The ActiveBooks Blog


How to Fix the “QuickBooks can’t start because it is already running” Error

Recently, one of our customers (Devin O’Leary of Lois L. Lindauer Searches) encountered a strange error when connecting ActiveBooks to QuickBooks:

QuickBooks can't start because it is already running

Devin was running QuickBooks Pro 2015 but he had no other company files open on his computer. So why did QuickBooks think that he had?

Here are the steps that we took to get Devin connected to QuickBooks and able to schedule his reports with ActiveBooks. Please execute them from top to bottom if you are encountering the same problem.

  1. Turn off the “Keep QuickBooks running” setting

    First, please follow the steps in this article to deactivate the troublesome “Keep QuickBooks running for quick startups” setting.

    Turn off Keep QuickBooks Running

  2. Close all copies of QuickBooks running on your Computer

    At this point, please exit QuickBooks if it is running on your desktop.

    Even after you have closed QuickBooks, there may still be “hidden” copies of the application running on your machine. To see (and terminate) these hidden copies using the Windows Task Manager:

    1. Start Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting Task Manager.

      Start Task Manager

    2. If you see More details at the bottom of the Task Manager window, click it to expand the view.

    3. Switch to the Details tab to see a list of all processes running on your computer. (Note that on some versions of Windows you may have to check a box or click a button at the bottom of the window to actually see all processes.)

    4. Click on the Name column to sort the list alphabetically. Scroll down to the Q’s.

    5. Do you see more any processes named QBWIN32.EXE? If so, then you should terminate each one by highlighting it and clicking the End Task button. Make sure that there are no QBWIN32.EXE processes when you are done.

    6. Terminate QuickBooks in Task Manager

  3. Start QuickBooks as an Administrator and try to connect from ActiveBooks

    Modern versions of Windows employ a security feature called User Account Control (UAC). Unfortunately it can cause trouble for cooperating applications not run at the same level (administrator or normal user). ActiveBooks runs as an administrator, so let’s start QuickBooks at that same level to see if doing so will allow the two applications to connect.

    To launch QuickBooks with administrator rights:

    1. Right-click on the QuickBooks icon on your desktop and select Run as administrator

      Start QuickBooks as an Administrator

    2. Click Yes when Windows confirms that you want to run QB as an administrator. QuickBooks should start as normal.

    Finally, please repeat the ActiveBooks initial setup, or try to reconnect with your company file via the Tools > Configure QuickBooks process.


And now that you have followed the above, hopefully QuickBooks will allow ActiveBooks to connect as it did for Devin. Of course, please get in touch if the problem persists in your installation!

Posted in ActiveBooks | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

One Response to How to Fix the “QuickBooks can’t start because it is already running” Error

  1. Rick says:

    After having the above problem and trying to follow the above steps Quickbooks wants to send a report about the problem and when it is finished it closes everything

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