Have you ever had a QuickBooks problem where all the normal troubleshooting techniques don’t work?

Maybe your computer got infected with a virus or a trojan program. You got that cleaned up and you reinstalled QuickBooks. But now QuickBooks just won’t launch, or it’s operating at a snail’s pace, or something that used to work just fine now won’t work.

You might get the wonderful error, “QuickBooks has experienced a problem and needs to be shut down. Error ….” or “Unrecoverable error …”.

If the relationship between QuickBooks and Windows gets messed up, QuickBooks will be messed up. If something alters or corrupts your Windows registry settings for QuickBooks, just uninstalling/reinstalling QuickBooks often won’t help.

[NOTE: This has nothing to do with registering your installation of QuickBooks with Intuit, by the way.]

Here’s a tool you can use that might help, and it’s already right there on your computer. The REBOOT.BAT file gives you a one-click way to re-register your QuickBooks program files to the Windows registry.

QuickBooks reboot file
When reinstalling doesn't help...

The REBOOT.BAT file (sometimes seen as just REBOOT in your Windows folder view) can be located simply by right-clicking your QuickBooks icon on your computer’s desktop.

If a menu item then appears saying “Open file location”, click that and it will take you to the folder where REBOOT.BAT lives. If you don’t see “Open file location”, click instead on “Properties” and under the Shortcut tab, look at “Target”. Don’t change the contents of “Target”, but make a note of the path it specifies. Then open My Computer and open the folders to drill down to that location on your computer.

Then double-click REBOOT.BAT (or REBOOT) and your QuickBooks program files will be re-registered to Windows. You’ll see a command prompt-style window open and a number of commands execute. When I ran this on my computer, one of the commands took several seconds to complete. Be patient. When it runs through all the commands, the window will automatically close. Your computer will NOT reboot (I think this command is badly named.)

Then run QuickBooks again and see if REBOOT has cleared up your problem.

NOTE: This troubleshooting tip won’t help solve company data file problems in QuickBooks. Data corruption issues have to be handled in a different way.

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72 thoughts on “A Hidden QuickBooks Tool for when Reinstalling Doesn’t Work

  1. Thanks Shannon. True to your word, you issued a possible fix for errors associated with operating systems. I am constantly having to battle errors with applications that seem associated with operating system issues and MS Vista (which is my OS) seems to have an unstable image in the blogosphere, whether it be compatibility issues or known system faults. I will have to give your solution a try the next time I run into an issue with QB. BUT, as you well may know, OS system issues are rarely easy, first-try fixes.

    Reply
  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for sharing your observations. Yes, the relationship between Windows (different versions) and applications like QuickBooks (different versions, again) is often complicated and difficult to understand. I’m glad Intuit released this easy to use tool to possibly help the pieces get reconnected.

    Reply
  3. Shannon, I spoke with you last year. My client is using QBE 11using a1.8GB QBW file that is damaged. I can copy and restore a QBM but I cannot verify or rebuild the file. I believe after last night that we have had network errors for months. We have reconfigured NOD32 as well to leave file operations alone. I desperately need to recover and repair this file. I have remote access via RDP and can arrange other tools. I am told you can probably help. I have to do this without disrupting the business too much which means nights and weekends. I am at the above e-mail address and 208-322-0188. I appreciate your help.
    Thanks,
    Reisse L. Perin CPA
    Quickbooks Pro by virtue of getting paid this one I can’t fix.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: How to Open QuickBooks When It Won’t Open | QuickBooks and Your Business

  5. We run quickbooks 2005 on win xp. Had to repair my os and reinstall quickbooks. After fixing many install problems and calling QB support I was ready to give up. I tried the REBOOT method mentioned above and it TOTALLY WORKED!!!! Thank you for the solution…..

    Reply
  6. Shannon, I have a problem that may be related–maybe you can help. I use other browsers (mostly Firefox) and would like to disable IE9 to prevent access to it on this computer by other family members. Whenever I use standard methods to disable IE9, or even simply turn on the Content Adviser function, I am unable to open Quickbooks. It appears that IE9 has to be operating, and with Content Adviser disabled, or Quickbooks will not open and run. Any solutions that will allow me to both disable IE9 AND use Quickbooks?

    Reply
  7. Shannon,

    Are you aware of any ways to point Quickbooks 2012 Premier Pro to the correct version/location of Excel? I had previously installed Office 2013 (365), but after issues not being able to export reports to Excel, I uninstalled Office and installed Office 2010. After many uninstalls and reinstalls of both Quickbooks and Office in every different order, along with repairs of both, and now trying this reboot tool my Quickbooks still does not see Excel to allow me to export reports that way. I’ve done everything short of a completely format and reinstall which I hope to avoid!

    If you have any suggestions on how to resolve where QB looks to see Excel, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Regards,
    Mark

    Reply
      • Thank you for your quick reply. The button is greyed out. In my attempts since this post I’ve now tried the QuickBooks Component Repair Tool and still no luck either.

        I really suspect the issue is from some lingering Office 2013 element causing QuickBooks to not recognize the new 2010 install, but I’ve done the Microsoft fix to remove Office before doing a fresh install.

        I wish I knew if there was a way to see where QuickBooks looks to interface with Excel. Oddly though, I am able to generate letters and other reports from QuickBooks to Word.

        Reply
  8. I had to ‘upgrade’ to release 12 and somewhere in the process something got hosed. Now QB will not start. Period. It always comes back stating that a reboot is required. I have tried everything I can think of .. running the Repair service from Add/Remove programs and running the reboot.bat … no mas. I keep finding references to a registry entry that tell QB that a reboot is required – but I cannot find any specifics. Any idea what it might be?

    Reply
  9. Hello Shannon,
    Excellent site! Would you know why 2 QBW32.exe processes would run in the task manager on a Windows 7 machine? I can end one but the other keeps running. Says user already logged in. Eventually the single process ends and we can start QB’s? Is it the icons/shortcuts causing this?
    Many Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Dennis,

      Thanks!

      Yes, it sounds as though QB is being launched twice somehow. If you run it from the Start list in Windows, instead of the desktop icon, does it do the same thing?

      Reply
  10. Thanks so much for the reboot.bat tip – we could not get our QBs 2010 to load on our new PC (Windows 7) for love nor money until this.
    The relief.
    Thanks again from sunny Sussex (UK).

    Reply
  11. We just migrated from Win XP Pro to Win 7 Pro (x32). We are running QB Enterprise 11.0. When we click on QB sometimes it opens and works and sometimes it opens, but immediately says that it encountered a problem and needs to close. This is intermittent as it sometimes lets us in. When it won’t let us in I can fix it by running Reboot.bat. However, that only fixes the problem for the next instance of QB. I have to keep running Reboot.bat to get into QB. Have you ever heard of something like this?

    Reply
    • Hi Justin,

      Nope, haven’t heard of that one. Intermittent problems are always tough to troubleshoot. My guess is that QB is sometimes (but not always) wrestling with other software which messes it up. The trick is in figuring out where the conflict is. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  12. Using the reboot, will I have to re-install my company files?
    My USB back up has been at the accountants for a few weeks for preparation of year end. So I haven’t backed up my files for the last few weeks… will I lose those three weeks of entries if I use the reboot?

    Reply
    • Hi Katherine,

      No, it shouldn’t affect data files. BUT, if you haven’t backed in a few weeks, that’s a bad place to be regardless of whether you try this utility or not. And if you want to use the reboot utility, then I’m guessing that you are having a problem loading or running QB, and you definitely want to have your data backed up before you take any further action.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  13. Hi Shannon, my quickbooks was working great until today, they have change our internet service provider, do you have idea whats going on?

    Reply
  14. Quickbooks 2014 stopped working on my laptop which is connected to our network via wireless router, we have 3 licences, and QB worked fine before today, now upon starting sez “Quickbooks encountered problem and has to Close”, tried reinstalling 2 times, tried starting up with all user sign-on passwords, tried Reboot.bat still refuses to start, but runs fine on all other machines ??

    Reply
  15. Hello … I recently discovered that my QuickBooks 2012 (Premier, Professional Services) does not work properly on my company’s backup laptop computer (QB2012 works fine on the company’s desktop primary computer). The program appears to launch fine and it can be used for some tasks, but eventually it locks up when I click on some of the menu buttons.

    Some of the menu buttons/features work, but I recently noticed that some do not (e.g. customer center, vendors). They “hang”, nothing happens, and eventually Windows reports that the program has stopped responding. Both computers are running Windows 7 Professional and have all Windows updates/patches applied. QB2012 is also fully updated/patched. Both computers report the same QB version and detailed information when using F2 to open the program information screen.

    The strange thing is that some of the menu items work fine, such as REPORTS. The REPORTS modules launches and displays and functions properly, as do some others. But when I click on the CUSTOMERS button, or if I try to launch it using CNTL-J, then it hangs, says “Not Responding” at the top of the QB screen, and eventually Windows reports that the program has stopped working, etc.

    I have uninstalled and reinstalled QB2012 2-3 times without any luck.

    I have purged the HDD of all references to Intuit to be sure that no stray files/folders remained that could thwart the reinstall.

    After uninstalling and cleaning the HDD, I also used Norton360 to clean the registry of any references to Intuit/QB.

    I have used reboot.bat to re-register the new installation.

    I have used the QB sample company file to eliminate any problems that may exist with my company data file.

    I have performed the various repairs to my company file (which works just fine on the company desktop and which reports no errors, etc.).

    None of these efforts have solved the hang problem, and I have tried a few others including rebooting after reinstalling, and all the other usual and typical troubleshooting routines.

    I’ve only recently noticed this problem, but it could have existed for a long time without being noticed since we do not use the backup computer for QB other than to keep the program up-to-date and store copies of the company back up files there.

    Naturally, there are some hardware and driver differences between the laptop and desktop computers. Analysis of the crash files (dump files) indicates vaguely that a 3rd party driver is the likely problem. Could this hang problem be related to non-compatible hardware drivers that are invoked only for certain of the menu features (i.e. for the customer center feature but not for the report feature)?

    Reply
    • Hi Rudy,

      Wow, you’ve done a lot of troubleshooting for that. Yes, it could be some sort of conflict with other software. You are using Norton 360…have you tried temporarily turning it off and see if that makes a difference? Or at least excluding your QB folders from Norton’s monitoring?

      Have you tried booting your computer in Safe Mode and seeing how QuickBooks runs?

      Reply
  16. Hello … yes, I turned off Norton360 and tried to run QB, but that did not solve the problem.

    I have not tried to exclude the QB folders from Norton’s monitoring because I don’t know how and because Norton360 is running on the desktop primary computer and does not affect that installation/operation of QB.

    Analyzing the dump file yields this information:
    On Wed 9/3/2014 7:58:07 PM GMT your computer crashed crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\QBW32.EXE.3548.dmp
    This was probably caused by the following module: Unknown ()
    Bugcheck code: 0x0 (0x0, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0)
    Error: CUSTOM_ERROR
    A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error.

    I have also tried to run QB in Windows safe mode, and the problem manifests itself a little differently in safe mode.

    When I try to run the customer center feature in safe mode, rather than hanging and eventually timing out, the program crashes out completely with no messages or any other on-screen result. I merely end up right back on the computer desktop screen.

    So if the problem is related to drivers, then it appears to be drivers that are running both in safe mode and normal windows.

    Thank you for your quick reply and interest. I hope the information helps you and others to identify why this problem occurs. Particularly since it does not occur on an “identical” setup on the company primary computer. Very odd, but perhaps that will help to isolate the problem.

    I could post details of the laptop computer’s hardware configuration, etc. if that would help.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  17. Thanks for this! I followed your easy instructions, restarted my PC and it loaded up and is working fine again. I quickly backed up all my files (just in case) but everything seems ok. Thanks for the help

    Reply
  18. I came across this page in after spending several frustrating hours troubleshooting QuickBooks 2007 not being able to open in Windows Vista (“Quickbooks has stopped working” message).

    While your registry solution didn’t solve my problem — nor did any of Intuit’s suggestions, including uninstalling/reinstalling [twice!] — your mention in the comments of Internet Explorer being a requirement for QuickBooks caused a light bulb to turn on for me.

    I do have IE, but a few days ago I had disabled Javascript while doing some debugging. It turns out that I had never reenabled it, and evidently QuickBooks needs not just IE but IE with Javascript.

    If others out there are having a similar problem, ensure that Javascript is enabled in IE (Internet Options > Security, Custom Level…, then scroll down to Scripting and make sure “Active scripting” has “Enable” selected).

    Reply
  19. Shannon thank you for all the help you give to everyone. My issue is window 8.1 and IE11. My bank does not work on IE11 and Microsoft doesnt allow me to install an earlier version. This is preventing me downloading my bank transaction directly from QB. Any solution how to beat Mircorsoft on this one? IM aware I can use my chrome to download and upload transactions but doing it from on line banking was so easy.

    Reply
  20. Very frustrated! My QB Premier 2013. All of a sudden, the program appears to load but simply disappears. I have rebooted, I have uninstalled and reinstalled QB 13, I tried the reboot.bat trick. I cannot even find a phone number for support. I am on hour 3. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Becky,

      Sounds like QuickBooks is having trouble with Windows that the normal techniques don’t resolve. Have you scanned your system for malware? Something might be interfering there. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  21. Hi Shannon, reading all your posts it certainly seems like you have solved lots of problems, mine might be a challenge.

    I’m using a very old 2000 version, which I like and had no need to change as it suits what I do, but I now can’t get QB to open. I can’t find anything that looks like REBOOT within the directory either. Ideas?

    Reply
      • Hmmm…I did a reinstall before I found your website, that didn’t seem to work. It was running fine, that’s the frustrating thing. If I get an updated version, can I move all my records into that system?

        Reply
        • It’s hard to say. It theoretically should work to open your old company in QB 2015 and let it upgrade it to the new version, but in reality, jumping up 15 versions at once is sometimes a problem.

          Reply
  22. Thanks Shannon…you are a saviour. Was pulling by hairs out trying to drill down without success till I read and carried out your suggestion. Thanks.

    Reply
  23. QuickBooks Pro contractor edition 2015 just locks up & shuts down.

    Critical updates will not permanently install.

    This is a huge problem. Hoping you may have an answer.

    Reply
  24. I’ve tried the Reboot. Bat many times but the same issue occurs. I’ve also tried everything related on the Quickbooks suppoprt group. Is it possible that it has something to do with the last configuration of the unit?
    Any other possible solution for the issue?

    Reply
  25. Hello,
    I just installed my QB Pro 2005 on Windows 2007 and when I attempt to launch QB I get an “unrecoverable error” code 7109. I have tried the reboot command you suggested, but sadly it did not help. I have IE, but I use Opera in which Java is enabled.
    I also tried some of these ideas: http://www.kylestechnobabble.com/2008/05/install-quickbooks-pro-2006-on-vista.html; even though my problem is with 2005/win7.
    Do you have any other suggestions?
    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  26. Hi RV,

    The earliest version of QB designed to run right on Win 7 is QB 2010. So if you’re committed to QB Pro 2005, you’ll probably want to find a computer with XP on it and run it there. Sorry no magic bullet. Thanks for the question.

    Reply
  27. Have QuickBooks 2016 Pro on Windows 10 and when trying to activate and register the new version, it gets to the screen to create an account and it crashes and closes. Need help

    Reply
  28. We have two different users with two different versions of Quickbooks (not in same office). They both experience an issue of some windows not coming to the forefront immediately. For example, when they open Quickbooks and the login screen should pop-up, it is not visible. It is behind the main QB window. By clicking on the title bar of the main window the login window then comes to the forefront. This also happens within QB on other things. The user can click on certain items and if a window is supposed to appear (using a selection type menu). QB 2014 Pro user just started having this issue yesterday (no WIndows update in the last two weeks that were installed). Only thing installed was GoToMeeting. QB 2015 user doesn’t see the issue all the time but it has been happening for a while.

    Reply
    • Hi Titan CM,

      I’ve experienced some annoying window focus issues in QuickBooks, but not as serious as you are describing. One thing you could have them try is to close all their windows in QuickBooks before they exit (Windows / Close All). So then they would be starting with a clean slate when they open it up the next time. I haven’t read of any conflicts with GoToMeeting, but of course GTM takes control of screens when it’s active, and Citrix might be running in the background all the time. I wonder if removing GTM from their startup boot list in Windows would help?

      Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  29. i’m having an issue with Quick Books Pro 2013 on Windows 10. It was working just fine until a few days ago. When you open Quick Books it gets to the “loading company file” and then the load windows goes away and I’m left with a grey’d out screen for Quick Books. It just freezes and you can’t do anything with it. I have tried to do a repair through the control panel, I have even did a full uninstall and reinstall. After the reinstall it wants me to update the software, however after the update is downloaded and installed it starts to freeze again when opening. I have tried finding the reboot.bat file, however it doesn’t seem to be in the target folder for the program. Is there a place to get the reboot.bat file? Do you have any suggestions on what else I should try?

    Reply

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