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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 might appear when you open a file or an attachment in QuickBooks. Some QB users come across this issue when they 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.'

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” 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 3 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.
  • When you pay scheduled payroll liabilities in QuickBooks Online
  • While opening payroll federal or state forms. 

Vital Reasons behind QuickBooks error “the file you specified cannot be opened”

4 major reasons behind the QB Error Message “the file you specified cannot be opened” are as follows:

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  • You are using an outdated version of QuickBooks.

You need to change your application permissions, repair damaged files and update your application to fix QB error message “the file you specified cannot be opened”. The steps are explained below:

Solution1- Running QuickBooks as Administrator

The file you specified cannot be opened QuickBooks can be caused due to insufficient permissions. Run your application as an Administrator to prevent hindrance. Follow these steps in order to do so:

  • Close down all the applications that is running on your system.
  • Tap on the Windows start button and find QuickBooks.
  • Search for your QB version and right-click on it. 
  • Now, choose 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

In case you faced the QB payroll error “the file you specified cannot be opened” 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.
  • Right-click on QuickBooks program file (QBW32.exe) and Tap on properties.
  • Now, Go to Security followed by Edit and then Add (To set 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

The Older version of QuickBooks Desktop is one of the reasons for QB error “the file you specified cannot be opened”. Update your QB application 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 QB 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.

Thank you for stopping by! Hope this article would be helpful for you in fixing QuickBooks error “the file you specified cannot be opened”. 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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Lily Evans

Lily Evans is a Certified Accountant with Expertise in QuickBooks, Sage and Quicken Accounting Software. Lily has been working with Data Service Solutions for the last 3 years as a QuickBooks Expert and is Helping Accounting software users with their day to day accounting tasks and issues.

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