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.

Please follow and like us:

88 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.

  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.

  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.
    Reisse L. Perin CPA
    Quickbooks Pro by virtue of getting paid this one I can’t fix.

  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…..

  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?

  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.


      • 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.

  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?

  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