5 Ways to Fix QuickBooks Company File in Use Error

QuickBooks company file in use error message screenshot

What is QuickBooks Company File in Use Error

QuickBooks company file in use error occurs when users are trying to open their company file in a multi-user environment which is limited to one user at a time. It is highly possible when the company is in use by another user or applications. The main reason for this error occurrence is incorrect hosting set up. However, you can resolve it at ease by verifying multi-user hosting on each workstation, updating your QB software, and more.

QuickBooks lets several users work on the same company file by setting up multi-user hosting. If adequate file access rights are not provided to the user, QuickBooks will not allow numerous users to view the company file for security reasons. Many times, it gives you an error message stating that QuickBooks Company File in Use. Please Wait! There are several reasons that are responsible for the error but the most probable reason is the incorrect hosting set up. You may become frustrated from time to time, but this is not the time to panic. The error can be resolved with a little troubleshooting, and there are a few options for getting rid of the error that are discussed in this particular article. If you’re worried about the impact of the “Company File in Use QuickBooks” error message on your software and important company data, continue reading for a detailed discussion of the problem and a step-by-step remedy.

Multiple error messages, you may receive depends on the cause

  1. Company File in use. Please wait.

Only one user at a time is allowed to do (a task).


  1. Another QuickBooks user is currently performing a task which must finish before you can continue.


  1. Sorry, you cannot change this (transaction) now. (Another user) is currently doing a task that uses that in this transaction.


  1. The automatic entry of (transactions) is being skipped because (another user) is accessing them.

Don’t worry; your company file is still intact. Here’s what you should do in these situations to go back to work. 

What provokes QuickBooks Company File in Use Error? 

There are multiple factors due to which such error messages arrive on your screen. Few of possible causes are listed below:

  • Multi-hosting setup on the server and workstations in the network is incorrect.
  • When third-party applications interfere with QuickBooks’ background processes.
  • The QuickBooks Database Server Manager program is not running on the computer.
  • Another user is already using the company file.
  • While accessing a company file under any of the situations, you may see the company file in use QuickBooks prompt on your screen.

QuickBooks Error Resolutions: If the error says another user is doing something 

These issues usually occur when another user performs a QuickBooks task that is only available to one person at a time, even if the system is set to multi-user mode. In that case, you can begin working on your task as soon as the other person has completed his or hers. If you know who the user is, you might want to contact them and ask if they can give you a heads-up when they’re finished.

If you’re certain the problem isn’t caused by another user, try the following alternatives.

Method 1: Verify multi-User Hosting on each Workstation 

  • Ensure that the company file is only hosted on one system in the network
  • On each computer in the network, open QuickBooks and select the File tab
  • If QuickBooks displays Stop Hosting Multi-User Access when you move your cursor over Utilities, click the same followed by hitting “Yes” button for confirmation
  • If you see the option Host Multi-User Access, it means the hosting settings on that system are correct
Verify multi-User Hosting on each Workstation
  • Exit from QuickBooks and repeat the process on each networked system
  • If the issue warning “QuickBooks company file in use” still exists, proceed to the next troubleshooting.

Method 2: Sign in with an Admin Account on Windows 

An administrator is someone who has the ability to make changes to a computer that will affect other users. Administrators have the ability to modify security settings, install software and hardware, access all files on the computer, and change the passwords of other users. To log on as an administrator, you’ll need a user account with the Administrator account type on the computer.

You can check the account type after you’ve logged in if you’re not sure if the account you’re using on the computer is an administrator account. Depending on whether your computer is part of a domain or a workgroup, you’ll need to do different actions.

If you system is on a domain 

  • In the Welcome page, enter your account’s username and password
  • Open User Accounts by clicking the Start button icon >>> Control Panel >>> User Accounts >>> User Accounts and then Manage User Accounts
  • Permission to be an administrator is necessary
  • If an administrator password or confirmation is requested, type the password or provide confirmation
  • Your account type is displayed in the Group column, and your user name is highlighted.

If your system is in a workgroup 

  • In the Welcome screen, enter your username and password for your account
  • Click the Start button icon >>> Control Panel >>> User Accounts and Family Safety >>> User Accounts and then Manage another account
  • Administrator permission is necessary to open User Accounts, if an administrator password or confirmation is requested, type the password or provide confirmation
  • Below your username is a display of your account type
  • You are now logged on as an administrator if your account type is Administrator.

Method 3: Set permission to the User in QuickBooks 

  • Open QuickBooks on a computer that isn’t experiencing the problem
  • Click View Users from the Users section of the company file
  • Verify that the user receiving the error is not currently logged into the company file
  • Now go to the Users page in the Company section and click Set up Users and Roles
Set permission to the User in QuickBooks
  • Select New and give the new user a name
  • From the Roles section, select Add and add a role to the new account
  • At last, click Ok and then Close.

Method 4: Restart your QuickBooks Database Service from the Task Manager 

  • Start Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar at the bottom of your computer
  • Go to the Processes tab and look for QuickBooks DBXX in the list of processes (XX indicates the version of your QuickBooks Desktop)
  • End the process by right-clicking the service
  • To confirm, click Yes, and then reopen QuickBooks Desktop from your desktop
  • If the “Company File in Use QuickBooks” error persists after accessing the company file once again, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Method 5: Try updating the QuickBooks Desktop on Server and Workstation 

Update your QuickBooks from within the application

  • The very first, open your QB Desktop 
  • Next, go to the File tab and then click on the Close Company/Logoff
Update your QuickBooks from within the application
  • After that, select the Exit button from the same tab 
  • Now, do a right-click on the QuickBooks icon and then select “Run as an Administrator”
Run as an Administrator
  • Move to the Help tab followed by selecting the “Update QuickBooks” after it displays “No Company Open” 
  • Once done then go to the Options menu and click on the “Mark All” >>> Save button
  • Put a check mark on the “Reset Update” checkbox under the “Update Now” tab 
“Reset Update” checkbox under the “Update Now” tab 
  • After QuickBooks displays Update Now, click Get Updates, and then exit from the program
  • When the Install Updates window appears, click Yes
  • Restart your computer once all of the updates have been done.

Update your QuickBooks outside the application 

  • Initially, visit the https://downloads.quickbooks.com/app/qbdt/products
  • Choose the country >>> Product >>> Product version and then click on the “Search” tab
  • If you already have QuickBooks installed on your computer, go to the bottom of the page and click the Get the Latest Updates link
  • After the updates have been downloaded, go to your computer’s downloads folder and double-click the update file to begin the installation process
  • To install the updates, follow the on-screen instructions
  • Make sure to restart your computer after the updates have been installed.
Winding Up!

Hopefully, this article has provided you with enough information to get you back on track and eliminate the “QuickBooks Company File in Use” error notification. If the error persists despite completing all of the troubleshooting methods outlined in this article. Moreover, the aforementioned solutions provide you quick troubleshooting in the shortest time possible and thus make sure you carry out all the methods in the given sequence.




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