Your Answer

Error: "Server Busy. This action cannot be completed because the other program is busy."

What is happening

When opening QuickBooks or when QuickBooks tries to perform an action--such as sending a transaction from QuickBooks using Microsoft Outlook, backing up a company file, accessing Help, downloading an update, creating letters and envelopes, creating payroll forms, reconciling an account or entering a service key--the following message appears:

Server Busy. This action cannot be completed because the other program is busy. Click Switch to or Retry.
Why is this happening

Low system resources primarily cause this issue, but it can also occur if other issues prevent QuickBooks from completing a task.  

How to fix the problem

Monitor how much memory your computer is using to see if your system resources are low. You may need to end a process that is using a lot of memory.

Warning: Ending a process may negatively impact your operating system, program, or data. Intuit recommends consulting an IT professional before ending processes about with which you are unfamiliar.  QuickBooks support agents can't translate which processes are running on your computer if they are not Intuit processes. However, an IT professional may be able to help you.

Windows XP

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Select the Processes tab. The Mem Usage column shows which programs are using the most resources.
  3. (Optional) Sort the column by clicking its title Mem Usage (sort low to high or high to low by clicking Mem Usage again).
  4. Whether or not you decide to end processes, restart your computer.

Windows Vista

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Select the Processes tab. The Memory (Private Working Set) column shows which programs are using the most resources.
  3. (Optional) Sort the column by clicking its title Memory (Private Working Set) (sort low to high, or high to low by clicking Memory (Private Working Set) again).
  4. Whether or not you decide to end processes, restart your computer.




If the steps above don't resolve your issue, it could take a few minutes to an hour or more to resolve this issue using the steps below:

  1. Close QuickBooks if it is open.
  2. Close any other open programs. If you must have a program open, make sure there are no dialog boxes open in that program. (For example, Microsoft Word may have a dialog box open that is asking you to save a document. This is one reason the Server Busy message can appear.)
  3. Look for a Windows Update window and check the system tray on your Windows taskbar to see if Windows is installing an update. If Windows updates are installing or need to be installed, let them finish and restart the computer as directed by Windows. If no update is running, proceed with the next step.
  4. Right-click the Windows taskbar and select Task Manager.
  5. Click the Processes tab.
  6. End any of the following QB-related processes if present. (Click to select a process and then click End Process):
    • QBW32.exe
    • QBHelp.exe
    • qbupdate.exe
    • support.exe
    • mrtmngr.exe
    • qbdagent2002.exe
    • qbdagent2001.exe
    • qbdagent.exe
    • axlbridge.exe
  7. Open QuickBooks. If the error persists, continue with the next step.
  8. Turn off hosting on all computers that don't store the company data file.
  9. Make sure that firewall, antivirus software, and internet settings are correct.
  10. Remove QuickBooks Update Agent from the Startup folder from the computer displaying the "Server busy" message:
    1. Select Start; choose All Programs and Startup.
    2. Right-click QuickBooks Update Agent, select  Delete, and Delete Shortcut.
    3. Turn off shared updates.
    4. If the issue persists, continue with the steps below:
    5. Search for the file Reboot.bat.
    6. Double-click the located file. A DOS window opens and, after several moments, closes. Don't manually close this window.
    7. Restart your computer and then reopen QuickBooks.
    8. If the error still occurs, repair your existing QuickBooks installation.
    9. If the message persists, run a clean uninstall of QuickBooks. When finished, reinstall QuickBooks.
Actions to take with an IT professional

If the above steps don't resolve your issue, try the following actions with the guidance of an IT professional:

  • Attempt to run QuickBooks and perform the action causing the error in Windows Selective Startup and then Windows Safe Mode.
  • If you are running QuickBooks on a network, restart your computer, and then reconnect your computer to all mapped drives.
  • Find out if backup or mirroring software is running on the server or network. If so, it may be actively scanning the hard drive, blocking access to QuickBooks files and causing this error. Test this by temporarily disabling the software to see if the QuickBooks issue recurs. If it doesn't, there is a conflict with the scanning software that must be resolved with help from your system or network administrator (if you have one), the vendor from whom they purchased the software or hardware, the manufacturer's or software developer's Web site, or a local computer consultant.

Note for QuickBooks 2007 and earlier: Delete the temporary QuickBooks image file (.qbi) on the computer that stores the company file.       

  1. Search for files, entering the name *.qbi.
  2. If [CompanyFileName].qbi appears in the search results, right-click the file, choose Delete, and Yes to confirm.

If this solution does not resolve the issue, please review other available QuickBooks support options for additional guidance. You can also read and post messages relating to your issue on the QuickBooks Community forums.

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