Resolving QuickBooks Cannot Communicate With The Company File issue

QuickBooks frequently encounters errors when third-party firewalls restrict its processes. These errors can hinder the opening of company files or even prevent users from accessing QuickBooks Desktop altogether. One common issue discussed here is a communication error preventing QuickBooks from connecting with the company file, often termed as the “QuickBooks cannot communicate with the company file” error. However, it’s important to note that firewall restrictions are not the sole cause of such communication errors. Various other factors can also impede QuickBooks from connecting with company files stored on servers in different locations. For detailed troubleshooting steps, continue reading the full article.

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What is QuickBooks file communication error?

As the error name suggests, this issue arises when QuickBooks encounters obstacles accessing or establishing a connection with the company file. When QuickBooks attempts to access the file but fails due to firewall restrictions, users often receive a pop-up error message stating, “QuickBooks file communication error.” This message indicates that while the QuickBooks software on the computer is configured to allow shared access to the company file, it’s unable to establish communication with it.

In addition to detailing the cause of the error, the error message provides a potential solution: “The communication problem could be due to a firewall issue. If a firewall is installed on your network, you may need to reconfigure the firewall software.” Additionally, users are advised to download and utilize QuickBooks File Doctor, previously known as QuickBooks Connection Diagnostic Tool, to resolve the error. Incorporating QuickBooks File Doctor into the troubleshooting process will be our initial step. For comprehensive guidance on using QuickBooks File Doctor to address issues with damaged company files or network connections, refer to our article titled “Fix Damaged Company File or Network using QuickBooks File Doctor.”

What Causes QuickBooks file communication error?

In addition to firewall applications safeguarding networks and limiting QuickBooks Desktop services, the server hosting the company file can also be a culprit in causing connection errors in QuickBooks. Below are some common reasons behind QuickBooks displaying company file connection errors:

The error occurs when there are issues with the server’s configuration or when the server experiences connectivity problems with other workstations in the network.

  • QuickBooks relies on the Database Server Manager to establish connections with the company file. QuickBooks will generate connectivity errors if this process is inactive on the workstation.
  • Outdated QuickBooks Desktop applications not only prompt company file connection errors but also contribute to various other issues such as printing errors, payroll discrepancies, banking challenges, and update failures.
  • Improper folder permissions may prevent the company file folder from being shared, leading to connection issues.
  • Incorrect server and/or workstation computer hosting settings can disrupt connections.
  • The QBDBMgrN service is not running in the background of your PC.

Steps to Resolve QuickBooks file communication error

IMPORTANT: Ensure that QuickBooks Desktop is updated to the latest release before troubleshooting the QuickBooks Connection error.

Troubleshooting Step 1: Configure Windows Firewall

Refer to step 2 in our guide on QuickBooks Error 12029 for comprehensive instructions on excluding QuickBooks from the Blocking List in Windows Firewall.

Troubleshooting Step 2: Recreate QuickBooks .ND (Network Data) File

The .nd extension denotes the Network Data file, which contains essential information about the workstation hosting the company file. It is vital to establish a connection between QuickBooks and the company file.

Follow the steps below to recreate the QuickBooks Network Data File:

  1. Click the Start button located at the bottom left corner of your Desktop screen.
  2. Type “QuickBooks Database Server Manager” into the Search Programs and Files search box.
  3. If QuickBooks Database Server Manager appears in the search results, click on it.
  4. If QBDatabaseServerManager is not found in the search, you will need to reinstall QuickBooks. During the installation process, ensure to select the option “I will be using QuickBooks on this computer, and I will be storing our company file here so it can be shared over our network,” as this ensures the installation of QuickBooks Database Server Manager.
  5. In the QuickBooks Database Server Manager window, click on “Add Folder” and navigate to the location of the company file folder.
  6. Once the company file folder is selected, click “Scan.”
  7. After the scanning process is complete, the application will display all the company files found under the “QuickBooks Company Files Found” list.
  8. Navigate to the company file folder and verify if it contains the Network Data (.nd) files.

IMPORTANT: Ensure that the company file is hosted only from one workstation on the network and that multi-user mode is enabled on that system. This helps prevent errors where QuickBooks file communication error.

Troubleshooting Step 3: Configure Proper Folder Access Permissions for QuickBooks

For detailed instructions on setting up proper user folder access permissions, refer to step 5 in our blog post addressing QuickBooks installation error 1904.

Troubleshooting Step 4: Disable Multi-User Access Hosting on All Computers in the Network

To resolve the “QuickBooks cannot communicate with the company file” error, you need to turn off hosting on all computers in the network except for the one designated for hosting the company file. Follow these steps to turn off multi-user hosting:

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop and navigate to the Utilities section under the File tab.
  2. Select “Stop Hosting Multi-User Access.”
  3. Confirm by clicking “Yes.”
  4. If hosting is inactive on the workstation, you’ll see the option “Host Multi-User Access” instead of “Stop Hosting Multi-User Access.”

Troubleshooting Step 5: Check for QBDBMgrN.exe Process

  1. Press Control + Alt + Delete on your keyboard to open the Task Manager window.
  2. Look for “QBDBMgrN.exe” under the Processes tab.
  3. if you don’t see the process, follow step 3 in our Company File Error 6175 article to assign administrative rights to QBDataServiceUser, including detailed instructions for restarting the QBDBMgrN.exe process.

Troubleshooting Step 6: Utilize QuickBooks Database Server Manager

  1. Launch QuickBooks Tool Hub and go to the Network Issues tab.
  2. Click on QuickBooks Database Server Manager; if it’s not installed, you’ll be prompted to do so.
  3. Once installed, select your company file by clicking “Browse.”
  4. Click “Start Scan” to allow the tool to repair permission issues with the firewall automatically.
  5. After the scan completes, click “Close” and navigate to the QuickBooks installation folder.
  6. Ensure the network data file with the .ND extension is present in the folder. If extensions are not visible, refer to a guide on displaying hidden file extensions.

Preventive measures to Avoid the “QuickBooks file communication error” Issue.

Here are some preventive measures you can take to avoid the “QuickBooks file communication error” issue:

  • Regular Updates: Ensure you’re running the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop. Updates often include bug fixes and security patches that can help prevent communication errors.
  • Firewall Settings: Make sure your firewall allows QuickBooks to communicate freely. You should add exceptions for QuickBooks in your firewall settings.
  • File Permissions: Verify that the folder containing your company file has the appropriate permissions for QuickBooks to access and modify the file.
  • Network Connectivity: Maintain a stable network connection between the computer trying to access the company file and the computer hosting the file (if applicable).
  • Hosting Settings (Multi-user mode): If you’re using QuickBooks in a multi-user environment, double-check that hosting is only enabled on the main computer where the company file is stored.

Following these preventive measures can reduce the chances of encountering this communication error with your QuickBooks company file.


The troubleshooting method outlined above covers every potential step to resolve the “QuickBooks file communication error.” However, following these steps could be time-consuming if you need to be better versed with Windows and its components. We recognize the importance of swiftly getting back on track with QuickBooks, as errors can significantly impact your business operations. Our team of QuickBooks Desktop experts is readily available to assist users grappling with such errors.

1. What causes this error message?

This error can occur for various reasons, such as firewall restrictions, outdated software, corrupted company files, or network connectivity issues in a multi-user setup.

2. How can I prevent this error?

Regularly update QuickBooks, ensure proper firewall permissions for QuickBooks, verify folder permissions for the company file, maintain a stable network, and manage hosting settings correctly in a multi-user environment.

3. What’s the first step when I encounter this error?

Start by downloading the QuickBooks Tool Hub and running the QuickBooks File Doctor tool. This can often diagnose and fix minor file corruption issues.

4. Should I update QuickBooks after encountering this error?

Yes, updating QuickBooks to the latest version is crucial. Updates often contain bug fixes that address your communication issue.

5. How do I check firewall settings for QuickBooks?

Consult your firewall software’s documentation or contact your IT support for specific instructions on adding exceptions for QuickBooks.

6. What if I’m using QuickBooks in a multi-user environment?

Ensure hosting is enabled only on the computer where the company file is physically stored. You can reset hosting settings using the “Host Multi-User Access” option in the File menu.

7. Can antivirus software interfere with QuickBooks communication?

Similar to firewalls, antivirus software can sometimes block QuickBooks. Check your antivirus settings and add exceptions for QuickBooks if necessary.

8. What if the error persists after trying these steps?

If none of the basic troubleshooting methods work, consider repairing your QuickBooks installation. This process can often fix corrupted program files.

9. Can data be recovered if the company file is corrupted?

While QuickBooks File Doctor can help with minor corruption, you might need to seek data recovery assistance from a professional for severe cases. Regularly backing up your company file is vital for such situations.

10. When should I contact QuickBooks Support?

If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting options and the error persists, it is recommended that you contact QuickBooks Support. They can provide more advanced assistance and investigate the issue further.

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