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This Company File Needs to Be Updated
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How to Fix the “This Company File Needs to Be Updated” Issue

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Are you encountering the “This company file needs to be updated” message in QuickBooks Desktop? This issue appears in the form of the following error message –

This company file needs to be updated. Please ask your QuickBooks administrator to update the file.

This issue usually arises when you try to open a company file from an older version of QuickBooks in an updated one. However, this is not always the case, and you can still face the issue even with an updated company file. To learn more about why this issue occurs and how to fix it, keep reading this article till the end.

The “company file needs to be updated” message can be very frustrating to encounter. This issue can prevent you from opening your QB company file. If you need outside assistance in updating the company file, you can reach out to our QB support team at 800-580-5375 to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Primary Reasons Why the “QuickBooks This Company File Needs to be Updated” Message Pops up

You might be facing the “this company file needs to be updated” error message due to some obvious reasons. Learning about these reasons can help you navigate through the issue with more clarity. Below, we have provided every possible reason why you are getting this issue –

  • You are not running QuickBooks Desktop with admin privileges.
  • Your QuickBooks company file might be corrupted, damaged, or incompatible with your QuickBooks Desktop version.
  • You are trying to open specific file types in QuickBooks using different methods.
  • The company file you are trying to access might already be in use over the network.
  • You are using an outdated QB Desktop version to open the company file.
  • The company file might have an incorrect name or an invalid extension.
  • Your company file might be password-protected or compressed.
  • Your QB Desktop program might be damaged or incorrectly installed.
  • The company file you are trying to open might be created on another PC with an older QB version.
  • You might have unintentionally interrupted QuickBooks while opening a large or bulky company file, which usually takes a longer time.
  • The Windows OS or system files might be damaged or corrupted.

These are some of the common reasons behind this company file issue. Now, let’s discuss some important considerations before opening the company file.

Facts to Consider Before Updating the Company File to Make it Compatible with QuickBooks

Before updating your QuickBooks company file, go through the following considerations –

  • You can only update the company file by logging in to QB as an admin user.
  • It is not recommended that the company file be updated on a different computer in the network. Instead, you need to move the file to the local PC to update it.
  • The update process might take some time, so make sure not to interrupt the update process.
  • After the file is updated, it will no longer open in older QB versions.
  • If you are using QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, you cannot convert the file to other versions, such as QB Pro and Premier. 
  • Before updating the company file, ensure QuickBooks Desktop is updated to the latest release.
  • Make sure the file extension is correct, and you are updating the file with a .QBW extension, not .QBB or .QBM.
  • If QuickBooks is running in multi-user mode, switch to single-user mode to prevent multiple users from using the file during the update process.

Once the above prerequisites are met, move to the next section and learn how to update the company file. 

Steps to Update the Company File in QuickBooks

Updating the company files is necessary to make them compatible with the version of QuickBooks you are using. You can update your company files to a new version of QuickBooks by following the detailed steps below –

Step 1 – Prepare Your QB Company File 

Firstly, you need to prepare the company file for update by implementing the steps below –

  • Launch your original QB version and open the company file you want to update.
  • Next, press F2 to open the Product Information window, then go to the File Information section. Then, note down the location where you save your company file on the PC.
Here is how to look Product Information
  • Lastly, run the Verify/Rebuild Data tool to prepare it for the update. The tool can help avoid data loss or discrepancies during or after the update process. (See ‘Solution 3: Run the Verify/Rebuild Data utility in QB’ below). 

Note: You need to keep the company file on the server PC for the update. Once updated, you can move the file back after opening it in the newer QBDT version.

After preparing the file, move to step 2 and update it.

Step 2 – Update the QB Company File

You can update your company file to the latest version by going through the following steps –

Note: After updating your company file to QuickBooks 2024 or Enterprise 24.0, reset the passwords for all non-admin users to a temporary password. When ‌non-admin users sign in, they’ll be asked to set a permanent password.

  • Make sure all users sign out of the company file, then open your new version of QBDT.
  • Go to the File menu, select Open or Restore Company, and click Open a company file, then hit Next. If you have a backup company file (.QBB) instead of a company file (.QBW), select the Restore a backup copy option.
here is how to restore a backup copy
  • Next, find your company file, click Open, and sign in to it as an admin user.

Note: If you can’t find your company file, open File Explorer from the Windows Start menu and search for the company file by name or the .QBW extension. If you still can’t find it, make sure it’s not hidden by checking the Windows settings. 

Optional: QuickBooks Desktop will automatically create a backup of your existing company file. However, if you want to save the backup in a specific folder, click Change this default location.

  • Further, select Update Now, and when QuickBooks finishes the file update, hit Done to end the process.

Note: If the update isn’t successful and you can’t open the file, restore the company file backup created above and try again.

However, if you cannot update the company file, move to the next section to learn about the troubleshooting solutions to rectify the issue.

Do This When QuickBooks Can’t Update Your Company File

If you are unable to update the QB company file by following the steps given in the section above, there might be problems with the company file or within QB. To fix this company file update issue, follow the troubleshooting solutions mentioned below –

Solution 1 – Download the Latest QBDT Updates 

If you are unable to update the QB company file, it might be possible that QBDT lacks the latest updates. This can create compatibility issues while updating the company file. To fix this, download the most recent QBDT updates using the instructions below –

  • Close QBDT and the company files, then right-click the QB Desktop icon on your PC.
  • Next, click Run as Admin and hit Yes when the “Do you want to allow this program to make changes to your computer?” message appears on the screen.
QuickBooks Utility Application
  • Further, move to the Help tab, select Update QuickBooks Desktop, and click Update Now.
Update QuickBooks
  • Mark the Reset Updates checkbox and click Get Updates, then reopen QuickBooks and click Install Now to install the updates.

Now, try updating the company file again and check if the issues are resolved. If you are unable to update the QuickBooks company file to a newer version, move to the next solution.

Solution 2 – Use QB File Doctor from QuickBooks Tool Hub  

You might be unable to update the company file due to damage or corruption. To fix this company file issue, use the QuickBooks File Doctor tool using the instructions below –

Step 1 – Install the QB Tool Hub Program 

Firstly, download and install the QB Tool Hub. This program is a collection of tools and features that help resolve QB issues. To install QB Tool Hub, go through the steps below –

  1. Exit QuickBooks, then download the most recent QB Tool Hub version (From HERE), and save the file to an easily accessible location on your PC. 

Note: If you already have the QB Tool Hub installed on your PC, you can find out what version you have at the bottom of the Home tab. If you do not have the latest version (, download and install it using these steps. 

  1. Now, open the QuickBooksToolHub.exe setup file you downloaded, then follow the on-screen prompts to install and accept the program’s terms and conditions.
  2. Double-click the QB Tool Hub icon on your Windows desktop when the installation ends and launch the program.
  3. If you can’t find the icon, manually search for “QuickBooks Tool Hub” in the Windows search panel and access the program.

After installing the QB Tool Hub, run the Quick Fix My File tool by following step 2.

Step 2 – Utilize the Quick Fix My File Tool 

Run the Quick Fix My File tool to resolve common company file issues in the following manner –

  • Launch the QB Tool Hub, then select Quick Fix My File from the Company File Issues tab.
Company File Issues-> Quick Fix my file
  • Run the tool and hit OK when the repair ends, then launch QuickBooks again.

Now, check if the company file update issues are fixed. If not, move to step 3 and run QuickBooks File Doctor.

Step 3 – Run the QB File Doctor Tool

The QuickBooks File Doctor utility can help fix the damage and corruption in your company file. To run this tool effectively, go through the following steps –

  • From the tool hub, select Company File Issues, then choose Run QuickBooks File Doctor and open the tool.

Note: The tool might take about a minute to open. But if QuickBooks File Doctor doesn’t open, search for “QuickBooks Desktop File Doc” in the Windows search bar and open it manually.

  • In QuickBooks File Doctor, expand the drop-down menu and select the company file you want to repair. If you don’t see your file, select Browse and Search to find your file, then select it.
Company file issues-> Run QuickBooks File Doctor
  • Further, click the Check your file option, hit Continue, enter your QB admin password, and click Next.

The scan can take up to 10–15 minutes, depending on how large your file’s size is. Sometimes, the scan may say it wasn’t successful, even if the company file issues are resolved. Thus, once the scan finishes, open QuickBooks and check your company file.

Once done, try updating the company file in QuickBooks again. However, if you still get the “this company file needs to be updated” message, move to solution 3.

Solution 3 – Run the Verify/Rebuild Data Utility in QB 

If the QB File Doctor tool doesn’t resolve the data issues, you can use the QuickBooks Verify/Rebuild Data utility. This utility helps fix the data integrity issues and you can run it following the instructions below –

Step 1 – Use the QB Verify Data Tool 

You can verify the company file and identify the data issues by using the Verify Data tool in the following manner-

  • Open the Window, select Close All, then move to the QuickBooks File menu.
Go to Utility then click on verify data
  • Next, select Utilities and click the Verify Data tool, then take the following actions based on the results-
    • If the tool detects no problems with your data, there are no data integrity issues, and you don’t need to proceed with the further steps.
    • If an error message appears, search for it on our website and learn how to eliminate it successfully. 
    • Lastly, if you get the “company data has lost integrity” message, the company file is damaged, and you need to rebuild it to resolve the issue.

After running the Verify Data tool, move to step 2 and run the Rebuild Data tool to resolve the identified issues.

Step 2 – Rebuild the Company File Data

Use the Rebuild Data tool to fix the issues with your company file by implementing the steps given below –

  • Launch QuickBooks, navigate to the File tab, then select Utilities.
  • Click the Rebuild Data tool, and when QB asks to create a company file backup, select OK.
  • Next, to create a backup, select a location to save the backup file and hit OK. Do not replace another backup file, and enter a new name in the File Name field, then hit Save.
  • Select OK when the “Rebuild has completed” message appears on the screen.
When your Rebuild has completed, the message shows like this.
  • Further, move to the QB File tab again and click the Utilities tab.
  • Click Verify Data to check for additional data damage and undertake the following actions based on the results-
    • If the tool finds more data damage, manually resolve the identified issues by searching for the error(s) in the qbwin.log file and solutions on our website to fix them effectively.
    • If no errors are found, restore the company file backup by going to the File menu and clicking the Open or Restore Company option.

Note: When creating the backup, do not replace your existing QB company file. You’ll need to re-enter information after the company file backup is created.

After running the tool, try updating your QuickBooks company file again. If you still face issues, move to the next troubleshooting solution and repair QB. 

Solution 4 – Repair QBDT with QuickBooks Tool Hub 

If fixing the data damage isn’t helping with the company file update problems, chances are that the issue lies within QuickBooks. If your QB program is damaged or incorrectly installed, you must run a thorough repair using the tools available in QuickBooks Tool Hub.

Before running these tools, ensure that you have the latest QuickBooks Tool Hub version installed (See ‘Step 1: Install the QB Tool Hub Program’ of ‘Solution 2: Use QB File Doctor from QuickBooks Tool Hub’ above), then follow these steps –

Step 1 – Run the Quick Fix My Program Utility 

This tool terminates any background processes used by QuickBooks and can help resolve general program issues. Follow the detailed steps below to use this tool and fix the QB program problems –

  1. Launch the QB Tool Hub program, then move to the Program Problems section and click the Quick Fix My Program tool.
  2. Run the tool, and once the repair is completed, relaunch QuickBooks Desktop and open your data file.

Now, check if the program problems are resolved and if you can update the company file. If the company file update issues persist, move to step 2 and use the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic tool.

Step 2 – Utilize the QB Install Diagnostic Utility 

If the Quick Fix My Program tool cannot fix the company file update issues in QB, you can try running the QB Install Diagnostic tool. This tool helps resolve the installation problems in QuickBooks in the following manner-

  1. Open the QB Tool Hub program, move to the Installation Issues tab, and select the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic tool.
  2. Run the tool to fix the installation problems, which can take up to 20 minutes. Once the tool stops running, restart your PC and launch QuickBooks again.

Ensure to update QuickBooks to the latest release, then try updating the company file again. However, if you can’t update the QuickBooks company file, move to solution 5.

Solution 5 – Reinstall QB in Selective Startup Mode 

If repairing QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t help remove the “this company file needs to be updated” error message, try reinstalling the QuickBooks. Installing QuickBooks in the selective startup mode helps eliminate any background interruptions. Before reinstalling, make sure to back up QuickBooks company data and have the product and license details ready. Then, reinstall QB in a selective startup mode by following these steps –

Step 1 – Switch Windows to Selective Startup Mode

Firstly, switch your Windows to the Selective Startup Mode in the following manner –

  • Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run window. In the command box, enter msconfig and tap OK.
  • Now, move to the General tab, click Selective Startup, and choose Load System Services.
  • Further, go to the Services tab and click Hide All Microsoft Services, then select Disable All.
from here, you can hide all Microsoft services
  • Uncheck Hide All Microsoft Services, select Windows Installer from the services, and hit OK.
  • Lastly, go to the System Configuration window and select Restart.

Once the system starts in the Selective Startup mode, move to step 2 and uninstall QuickBooks.

Step 2 – Uninstall QBDT 

The next step is to remove QuickBooks Desktop from the system. To run the QB uninstallation process, implement the steps given below-

  • After your PC restarts, go to the Windows Start menu and select either “Programs or Features” or “Uninstall a Program.”
Here is how to uninstall a program
  • Next, select the QuickBooks Desktop version you wish to remove from the programs list.
  • Further, choose Uninstall/ Change, Remove, and hit Next. If you can’t find this option, log out, then log into Windows as an administrator and uninstall QB.

Once the software is removed, move to step 3 and reinstall it.

Step 3 – Reinstall QB Desktop 

Now, install QuickBooks Desktop again, but ensure the system requirements are met beforehand. The software will automatically install new folders and rename the old ones while running the installation process. To reinstall QBDT, go through the following info –

  • Download your QuickBooks Desktop version from the download PAGE, save the file to an easily accessible location on your PC, then open the .exe setup file.
  • Now, go through the on-screen instructions, accept the software license agreement, and hit Next.
  • Next, enter the product and license numbers and click Next. Ensure you have an active and fast internet connection to install QB Desktop.
  • Choose Express as the Installation Type option, then hit Next and click Install.
Here you can select Custom and network options
  • When the installation process finishes, select Open QuickBooks and activate it.
Select a company that you have previously opened and click open
  • Lastly, move to the QB Help menu, click Activate QuickBooks Desktop, then go through the on-screen steps to verify your info.

Once QB is activated, move to step 4 and switch back to the Normal Mode.

Step 4 – Switch Back to Windows Normal Mode

The last step is to switch Windows back to the Normal Mode in the following manner –

  • Press the Windows + R keys to access the Run window, then type msconfig in the command box.
  • Hit OK to run the command, then select Normal Startup from the General tab.
Here is how to go in General Tab and select normal startup
  • Lastly, click OK and go to the System Configuration window, then select Restart.

Once the Windows restarts, launch QuickBooks Desktop and try updating the company file. If you are still unable to update it, move to the next solution.

Solution 6 – Re-register the Reboot.bat File

The Reboot.bat file is a small batch file in the QB installation directory. It is designed to reset all system settings that QB changes during its operation. Re-registering this file can restore the original settings and can fix the company file update issues. To register this file again, implement the steps mentioned below –

  • Close QuickBooks and all other programs running on the PC, then press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run dialog box.
  • Next, type “cmd” in the Run dialog box, then press Enter to open the Command Prompt window.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type “cd C:\Program Files(x86)\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks” (without the quotes), then hit Enter.

Note: If QuickBooks is installed in a different location, replace “C:\Program Files(x86)\CommonFiles\Intuit\QuickBooks” with the correct path to the QuickBooks installation folder.

  • Further, type “reboot.bat” (without the quotes), then hit Enter to run the file, and wait till the reboot.bat file finishes its task.
  • Once the process ends, exit the Command Prompt window and relaunch QuickBooks.

Now, check if the QB company file update issues are resolved. If you are still encountering the “QuickBooks this company file needs to be updated” message, move to the next solution.

Solution 7 – Use the System File Checker Tool

If the Windows OS files are damaged, it can impact the company file update process. The System File Checker tool runs a scan and repairs supporting Windows files for QB. To run this tool, implement the detailed steps mentioned below –

  • Launch the Run window using the Windows + R keys, then type “cmd” in the command box.
  • Hit Enter, and when the search results emerge, right-click the Command Prompt option and select Run as administrator.
Run as administrator
  • Wait for the Command Prompt window to emerge with admin rights, and when a blank black screen with a flashing cursor appears, type “SFC/Scannow in this space.
Command Prompt
  • Press Enter, then let the scan run to repair all the Windows files.

Once done, rerun QuickBooks and check if you are able to update the company file without issues. If the issues persist, move to solution 8.

Solution 8 – Restore the Backup Copy of the Company File

If none of the above solutions work, you can try restoring the company file backup. This can help with the data damage issues in the existing company file. When you restore the backup, QuickBooks uses the .QBB file to create a new company file (.QBW). To restore the backup version, follow the steps given below –

  • Open QuickBooks, then select Open or Restore Company from the File menu.
  • Next, select Restore a backup copy, hit Next, and choose Local Backup.
Restore a backup copy like this
  • Hit Next again and browse your PC for the backup company file, which should look like – [Your company name].qbb.
  • Select a folder to save your restored company file, click Open, and then hit Save when ready.

Note: If you open the backup in the same folder as your existing company file, you may risk overwriting the data. To avoid this, either rename the existing company file or the backup version. Alternatively, you can save the company file backup in a different folder.

  • Lastly, if you see any messages about data overwriting, select the most preferable option and make sure not to overwrite anything unless you know you want to.

After the backup copy is restored, try to update the QuickBooks company file again to check if the update issues are fixed.


We hope this detailed article helped you fix the company file update issues in QuickBooks. However, if these solutions aren’t successful getting rid of the “This company file needs to be updated” error message, you can reach out to our team of QB professionals at 800-580-5375 to get immediate guidance in fixing the issue.


How to create a QuickBooks company file backup?

To backup your QuickBooks company file, follow the detailed steps given below –

• Launch QuickBooks, navigate to the File menu and click Switch to Single-user Mode.
• Next, move to the File menu again, select Back up Company, and click the Create Local Backup option.
• In the next window, select Local Backup, click Next, and go to the Local Backup Only section.
• Select Browse and choose a location to save your backup company file, then set the number of backups you want to keep (optional).
• Now, QB will run a test to make sure your backup file is in good shape, and once done, select OK, then click Save it now and Next.

Once the process ends, QuickBooks will create a single backup company file, and you will get a confirmation message.

What if I am unable to update the company file even as an admin user?

If you are unable to update the company file as an admin user, your current Windows admin account may have issues. In this scenario, you can create a new admin account, log in, and try updating the QB company file again.

Does QuickBooks Desktop need to update the company file every time?

No, you don’t need to update your QuickBooks company file every time. It only needs to be updated when you switch to a different QB version to ensure the file is compatible with the new version. Additionally, there might be minor updates needed in the company file from time to time.

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