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How to Fix QuickBooks Error 6189

QuickBooks is a fantastic tool for managing your business finances, but sometimes, errors like 6189 can throw a wrench in your plans. This article dives deep into QuickBooks Error 6189, explaining what it is, why it happens, and how to fix it. Let’s make sure your QuickBooks runs smoothly so you can focus on growing your business.

How to Fix QuickBooks Error 6189

What is QuickBooks Error 6189?

QuickBooks Error 6189 is part of the 6000 series errors, which generally indicate issues related to company file access. When you encounter Error 6189, QuickBooks typically displays a message like:

“An error occurred when QuickBooks tried to access the company file (6189, -816).”

This error message can be frustrating, especially when you need to access your financial data urgently.

General Causes of QuickBooks Error 6189

Understanding the root cause of the error is crucial for effective troubleshooting. Here are some common reasons why you might encounter Error 6189:

  1. Multi-User Mode Issues:
    • Multiple users attempting to access the company file simultaneously can trigger this error.
  2. Corrupted Company File:
    • If your company file is damaged or corrupted, QuickBooks might not be able to access it, leading to Error 6189.
  3. Outdated QuickBooks Software:
    • Running an outdated version of QuickBooks can result in compatibility issues and errors.
  4. Improper File Hosting:
    • Hosting settings that are misconfigured on the server or workstations can lead to this error.
  5. Virus or Malware Infection:
    • Malicious software can corrupt files and disrupt QuickBooks operations.

Troubleshooting Solutions to Fix QuickBooks Error 6189

Let’s walk through a series of troubleshooting steps to resolve QuickBooks Error 6189. Make sure to follow each step carefully to avoid any further complications.

Solution 1: Update QuickBooks to the Latest Version

Often, simply updating QuickBooks can resolve many issues, including Error 6189.

Steps to Update QuickBooks:

  1. Open QuickBooks and go to the Help menu.
  2. Select Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Click on Update Now and then Get Updates.
  4. Once the update is complete, restart QuickBooks.

Solution 2: Restart Your System

A simple restart can clear up minor issues that might be causing the error.

  1. Close QuickBooks on all systems.
  2. Restart your server and all workstations.
  3. Open QuickBooks again and try accessing the company file.

Solution 3: Use QuickBooks File Doctor

QuickBooks File Doctor is a powerful tool designed to fix various company file and network issues.

Steps to Use QuickBooks File Doctor:

  1. Download and install the QuickBooks Tool Hub from the official Intuit website.
  2. Open the Tool Hub and select the Company File Issues tab.
  3. Click on Run QuickBooks File Doctor.
  4. Select your company file and let the tool diagnose and repair any issues.

Solution 4: Check File Hosting Settings

Incorrect hosting settings can prevent QuickBooks from accessing the company file.

Steps to Check Hosting Settings:

  1. Open QuickBooks on each workstation.
  2. Go to File > Utilities.
  3. Ensure that Host Multi-User Access is selected on the server.
  4. Ensure that Stop Hosting Multi-User Access is chosen on all workstations.

Solution 5: Verify Company File Location

Ensure that your company file is stored in a location accessible to all users.

  1. Open the folder where your company file is stored.
  2. Check the file extension – it should be .qbw.
  3. Ensure that the file is not moved or deleted.
  4. Verify that the file is located on a server or a shared network drive.

Solution 6: Scan Your System for Malware

Viruses and malware can cause significant issues with QuickBooks.

  1. Use a reliable antivirus program to scan your system.
  2. Remove any detected threats.
  3. Restart your system and try reaccessing QuickBooks.

Solution 7: Restore a Backup of Your Company File

If the company file is corrupted, restoring a backup might resolve the issue.

Steps to Restore a Backup:

  1. Open QuickBooks and go to the File menu.
  2. Select Open or Restore Company.
  3. Choose Restore a backup copy and click Next.
  4. Select Local Backup and click Next.
  5. Browse for your backup file and restore it.

Preventing QuickBooks Error 6189

Prevention is better than cure. Here are some tips to avoid encountering QuickBooks Error 6189 in the future:

  • Regular Updates: Keep your QuickBooks software up to date.
  • Backup Routine: Regularly back up your company files.
  • Reliable Antivirus: Use and maintain reliable antivirus software.
  • Proper Shutdown: Always close QuickBooks properly before shutting down your computer.
  • User Management: Only allow multiple users to access the same file simultaneously with proper multi-user setup.


QuickBooks Error 6189 can be a headache, but with the proper steps, you can resolve it quickly and get back to managing your business finances. Whether it’s updating your software, using QuickBooks File Doctor, or checking your hosting settings, these solutions cover all bases to help you fix the error.

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