File Issues tab on the window that opens and choose Quick Fix my File.   
QuickBooks error message the file you specified cannot be opened
Quickbooks Payroll Error the file you specified cannot be opened
  • Click on OK after your file repair process is completed.
  • Now try to run your QB file again.

So now we hope that you are informed about the steps you should follow when QuickBooks error “the file you specified cannot be opened” appear. We discussed the three different situations when we can run into this error and what shall be done in order to fix it. However, if you find the above steps a bit complex or want an expert to help you, then we would suggest you reach out to our experts by giving us a call on QuickBooks Data Service Solutions helpline Number +1-(855)-955-1942.

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