QuickBooks Won’t Open Company File: Simple Solutions to Fix It

Updated on August 4th, 2021

Kuljeet Singh

Summary: This blog will help you resolve ‘QuickBooks Won’t Open Company File’ issue. It will discuss error messages you may encounter when accessing or opening a QuickBooks Company (QBW) file. Also, it will describe steps to troubleshoot the issue manually. If you suspect corruption in the Company file, use a QBW file repair tool to access your data for QuickBooks 2021 or lower versions quickly.

QuickBooks Won’t Open Company File: Simple Solutions to Fix It

When trying to access or open a QuickBooks company file, the file might not open. Or, you may see warning messages including the ‘-6000 series’, or the ‘C series errors,’ etc. Sometimes, you may even experience QuickBooks crashes when opening the company file.

Error messages you may get when accessing or opening a QBW file are as follows:

  • 6000 series errors

Below are a few error messages you may receive when QuickBooks attempts to access the QBW file.

  • Error code -6000 -301
Error Code -6000 -301
Figure 1 – Error Code (-6000 -301)
  • QuickBooks Error -6073 -99001
quickBooks warning messages with error code 6073
Figure 2 – Error code (-6073 -99001)
  • QuickBooks Error -6073, -816
quickbooks error 6073, 816
Figure 3 – Error Code (-6073 -816)
  • C series messages like C=422 or C=343.
  • Unrecoverable error messages
Unrecoverable error message
Figure 4 – QuickBooks Unrecoverable Error
  • Error 3371, which indicates that the QuickBooks® installation is damaged.

Read This: How to fix QuickBooks® Enterprise Error 3371?

Error 3371 in QuickBooks
Figure 5 – QuickBooks Error 3371

What Causes QuickBooks Won’t Open Company File Issue?

You may be unable to company file in QuickBooks desktop due to the following reasons:

  • Corrupt or damaged QuickBooks® Company file.
  • Using wrong methods to open particular file types.
  • The file is already opened by another user on the shared network.
  • Large files, reports, and several windows set to open automatically may freeze QB
  • Using an incorrect QuickBooks® version to open files.
  • Issues like access permissions, encrypted or compressed files, problems with filename and extension, and corruption of the file’s data.

Also read: Top 10 reasons for QuickBooks won’t open company file

How to Fix QuickBooks Won’t Open Company File Issue?

Perform the following steps in the given order to diagnose and fix the issue:

NOTE: Before troubleshooting these steps, make sure you are using the latest updated version of QuickBooks (QB). If not, update it to the latest release. Proceed with the steps below if the problem persists.

Step 1: Check the type of file you’re opening

QuickBooks® Desktop uses different file types to store data. For opening a company file (QBW), you need to ensure that the filename ends with ‘.qbw’ extension. However, you cannot open other file types like backup data files (QBB) and portable files (QBM) by using the .qbw extension.

Step 2: Check if the issue is with company file or QuickBooks program

Verify if the problem is with the file or the program. For this, press the Control key and double-click on the QuickBooks icon to open the program. If it does not open, resolve the QuickBooks® not opening issue. But if the program opens, try opening a sample company file. Proceed with the next step when the file opens.

Step 3: Close QuickBooks and try opening the company file

If the above solution fails, perform the following:

  • In QuickBooks, go to the File menu, and then close Company/Log off.
Figure 6: Close Company File

NOTE: You can also choose to exit QuickBooks to close the company file.

  • Relaunch QB normally, and then select the QBW file from the No Company window.

This may help you open the file. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 4: Verify that only one user can access the file

NOTE: Skip this step, if your QBW file is not hosted on a network or if you don’t use a multi-user mode.

Verify that only one PC can access the company file in a multi-user environment. If multiple users are using it, you will need to turn off hosting in other PCs, and here’s how:

  • From the menu bar, click File > Utilities.
  • Choose the Stop hosting multi-user access option.
Stop Hosting Multi-User Access
Figure 7: Stop Hosting Multi-User Access

Step 5: Move the file to your Windows Desktop

Issues in the QBW file’s location may be preventing it from opening. Move the file and open it from there. Here’s how:

1. Open File Explorer.

2. Locate the folder with your company file.

3. Right-click the company file, and click Copy.

4. Paste the file on your Windows desktop and rename it.

5. Open QuickBooks®, go to the File menu, and choose Open or restore company.

6. Select and open the company file that you copied on the desktop.

If the copied company file does not open, skip to the next step. If it opens, then the issue is with your file location. If so, perform the following:

1. Move the copied file back to the original folder and use it as your main company file.

2. Rename the original .qbw file you copied.

TIP: To know you don’t need to use the original file, add the word“old” to its name.

Step 6: Stop reports and several windows from opening

When QB closes with ‘open windows’, it automatically re-open the same windows again. Follow these steps to prevent them from opening automatically:

  1. Open QB Desktop.
  2. In the QuickBooks No Company Open Window, select the company file, and press ‘Alt’ key.
  3. Now, click Open. If you get a login window, release the Alt key and provide the login information.
  4. Press the Alt key again, and then click OK.
  5. Hold the Alt key until the file opens.

Step 7: Open the file using the right QuickBooks® version

Open the file by using the same QB version that last opened it. If you’re unaware of the version, follow these steps:

  1. In Windows, find and select the company file on your device.
  2. Right-click the file, and select Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, click the QuickBooks tab.
  4. A dialog box will be displayed showing the previously used version.

Proceed to the next step if the above steps fail.

Step 8: Check file properties

Take a look at the properties of your company file:

  1. Go to Windows Explorer
  2. Right-click the company file, and then choose Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, select the Advanced tab.
  4. Make sure that the file size should be at least 7 MB, and it should not be encrypted or compressed.

Step 9: Repair Your QuickBooks Installation

Try opening your QBW file on another computer. If it opens there, it is a problem with your QB installation on the first computer. In that case, try opening the file from the first PC after following these steps:

  1. Run the QB Install Diagnostics tool.
  2. Repair your installation files.
  3. Perform a clean installation of QuickBooks Desktop.

Try Stellar Repair for QuickBooks® Software to Troubleshoot this Issue

If none of the above steps work, the chances are that there is corruption in the company file. Use Stellar Repair for QuickBooks® Software to repair a corrupt QBW file, without making any changes to the original file. It also helps recover all components of the QBW file, such as employees, vendors, company, and customers. The software can also fix all types of errors like 6000 series error codes, unrecoverable errors, etc. in QuickBooks data files. You can download this QuickBooks® file repair software to repair QB files created in versions 2021 till 2007. It also supports data recovery from the backup (QBB) file.

Free Download

Plus, it offers a preview of all the recoverable data hosted in the data files. The solution can effectively recover QuickBooks® data files of multiple country editions, including USA, UK, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia.


Hopefully, the steps covered in this blog will help you resolve the ‘QuickBooks won’t open company file issue. If none of them works, the QBW file is likely corrupt. In that case, use Stellar Repair for QuickBooks® Software to repair the QBW file. Feel free to provide feedback on whether our troubleshooting guide was able to help you.

About The Author

Jyoti Prakash

Problem solver and Data recovery specialist. Usually share informative articles on data recovery, database corruption and ways to recover lost data. 

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  1. “You can open this company file only in QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions”. I’m using Desktop Pro 2019 and I can not restore the portable back up file (qbm).

    What I’m going to do?

    1. Hello Mary,

      This problem is related to the compatibility issue in QuickBooks. Please contact the vendor to fix this issue immediately.

  2. Before reading this guide, I had lost my hope to get back smooth working of QuickBooks company file. But, you guys saved my job!

    1. Hi Jacob,

      If you wish to receive the notification about the latest articles, then subscribe to our blog.

  3. Another cause of this problem is if you have your .QBW file set to sync with Google Drive or another cloud service.

    Sync the .QBB file only.

    1. Thanks for your helpful suggestion. We hope that other QuickBooks expert will also their personal experiences with us.

  4. Resolved error-6189 using Stellar Recovery for Quickbooks easily.
    Had even tried Quickbooks file doctor but it had no effect on the file.
    Thanks for the informative write-up Jyoti!

  5. Short and helpful post. The file was not opening so, and I fixed the issue of my QBW file by using the mentioned software.
    It was first, and great experience with this kind of software and I appreciate the company’s effort.

    1. Hello Quidel,

      It’s good to know that our software fixed the problem and thanks for your kind words.

      Keep reading!

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