How to fix Quickbooks File In Use Error?

If you are running Quickbooks over a network in the Multi-User mode, you can at times encounter the Quickbooks ‘File in use’ error. The error refers to the Quickbooks Company File failing to open due to either the absence of access right or it being open on another system. Are you facing the exact same error right now? Read further to know what causes the error and how to resolve it.

What causes the Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ Error?

The Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ error generally occurs when you are trying to access the Company File in the Multi-User mode but the hosting setup is not configured correctly. It can also be the case that due to security reasons, the access rights for the Company File are not assigned to multiple users. 

Following are the major causes of Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ error:

  • Incorrect configurations of the Multi-User hosting settings on the host computer
  • The Mult-User mode is not correctly set up on the workstations in the network
  • Quickbooks Database Server Manager is not functioning
  • Other third-party applications are interrupting the background processes of Quickbooks
  • The Quickbooks Company File is already being worked upon by another user on the network

How to resolve the Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ Error?

The ‘File In Use’ error is more common than one would think. Multiple users running Quickbooks in the Multi-User mode have encountered the error. Since the error is mainly caused due to incorrect permission settings over a network, it can be resolved quite easily by following the below-discussed troubleshooting methods.

Check Multi-User Hosting On All Workstations  

The first thing to do when facing the Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ error is to verify the hosting status on all of your workstations. You must at the same time, check the hosting status on the server that is hosting the Quickbooks Company File as well. This can be done by following these simple steps:

  1. First, ensure that the Company File is being hosted by one system in the established network.
  2. Launch Quickbooks on each of the computers on the network.
  3. Click on File.
  4. Hover the mouse cursor over Utilities. If you see the Stop Hosting Multi-User Access option, select it and choose the ‘Yes’ option.
  5. If Utilities displays the Host Multi-User Access option, your hosting settings are already configured correctly.
  6. Implement this process on all your workstations and host server.

If this doesn’t solve the Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ error, move on to the next method.

Try Restarting the Quickbooks Database Service Manager

The Quickbooks Database Server Manager not functioning correctly can also result in the ‘File In Use’ error. Restarting the application often resolves any issue with the Database Service Manager. Follow these simple steps to relaunch Database Service Manager:

  1. Press the CTRL, ALT, and Delete keys simultaneously to open the security options screen. 
  2. Choose the Task Manager option.
  3. Click on the Processes tab.
  4. Locate the Quickbooks DBXX process (XX denotes the version of Quickbooks running on your desktop).
  5. Right-Click on Quickbooks DBXX and choose End Task.
  6. Relaunch Quickbooks Desktop.

Once you have followed these steps, try opening the Company File and see if the Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ error still persists.

Assign Admin Rights To The User In Quickbooks

The ‘File In Use’ error also occurs when the user isn’t granted permission to access the Quickbooks Company File. To ensure this doesn’t hinder you from opening the Company File, you must assign admin rights to that particular user in Quickbooks. To do so, go through the following process:

  1. Launch Quickbooks on one of the workstations not facing the ‘File In Use’ error.
  2. Open the Company File.
  3. Under the Users section, click on View Users.
  4. Make sure that the workstation getting the ‘File In Use’ error isn’t accessing the Company File before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Click on the Users tab from the Company section.
  6. Choose Set up Users and Roles.
  7. Select New.
  8. Enter the name of the new user.
  9. Click on Add and assign a role for the new user from the Roles section.
  10. Finally, click on OK and close the window.

The new user should now be able to access the Company File and no longer get the ‘File In Use’ error message.

Update Quickbooks On Host Computer and Workstations

It can also be the case that you are running an outdated version of Quickbooks on either the server computer or the workstations. To make sure this isn’t the case, install the latest Quickbooks updates by following these steps:

  1. Open Quickbooks and click on the Help tab.
  2. Click on Update Quickbooks Desktop to open the Update Quickbooks window.
  3. Click on the Update Now tab and subsequently select the features that are required to be updated.
  4. Choose ‘Get Updates’ and wait till the updates are downloaded and ready to be installed.
  5. Once the updates are downloaded, restart Quickbooks and select the Install Now option as prompted.

If the ‘File In Use’ error was caused due to your Quickbooks Desktop being outdated, this should resolve the issue once and for all.

Sign Out the user associated with the Quickbooks ‘File In Use’ error

If you can identify which user is using the Quickbooks Company File resulting in the ‘File In Use’ error, you can sign out that user by following these steps:

  1. Open Quickbooks on the server or another workstation.
  2. Now open the Company Menu.
  3. From the Users tab, select View Users.
  4. Sign Out the user associated with the ‘File In Use’ error.

If none of these methods help resolve the ‘File In Use’ error, we suggest seeking expert assistance by contacting the Quickbooks help team.

Other helpful Quickbooks Guides:
Quickbooks Has Stopped Working (BEX Error) Fixed!
Quickbooks Server Manager Not Running Fixed!
How to Fix QuickBooks Error 6000?
Fix QuickBooks Not Loading

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