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How to Fix QuickBooks Error 15271

QuickBooks is a powerful accounting software widely used by small and medium-sized businesses. However, like any software, it can sometimes encounter errors. One such error is QuickBooks Error 15271. This error can disrupt your workflow and cause frustration

QuickBooks Error 15271featuring a woman actively working on a computer to resolve the error

What is QuickBooks Error 15271?

QuickBooks Error 15271 typically occurs when a user tries to update QuickBooks or download a payroll update. The error message usually reads:

  • Error 15271: The payroll update was not completed successfully. A file cannot be validated.
  • Error 15271: The Update was not completed successfully. A file cannot be validated.

This error prevents users from updating their software, which can hinder the use of the latest features and security patches.

General Causes of QuickBooks Error 15271

Understanding the root cause of QuickBooks Error 15271 is crucial for effectively troubleshooting and resolving it. Here are some common causes:

  1. Incomplete Installation: If QuickBooks is not installed properly, it might cause various errors, including Error 15271.
  2. Corrupted QuickBooks Update: Sometimes, the update files themselves might be corrupted or incomplete.
  3. Incorrect User Account Control (UAC) Settings: UAC settings can interfere with QuickBooks updates, leading to this error.
  4. Outdated QuickBooks Version: Running an outdated version of QuickBooks might cause compatibility issues and errors during updates.
  5. Corrupted Windows Registry: Issues within the Windows registry related to QuickBooks can trigger this error.
  6. Antivirus/Firewall Interference: Security software might mistakenly identify QuickBooks update files as threats, blocking their installation.

Troubleshooting Solutions to Fix QuickBooks Error 15271

Now that we understand what QuickBooks Error 15271 is and its potential causes, let’s dive into the solutions. Follow these steps carefully to resolve the issue.

1. Verify QuickBooks Installation

The first step is to ensure that your QuickBooks installation is not corrupted.

  1. Open the Control Panel on your computer.
  2. Navigate to Programs and Features.
  3. Find QuickBooks in the list of installed programs.
  4. Click on QuickBooks and select Repair.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair process.

2. Update QuickBooks to the Latest Version

Running an outdated version of QuickBooks can cause numerous errors. Make sure you are using the latest version of the software.

  1. Open QuickBooks.
  2. Go to the Help menu and select Update QuickBooks.
  3. Click on the Update Now tab.
  4. Select Get Updates to start the update process.
  5. Once the update is complete, restart QuickBooks.

3. Adjust User Account Control (UAC) Settings

User Account Control (UAC) settings can sometimes interfere with QuickBooks updates. Temporarily disabling UAC can help.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type Control Panel and press Enter.
  3. In the Control Panel, search for UAC and click on Change User Account Control settings.
  4. Move the slider to Never Notify and click OK.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Try updating QuickBooks again.
  7. Once the update is successful, re-enable UAC by moving the slider back to its original position.

4. Run QuickBooks as Administrator

Running QuickBooks with administrative privileges can help bypass certain permissions issues.

  1. Right-click on the QuickBooks icon on your desktop.
  2. Select Run as administrator.
  3. Try updating QuickBooks or downloading the payroll update again.

5. Clean Install of QuickBooks

If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, performing a clean install of QuickBooks might be necessary.

  1. Uninstall QuickBooks:

    • Open the Control Panel and go to Programs and Features.
    • Find QuickBooks and click Uninstall.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation.
  2. Rename QuickBooks Installation Folders:

    • Press Windows + R, type %localappdata%, and press Enter.
    • Locate the QuickBooks folder and rename it to QuickBooks.old.
  3. Reinstall QuickBooks:

    • Download the latest version of QuickBooks from the official QuickBooks website.
    • Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

6. Disable Antivirus/Firewall Temporarily

Sometimes, antivirus or firewall software can block QuickBooks updates. Temporarily disabling these security programs might help.

  1. Open your antivirus or firewall software.
  2. Find the option to disable it temporarily.
  3. Try updating QuickBooks or downloading the payroll update again.
  4. Re-enable your antivirus or firewall once the update is complete.

7. Use QuickBooks Tool Hub

QuickBooks Tool Hub is a comprehensive tool that can help fix various QuickBooks errors.

  1. Download the QuickBooks Tool Hub from the official Intuit website.
  2. Install the tool and open it.
  3. Go to the Program Problems tab and select Quick Fix my Program.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

8. Check and Repair Windows Registry

Errors in the Windows registry can also cause QuickBooks Error 15271. It’s recommended to use a registry cleaner tool to fix registry issues. However, make sure to back up your registry before making any changes.

  1. Press Windows + R, type regedit, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Intuit\QuickBooks.
  3. Check for any issues or inconsistencies in the QuickBooks registry entries.
  4. Use a reliable registry cleaner tool to fix any issues.

9. Reinstall Microsoft .NET Framework

QuickBooks relies on the .NET Framework for its operations. Reinstalling it can help resolve certain errors.

  1. Open the Control Panel and go to Programs and Features.
  2. Find Microsoft .NET Framework and select Uninstall.
  3. Download the latest version of the .NET Framework from the official Microsoft website.
  4. Install the .NET Framework and restart your computer.


QuickBooks Error 15271 can be a frustrating roadblock in your accounting tasks, but with the right approach, it can be resolved. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can troubleshoot and fix the error, ensuring that your QuickBooks software runs smoothly.

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