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Robert M.
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Category: Financial Software
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Experience:  30 yrs. of computer experience in financial and marketing departments.
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I cannot open QuickBooks. Error message is "The file you specified

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I cannot open QuickBooks. Error message is "The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure it is not currently being used by another program or read only file. The Windows error was 'the file already exists."

At that point I cannot open close or move around in QuickBooks. The only way I can get out of the program is to force a shutdown of QuickBooks and close all programs. Do I have a corrupted prgram? Should I uninstall my present program, reinstall with the information used when we bought the program a year ago and use a back up to restore our information? Will this work?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Financial Software
Expert:  Robert M. replied 5 years ago.

reboot the computer first If the file is on a network drive reboot that as well

If that doesnt fix it immediately


copy the file to my documents

give it a new name while leaving the .qbw extension the same

right click on this new file

select properties

make sure that it is NOT set for hidden / read only / system



open the quickbooks in safe mode by

holding down the ctrl key while double clicking on the quickbooks icon to open it

that should open the quickbooks in safe mode with no company file

go to

file / open company

and browse to my documents and select the file.

If the quickbooks opens but the new company file still wont open

You can try doing a verify and rebuild on it

file / file utilities / verify rebuild


or using the company file diagnostic tool

If those do not work you need to restore a backup


If the quickbooks will not open even in safe mode you need to reinstall the quickbooks software



try doing a clean install with the instructions on this page. It should not effect your data but i always recomend

making sure that you have a good back up and / or a copy of your data file ( it ends .qbw ) in a safe place such as

a flash drive or another folder.


It requires that you have a copy of the quickbooks install cd or download. If you downloaded from intuit you can

get another copy free.

If you purchased from Intuit directly you can download again for 3 years.


For quickbooks go to

click on cart orders downloads

sign in with your intuit id and password. ( usually your email address is the id )


click on downloads and unlocks

That should give you a list of any intuit product that you purchased online within the last 3 years with a download




This page has complete instructions for the uninstall and reinstall INCLUDING a clean install utility that you want

to download and run.





Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have tried to reboot many times hoping for some kind of miracle.


All the QickBooks info you sent is interesting. I think I will try to use their uninstall and clean install and then use my flash drive to reinstall our information. Would you like to know if that works? I will probably not do it this evening.

Expert:  Robert M. replied 5 years ago.

I would try the copying and renaming the data file thing first. Thats more likely to fix the problem and its a lot easier.


and yes I would certainly like to know how it works.


As an expert I only get paid if you accept the answer or based on your rating of my answer, so i want to make you happy and i will continue to work with you until the problem is solved. I hope that when it is solved and you are happy with the result you will hit the accept button or give me a good rating so that i can be paid.



Robert M. and other Financial Software Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes your input has helped me to solve the problem. I thought I should delete the QuickBooks file and then restore it with a backup Your answer gave me some of the tools
Expert:  Robert M. replied 5 years ago.

Im glad i could help. I would apreciate if you could hit the accept or like button or give me a good rating as that is what allows me to be paid.



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