How to Reset the Quickbooks Registry

Updated March 23, 2017

If there is an error with the QuickBooks registry, it may require resetting the registration or uninstalling the QuickBooks software. An error message may pop up when you attempt to open a QuickBooks company file. The codes used for a registry error in QuickBooks includes a series of five zeros and then 40149, 38772, 38997, or 39056. There are a few solutions to this problem. One is to rename or delete the registration file directly, another is to repair the QuickBooks software. Otherwise, you can uninstall and reinstall the QuickBooks software.

Locate the qbregistration.dat file. Sometimes an update from an antivirus program or from Microsoft Windows can corrupt the QuickBooks registration file. This option involves going into your operating system and choosing to view hidden files. Unless you are fully confident in your ability to change or alter your operating systems files, do not choose this method. To find this file, right-click the "Start" button. Click "Explore" and then "Organise". Find the "Folder and Search Options" and then on the "View" tab.

Choose the "Show hidden Files and Folders". Clear the checkmark next to "Hide Protected System Operating Files."

Change the name of the "qbregistration.dat" file by adding an "x" before the "q" in the file name. Restart the installation process to see if the registry error is fixed. If it is not, delete the file name and restart again.

Create a backup of the company file. You do this by clicking on the "File" button, scroll down to the "Make Copy or Backup" option and click. When prompted for the location to save this company file to, choose either an external hard drive or a flash-drive. Set the backup copy aside.

Click on the "Control Panel" option in the "Start Menu". Open the "Add/Remove Programs" window by clicking on that option. When the window opens it should show all the programs that are on the computer.

Locate the "QuickBooks" program and click on the "Change/Remove" button. When the next window opens, you will have the option to "Repair QuickBooks" or "Uninstall QuickBooks" For this first option, choose the "Repair QuickBooks" button. This will reset the registry and set the software back to the condition it was in upon first being installed onto your computer.

When the repair process is complete, restart the computer and the software to see if the registry error is still occurring. If it is you will have to uninstall the software and then reinstall it.

Open the "Add/Remove" programs window again. Click on the "QuickBooks" folder and when the next window opens, choose the "Uninstall" option. Allow the un-installation process to complete and then reinstall the software.

Locate the original QuickBooks software disc with the original envelope it came in. There will be a bright yellow sticker located on the envelope and the sticker will have the product identification number and the serial number printed on it. You will need these numbers to complete the reinstallation process. When prompted, enter these numbers.

A Re-installation will reset the QuickBooks registry and restore the software to the original condition it was in at the time it was first installed. The reinstallation process will prompt a window instructing you to get the latest updates to QuickBooks software. Click on the "Ok" button to get these updates before trying to open the backup copy you created earlier.

Things You'll Need

  • QuickBooks software
  • Flash-Drive
  • Original QuickBooks CD Envelope
  • Product Identification Number
  • Serial Number
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About the Author

David Roberts has been writing since 1985. He has published for various websites including online business news publications. He has over 11 years experience in tax preparation and small business consultation. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. He received a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University in 2005.