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Error: The file you specified cannot be opened, when you open QuickBooks.

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You see the following error message when trying to open the QuickBooks or Enterprise company file on a Windows computer:

The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or a read-only file. The Windows error is: The file exists.

Why this is happening

This error may occur because QuickBooks has downloaded software and or payroll updates and is not able to install these updates because of Windows user permissions or User Account Control settings in Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.

How to fix it

Intuit recommends more than one solution for this problem. The first solution may solve your problem, or you may need to try all of them to resolve the issue. For best results, perform the solutions in the order shown.

Solution 1: Open QuickBooks with elevated Administrator permission

 

  1. Close QuickBooks
  2. Right click the QuickBooks icon
  3. Select Run as administrator (Windows XP users will see an option of Run as...)
  4. Enter login credentials for a Windows Administrator user if prompted
  5. No error will appear when the QuickBooks file is opened; any updates will install without further prompt
  6. Close QuickBooks
  7. Open QuickBooks as you normally would, error should no longer appear

Solution 2:  Restart your computer or toggle User Account Control depending on your version of Windows

 

  • Windows Vista/ 7/ 8:
    1. Click the Windows icon button (Start), and choose Control Panel.
    2. In the Control Panel window, click User Accounts or User Accounts and Family Safety.
    3. In the User Account window, click User Accounts.
    4. Click the link Turn User Account Control on and off.
    5. If the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer checkbox is selected, clear it, and click OK.
    6. If you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart Now.
    7. Repeat Steps 1 through 6, making sure that the checkbox Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer is cleared.

Note: Selecting the checkbox displays the message "The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or a read-only file." If you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart Now.

  • Windows XP:
    1. Close QuickBooks and all other applications.
    2. Restart the computer.
    3. Open QuickBooks and try to open the program again.

Solution 3: Repair QuickBooks

 

  • Repair your installation of QuickBooks

Solution 4: Perform a clean uninstall/reinstall for the affected version of QuickBooks

 

  • Perform a clean uninstall and reinstall of QuickBooks

 

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