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Locked Out of My Data File – QuickBooks File in Use (Solved)

locked out of my company data file
Locked Out of My Data File - QuickBooks File in Use (Solved)

Possible Reasons for QuickBooks Company File in Use Error

  • Another application is using the company file in the background.
  • There might be a performance issue. 
  • The hosting mode might not be correctly configured on the workstation or server.
  • There is an issue with the company file.
  • Another QB user might be performing a task that is only allowed for one or a certain number of users at a time. Therefore, if that is the scenario, you might see this error even in the multi-user mode environment. 
  • The settings for the QuickBooks Database Server Manager might not be set up properly.
Locked Out of My Data File - QuickBooks File in Use (Solved)
1. If Error Mentions Another User is Doing Something

This error means another user is already engaged in a QuickBooks task, which is limited to one user at a time. This can even happen in multi-user mode.

error mentions another user is doing something

If the task is limited to only one user at a time, you will have to wait for the other user to finish the task before you can begin.

However, if you are certain that the error is not caused by another user, proceed to the next solution.

2. If Error Constantly Mentions a Particular User

Let us say the error message talks about a particular user. However, when you check, you find that the user isn’t actually working on the company file.

Let us find then what is causing the QuickBooks error company file in use.

  • For the user mentioned in the error message, tell them to close and reopen QB Desktop on their workstation.
  • Now, open QB on another workstation and open the Company menu. Choose Users followed by View Users.
  • For the user mentioned in the error message, tell them to log out of QB on the workstation.
  • Return to the list of users. If you don’t find the particular user signed in anymore, you shouldn’t find an error while performing the task. However, if you still see the user signed in, try the next solution.
3. Error: “Waiting for company file” or “Company File in Use. Please Wait”

Do you see the following error messages while opening or working on the company file:


company file in use. please wait in qb

These messages indicate performance issues such as database issues, network issues, and conflicting programs. The host computer or workstation can also be causing system requirements for QuickBooks. 

There are two things you can do:

  • Check the system specifications and the operating system of the computer to fix the QuickBooks Desktop performance
  • Manage the data file to resolve QuickBooks Desktop performance issues

Once you are done, restart QuickBooks Desktop and sign into the company file. Check if the company file in use error you saw earlier has been resolved.

Section 1: When the Error Appears on a Single Workstation

1: Make a new user in QuickBooks

  • Open QB and go to the Company menu.
  • Choose Users, followed by Set up Users and Roles.
  • Click on New in the Users and Roles window. Add a name in the User Name field. Optionally, you are allowed to add and confirm a password.
  • Now, in the Roles window, choose a role and tap on Add, followed by OK.
  • Moreover, you can also make other changes to the role by clicking on the Role List tab. Tap on Edit and add or reassign permissions as required. Tap on OK. Now, in the Users and Roles window, tap on Close.
  • Log out of QB Desktop on the workstation. 
  • Now, log in with the user you just created. 

Check if you can log in to the company file and carry out the task normally.

However, if you get an error stating the QuickBooks file in use, continue to the next step.

2: Make a new Windows user with admin rights

Company file locked errors can stem from a damaged Windows admin user profile on the workstation. 

  • Therefore, create a new Windows user with admin rights.
  • Now, close QuickBooks, log out of the Windows user, and log in with the new Windows admin user.
  • Right-click on the QB Desktop icon and choose Run as administrator

Check if you are able to carry out the task without getting an error.

Section 2: When the Error Appears on Multiple Workstations

1: Component Required for PDF Print from QuickBooks is Missing

The workstations are the computers that do not host the company files. Follow the steps below in all the workstations.

  • Begin by opening QB Desktop.
  • Go to the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • If you see the option to Stop Hosting Multi-User Access, click on it, followed by Yes.
  • However, if you see the option to Host Multi-User Access, skip it and continue to the next step.
  • Close QB Desktop application.

Once you have carried out these steps in all the workstations, open the QB on the computer where you faced the error.

If you continue to find the QuickBooks file in use error, proceed to the next solution.

2: Restart QuickBooks Services on the Host Computer
  • Open the server computer and close QuickBooks on all the workstations. 
  • Launch the Start menu and choose Run.
  • Now, in the Open field, type in services.msc
type in services.msc in desktop
  • Tap on OK.
  • Now, from the name column, choose QuickBooksDBXX (where XX depends on the QuickBooks version you have, such as, 
    • (i) QuickBooksDB30 = QuickBooks 2020
    • (ii) QuickBooksDB29 = QuickBooks 2019
    • (iii) QuickBooksDB28 = QuickBooks 2018
  • Finally, tap on Stop. 
  • Now, tap on Start. When users sign in, they can again access the company file.

Launch QuickBooks on the workstations and resume your tasks. If you find yourself still locked out of the company file, continue to the next solution.

3: Run the QuickBooks Tool Hub on the Host Computer

You might not be able to access the company file on workstations due to the issues on the host computer (server).

To fix that, let us run QuickBooks Tool Hub on the same. Before that, close QuickBooks on all the workstations.

download qb tool hub

Now, download QuickBooks Tool Hub and install it.

  • Launch the QB Tool Hub.
  • Go to the Program Problems tab.
find program problems tab in qb hub 
  • Carry out all the tools given in the Program Problems tab in order.

Once you are done, reopen QuickBooks Desktop, first on the host computer and then on the workstations.

4: Reinstall QuickBooks on the Host Computer

If the above steps didn’t resolve the locked file errors in QuickBooks, let us proceed to clean installing QuickBooks Desktop on the server.

Clean installing means uninstalling the QuickBooks Desktop application, removing the residual files except the company file and its backups, and then installing QB Desktop again. 


Before you do so, logout of the company file on all the workstations. Now, after reinstalling QB Desktop, open QB on the server, and reconfigure the hosting. 

Now, check whether you are able to sign into the company file on the workstations.

If Nothing Works, Connect to an Expert!

1. What is the file in use error in QuickBooks?

QuickBooks file in use error signifies that either an user is already carrying out a task on the company file or there is an issue with how the company file is hosted. To resolve this, you can run the tool in the Program Problems tab of QuickBooks Tool Hub on the host computer.

2. How to fix a corrupted QuickBooks file?

Here is how you can resolve a corrupt QuickBooks company file:
a. Tap on the File menu and hover the cursor over Utilities. 
b. Choose Rebuild Data.
c. Tap on OK in the QuickBooks Information window. Now, go along with the instructions you see on the screen to create a local backup.
d. The tool will go ahead and repair your company file. When it is done, select OK.
e. Open the File menu and verify the data again.
Check if there are any issues with the company file and rebuild it to resolve the same. 

3. How do I fix a locked file error in QuickBooks Desktop?

You might find yourself locked out of the company file in the multi-user environment if the hosting mode is not configured correctly. Therefore, check the hosting configurations and the folder permissions as well.

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