Fix: QuickBooks Desktop Won’t Open on Windows 10

Fixing QuickBooks issues is easy as renaming a couple of files

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If QuickBooks won't open in Windows 10 when you need it to, that might be because of an installation issue or conflicting apps.
  • The QuickBooks Tool Hub includes some troubleshooting tools that can come in handy when QuickBooks has stopped working.
  • Renaming certain QuickBook Desktop data files might also fix that application not starting for some users.

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QuickBooks Desktop is an accountancy application for Windows, but many reported that QuickBooks won’t open in Windows 10.

This isn’t the only issue with this service, and many reported QuickBooks scanner driver error 281. However, in today’s guide we’ll focus on what to do if this app won’t launch on your PC.

How come QuickBooks Desktop won’t open?

First, let’s consider some of the more likely reasons for QuickBooks Desktop not opening in Windows 10. These are some of the potential causes for QuickBooks Desktop launch issues:

  • Corrupted or faulty QuickBooks Desktop installation – QuickBooks Desktop has a corrupted installation.
  • A recent Windows 10 update – Windows 10 updates are known to generate QuickBooks Desktop compatibility issues.
  • Corrupted QBWUSER.INI data file – QBWUSER.INI is a registration file for QuickBooks Desktop that might be corrupted.
  • Conflicting apps – A background app could be interfering with QuickBooks Desktop.

What can I do if QuickBooks Desktop is not opening in Windows 10?

1. Terminate the QBW32.exe process before launching

  1. Right-click any empty part of Windows 10’s taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Click Processes inside Task Manager.
    Processes tab quickbooks won't open in windows 10
  3. Look for and select a QBW32.exe process for QuickBooks Desktop on the tab.
  4. Select the End task option for QBW32.exe.
    The End task button quickbooks won't open in windows 10
  5. Then try launching QuickBooks Desktop.

2. Rename the QBWUSER.ini file

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select Explorer’s Hidden items checkbox on the View tab.
    Hidden items checkbox quickbooks won't open in windows 10
  3. Next, bring up the folder that contains the QBWUSER.ini file. You can find that file in this directory path: C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Intuit\QuickBooks [year]
  4. Click the QBWUSER.ini file with your right mouse button to select Rename.
  5. Type QBWUSER.ini.old for the file’s title and press Enter.
  6. Rename QuickBook Desktop’s EntitlementDataStore.ecml file.
Note icon
If this solution works, you’ll need to manually re-open your company file in QuickBooks.

3. Run the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool

  1. Open this QuickBooks Tool Hub download page.
  2. Input your QuickBooks account details there.
  3. Click the Locate Account & Download QB Tool Hub button.
    The Download QB Tool Hub option quickbooks won't open in windows 10
  4. Open the folder the QuickBooksToolsHub.exe file downloaded in.
  5. Double-click QuickBooksToolsHub.exe to open the install wizard.
  6. Install and open the QuickBooks Tools Hub software.
  7. Then select the Installation Issues tab in QuickBooks Tools Hub.
  8. Click the QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool button.
  9. Wait for the diagnostic tool to finish.
  10. Close the QuickBooks Diagnostic Tool window.
  11. Press the Alt + F4 key combination and select Restart on the drop-down menu.
    Restart option quickbooks won't open in windows 10

The Program Problems tab also includes troubleshooting options that can feasibly fix QuickBooks Desktop not opening. Select the Quick Fix my Program option on that tab to run a quick repair scan.

4. Select the Repair option for QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Click the Type here to search bar or button on Windows 10’s taskbar.
  2. Enter the keyword appwiz.cpl (for the Programs and Features applet) in the search box.
  3. Select the appwiz.cpl search result to view Windows 10’s uninstaller tool.
    An appwiz.cpl search quickbooks won't open in windows 10
  4. Next, select QuickBooks Desktop in the Programs and Features applet.
  5. Click QuickBooks Desktop’s Repair option.
    Repair option
  6. Select the Repair radio button in the QuickBook Installation window.
  7. Then click the Next option to repair.
  8. Restart Windows 10 afterward.

5. Run QuickBooks in Safe Mode

  1. Open the Start menu and then click the Power button.
  2. Hold Shift and select Restart.
  3. Select Troubleshoot.
    troubleshoot Driver Power State Failure
  4. Next, navigate to Advanced options.
    advanced options
  5. Click on Startup options and then click on Restart.
  6. Select Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
  7. Launch QuickBooks Desktop and check if the problem is still there.

Expert tip:


Some PC issues are hard to tackle, especially when it comes to corrupted repositories or missing Windows files. If you are having troubles fixing an error, your system may be partially broken.
We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
Click here to download and start repairing.

If you can start QuickBooks in Safe Mode, there was probably a background process conflicting with that application. You can continue utilizing it in Safe Mode or try to identify the conflicting software.

For more information on how to use Safe Mode, check our guide for starting Windows in Safe Mode.

6. Reinstall QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Press Windows key + R and type appwiz.cpl. Click OK.
  2. Click QuickBooks Desktop in the programs list.
  3. Select QuickBooks Desktop’s Uninstall/Change option.
    Uninstall/Change button quickbooks won't open in windows 10
  4. Click Remove and Next to uninstall the software.
  5. Open the Downloads and Updates page for QuickBooks Desktop.
  6. Download QuickBooks Desktop Manager if you don’t already have it.
  7. Open the QuickBooks Desktop Manager, and reinstall the latest QuickBooks Desktop version from there.
Note icon
The QuickBooks Tools Hub includes a Clean Install Tool option you can select before reinstalling the software. That option will thoroughly eradicate leftover residual files from uninstalling QuickBooks.

We hope one of those resolutions kick-starts your QuickBooks Desktop application. If you still need other potential fixes, you can contact QuickBooks Desktop support.

In case you’re having additional issues, visit our QuickBooks Internet connection errors guide for more solutions. Feel free to discuss potential resolutions for that issue in the comments section.

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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