Locked Quickbooks Company File

I was recently using QuickBooks and then inadvertently left my computer unplugged overnight. I discovered it had shutdown when I went to work on it the next morning, and when I booted it back up, QuickBooks would not let me open my company file.

It was giving me an error message saying that the company file could not be opened because it was in use by another copy of QuickBooks. I am the only QuickBooks user, and it is the desktop version, not a server version, so I knew there was not another version of QuickBooks using my company file.

I did some research online and found the following article:

This article has a lot of different things in it to try. The one that worked for me was to clear the transaction log file (.TLG) file. This file contains the lock which prevents QuickBooks from opening the company file if QuickBooks wasn’t shut down properly.

To clear the transaction log file:

  1. Find the directory where your QuickBooks company file is stored.
  2. There should be three files named after your company:
    • <companyFile>.qbw
    • <companyFile>.qbw.ND
    • <companyFile>.qbw.TLG
  3. The file ending in .TLG is your Transaction Log File. If you can’t find it, check your folder settings to make sure that you can view all files and file extensions.
  4. Instead of deleting it, you can just rename it. I added “OLD-” to the beginning of the file name.
  5. Then, try opening your company file again (through QuickBooks as normal). This should have eliminated the lock on the company file, and QuickBooks will automatically generate a new transaction log file. If you notice anything amiss, you can restore the transaction log file since you saved it as “OLD-“.
  6. Once you are happy that everything is right with your company file again, delete the old transaction log file (“OLD-“).




7 thoughts on “Locked Quickbooks Company File”

  1. You cant rename the file, if it is locked by another user, then it is in use and you cannot rename.

      1. Make sure that you shut down your computer and boot it back up clean to make sure it is not stuck running in the background somewhere.

  2. Appreciate the information. But what i am trying to find out is to prevent access to the companies. How do i lock the company?

    1. You can lock the company file by setting up a password for it. Depending on what version of Quickbooks you are using, it should have required you to set a password for the company file or your user account when you created it.

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