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Reinstall QuickBooks Desktop using a clean install

When a QuickBooks Desktop function is damaged or when a simple reinstall does not correct an issue, you may need to uninstall QuickBooks Desktop, rename installation files left behind, and then reinstall QuickBooks Desktop.
This process is called a Clean Install or Clean Uninstall.

Note: Be sure to have your QuickBooks Desktop download file or your installation CD and installation license number available before uninstalling QuickBooks Desktop.

  1. Uninstall QuickBooks Desktop
    • Windows 8, 7 and Vista 
      1. Go to Windows > Control Panel Programs Uninstall a program
      2. In the list of programs, select QuickBooks and click Uninstall.
        • Important: If you get an error message and are unable to uninstall QuickBooks Desktop, you will need to contact a qualified IT professional or Microsoft as this indicates there is a problem/corruption with your Windows Operating system (which is not an Intuit product).
      3. Follow the instructions to uninstall QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Download and run the QuickBooks Clean Install Tool
    1. Download the QuickBooks_Clean_Install_Tool.exe file and save it to your desktop.
    2. Open QuickBooks_Clean_Install_Utility.exe.
    3. Click I Accept on the license agreement.
    4. Select your version of QuickBooks Desktop and click Continue to start.
    5. Click OK when you see the message "QuickBooks is now ready for a clean install, please install to the default directory."

Important: If you do not want to run the QuickBooks Desktop Clean Install Utility, you can manually rename the QuickBooks Desktop installation folders using the following instructions.

  1. Manually rename the QuickBooks Desktop installation folders
    • Use Windows Explorer to locate and rename each of the folder locations listed for your version of Windows.  As a suggestion, add 'old' or 'damaged' to the end of the folder name. This will prevent QuickBooks Desktop from recognizing the folder in order to create a new one.
    • Windows 8, 7 or Vista
      • C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
      • C:\Users\(current user)\AppData\Local\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
      • C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks(year)   
      • 64-bit version C:\Program Files (x86)\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
    • If you get the message Error: Access Denied when renaming folders
      1. Right-click the Windows Taskbar and select Task Manager.
      2. Click the Processes tab.
      3. Click the Image Name column heading to sort processes alphabetically by name.
      4. Select QBDBMgrN.exe, QBDBMgr.exe, QBCFMonitorService.exe, Qbw32.exe in the Image Name column.
      5. Click End Process.
      6. Click Yes to the message, "WARNING: Terminating a process can cause undesired results including loss of data and system instability...."
  2. If the Application Data or Program Data folder is not visible:
    • Windows 8
      1. On your keyboard, press Windows key + E to open the Computer window.
      2. Click View at the top of the window.
      3. Select Hidden items.
    • Windows 7 or Vista
      1. On your keyboard, press Windows key + E to open the Computer window.
      2. In the upper left, click the Organize button.
      3. Select Folder and Search Options.
      4. Click the View tab.
      5. Click Show hidden files and folders.
      6. Click OK.
  3. Reinstall QuickBooks Desktop.


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