quickbooks goes to sleep
What if QuickBooks takes a nap?

Has this happened to you? I’m guessing you’ve seen it before: You’re trying to update your company, or make a backup, or verify your company, or run a big report.

QuickBooks gets off to a good start, but then seems to stall. You make a couple of clicks and Windows pipes up: “(Not Responding)”. Oh, great.

What do you do then?

Sometimes users panic, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete / Task Manager / End Task their way out of QuickBooks. That’s not a very good choice, because if you force the application closed, there’s a good chance that your data file won’t get closed down like it’s supposed to.

I guess an even worse choice, for those who maybe don’t know about Task Manager, is to turn off the computer. “Reach for the big red handle”, as we used to say in the old days. That’s not good either.

Either of these actions has a high likelihood of causing data corruption, meaning that your next step after that would be to restore a backup and rekey to get caught back up, or get your data repaired.

INTERVIEW/CASE STUDY: QuickBooks Won’t Verify or Rebuild

So what to do? Most of the time, the best approach is both the hardest and easiest: just wait.

A lot of times, QuickBooks isn’t really “frozen” or “locked up”; it’s just “thinking”. Give it some time, particularly if you are trying to do something in QuickBooks that is systematic: backing up, restoring, verifying, rebuilding, resorting, etc. Those functions in QuickBooks have to touch a lot of your data, which might amount to millions of pieces of information.

That can take some time. I don’t know why QuickBooks doesn’t have a more elegant, less stress-inducing way of communicating that to users. I never like to see Windows intervene in an application. I want my QuickBooks to respond, not to not respond!

So if you see QuickBooks do that, maybe that’s your cue to take a break. Go outside and get some sunshine, or go to your nearest coffee bar and get caffeinated. Hopefully QuickBooks will be ready to go again by the time you get back to your workstation.

TIP: How to Open QuickBooks When It Won’t Open

Then, for the future, here are some things that might help it from having to take so many naps:

* Close some of your open windows, in QuickBooks and in Windows itself.
* Reduce your file’s size
* Configure your internet security software settings so that it ignores your QuickBooks folder
* Rebuild your file to make sure that there is no data corruption in it
* Defragment your hard drive so that QuickBooks will be able to access everything as quickly as possible
* If you are using Enterprise 11, turn off the Search feature (Edit / Preferences / Search / Company Preferences / Uncheck “Update automatically”.) Then backup your data with full verify turned on. This will blank out the TLG file (which might be huge), and relieve QuickBooks of having to constantly update its search index on the fly.
* Create and then restore a portable copy backup of your file. This will reindex your file and probably enhance performance — at least temporarily — of a large file.

Have you seen the (Not Responding) message? What did you do about it?

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104 thoughts on “What to do When QuickBooks Is (Not Responding)

  1. Hi Shannon,

    I’m having issues where QB Premier Mfg locks up whenever I attempt to click on pay bills or write checks, as well as when I go to send/receive transactions in online banking. I’ve tried to verify data as well as rebuild, but to no avail. The only issue I can think of is when the password for online banking was entered incorrectly 2 consecutive times, for shortly after that the issues arose, however I’ve had no issue accessing online banking from our banks site using the requisite information, so it doesn’t appear to have locked us out there at least. The one issue I can think of at this moment is the bank automatically blocked access to the QB platform from whence the incorrect password incidents triggered a lockdown of certain features, but that doesn’t seem feasible either. QB tech was a joke, where they attempted to extort money from us to repair the issue, and all they refer customers to is their generic support pages on their site. Have you had any similar issues, as well as suggestions to resolve such an issue? Should I attempt to call the bank to see if it’s something on their side (though how that locks up the write checks and pay bills function when it’s not connected to online banking is beyond me).


    • Hi Lawrence,

      So will the file rebuild and verify OK? What errors or messages does it give you when you try to do those things? Are the bill paying and check writing associated with your online banking too, or are those offline processes?

      • The file went through the rebuild and verify process without problem. The system does not give you any kind of system error, but rather freezes up completely prompting the OS to release a message telling you to either close and send data on the issue to the OS place of origin, close the program or wait for it to respond. Bill paying and check writing can be both integrated with the online banking process, as well as used for offline purposes. As I mentioned, I think it does have something to do with the improper entering of the password for the online bank account (2x), as after that it appeared to show some issues, but I’m at a loss of how that impacts the pay bill and write check functions of the system… It’s a bit frustrating and disheartening to see from an otherwise decent piece of software.

      • resolved. The issue in itself is still unknown, but I was able to force its (the software’s) hand doing a manual download of banking transactions from our bank’s site, which was suited for Quickbooks software, so that triggered the system to have to open it up, though it did behave as if it never had that account in its system at first. So, I cancelled the process of manually importing it once they refused to bring up our existing account information within the system. However, this enabled the online banking prompt to come up, which allowed the send/receive process to run to completion, which ended up going through and unlocking the pay bill and write check features.

        So, in the end I’m not sure what the exact issue was, nor was it cured directly as a result of manually downloading the transactions, etc. into Quickbooks, since it was claiming that the account wasn’t even in the system, yet it somehow unlocked the online banking send/receive function, as well as the write check and pay bills….. What a world?!?!

        Thanks for your help though Shannon! I enjoyed reading your blog for the extra tidbits I did not know previously regardless!

        • Lawrence,

          OK, well, all’s well that ends well. I think you are right that the problem was somehow rooted in a broken connection between your QuickBooks file and your online banking account, and that through doing that initial but uncompleted step of doing the manual import, that reset whatever was broken. Glad it works now!

          Thanks for giving us an update.

  2. I am using QB Pro 2013 on Windows 8.1. every time I minimize my qb it acts like all other programs and puts the qb icon on the task bar. When I click on it to reopen the page it says QB will not open because it is already running. No matter what I do it doesn’t reopen. I have to do cont/alt/del task manager and start all over. It did work correctly for a long time and randomly started doing this and now it is all the time. Any suggestions?

      • im also having that problem to and i just have the one disk that came with my book for college and is only available on one computer i havent had a problem all semester but now it keeps going to not responding and then i have to re due everything and then it will work for a little while and then go back to that again and i have to control+alt+delete and close it
        How can i get this to work so i can do my homework?

  3. I just downloaded and started using QB H&B for mac 2015 yesterday. Was working ok. Today, suddenly the date format changed. Now I can’t even change the date! I change it, and as soon as I leave that box it revers back to today’s date. I’ve tried closing the program, even shut down the whole computer, 2 x. No change. Starting to think I need to reinstall!?



  4. Hi,
    My qb 2013 enterprise is not running on windows 7 64 bit some times its open and hanged and some time it closed on the pop up winbdow.


  5. If QBE15 is not responding on startup, how do you suggest I fix it if the first three steps don’t work? Obviously, in order to any of the steps after step 3, you have to have an open QB program.

  6. I cant do a portable backup, it keeps saying “not responding” I am running windows 8 and quickbooks 13. So frustrating

    • Hi Donna,

      Try making the portable file on your computer’s local hard drive, if you aren’t already. That might make a difference. Otherwise, try rebuilding your file (File / Utilities / Rebuild Data ) and then try making the portable file…might help.

      Thanks for the comment.

  7. I have Quickbooks Premier – Manufacturing and Wholesale 2012. The program starts to load but will not finish. The login screen never appears. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  8. I use QB online, I have couple of companies there, when I try to opening any of companies the QB is not responding – will close the QB, any advise please…

  9. Please how can i get quickbook to respond to an edit command or add a transaction command when it’s taking hours and days.

    I need to quickly tidy up my account for the yaer and quickbook tends not to respond. What can i do?

  10. One of my businesses opens fine. The other one opens to a small “customize report” window and will go no further. Of course this happens at the end of the year when I need to go see my tax guy. Help Please

  11. not only do I get the “not responding” message, but I cannot access the desktop or taskbar until it finishes the back up process

    • Hi Roy,

      OK, so it sounds like it’s using enough of the available computing resources to interfere with the Windows interface for awhile. Might be pushing the hardware limits for your machine? Thanks for the comment.

  12. I used to love quickbooks. It was easy to use, and flexible, and you could import and export things with ease. Now? Not so much.

    It’s a pain to login if you travel, because of the security for changing IP addresses.
    If you don’t have the latest browser, QB wastes your time by making you login first, THEN telling you that you need to update.
    Even when you do use a so-called “compatible” version, the screens don’t always render correctly.
    Oh, and the whole transaction import thing? Ugly. Just plain ugly.

    I’d drop it in a heartbeat if it wasn’t so damn ubiquitous. Some upstart is going to break that monopoly soon, because with pages and pages of complaints and concerns like this one out there on the web, what software coul remain in play as leader of the pack?

  13. My Enterprise Solutions 16 will not rebuild the data file my balance sheet has a 4 million dollar mistake and I cannot get it to fix itself what do I do? I spend 5 hours on the phone with QBS their solutions was there is no solution. Really I need help


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