How to Fix QuickBooks Error 15271: Step-by-Step Guide

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QuickBooks is a popular accounting software. Many businesses use it to manage their finances. But like any software, it can face issues. One common issue is QuickBooks Error 15271. This error usually occurs during updates. In this article, we will discuss what Error 15271 is, why it happens, and how to fix it.

What is QuickBooks Error 15271?

Error 15271 happens when you try to update QuickBooks or its payroll feature. The error message usually says:

  • “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 stops the update process. It can be frustrating, especially if you need the latest features or fixes.

Why Does Error 15271 Occur?

Several reasons can cause this error. Understanding them can help you fix it. Here are the main causes:

  1. Incomplete Installation: If QuickBooks is not installed correctly, it can cause problems during updates.
  2. Corrupted Files: Sometimes, the files needed for the update get corrupted.
  3. User Account Control (UAC): UAC settings in Windows can sometimes block updates.
  4. Outdated Windows: If your Windows operating system is not up-to-date, it can interfere with QuickBooks updates.
  5. Antivirus Software: Sometimes, antivirus programs mistakenly block QuickBooks updates.
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How to Fix QuickBooks Error 15271

Now that we know why this error occurs let’s examine how to fix it. Follow these steps carefully.

Step 1: Turn Off User Account Control (UAC)

User Account Control can block updates. Turning it off may help.

  1. Press the Windows key and type Control Panel. Open it.
  2. Click on User Accounts.
  3. Click on Change User Account Control settings.
  4. Move the slider Never to Notify.
  5. Click OK and restart your computer.

Try updating QuickBooks again. If the error persists, move to the next step.

Step 2: Update Windows

An outdated Windows system can cause problems.

  1. Press the Windows key and type Update.
  2. Click on Check for updates.
  3. If updates are available, install them.
  4. Restart your computer.

Check if the error is resolved. If not, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Run QuickBooks as Administrator

Running QuickBooks as an administrator can give it the necessary permissions for updates.

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

If the error still occurs, go to the next step.

Step 4: Perform a Clean Install of QuickBooks

An incomplete installation can cause errors. A clean install might help.

  1. Press the Windows key and type Control Panel.
  2. Click on Programs and Features.
  3. Find QuickBooks in the list and uninstall it.
  4. Download the latest version of QuickBooks from the official website.
  5. Install QuickBooks again.

After reinstalling, try updating QuickBooks. If the error remains, try the next step.

Step 5: Check and Disable Antivirus Software

Antivirus software can sometimes block updates. Temporarily disabling it might help.

  1. Open your antivirus software.
  2. Find the option to turn it off temporarily.
  3. Try updating QuickBooks again.
  4. Remember to turn your antivirus back on after the update.
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If this does not solve the problem, try the final step.

Step 6: Use QuickBooks Tool Hub

QuickBooks Tool Hub can fix many common errors.

  1. Download QuickBooks Tool Hub from the official Intuit website.
  2. Install and open it.
  3. Click on the Installation Issues tab.
  4. Select QuickBooks Install Diagnostic Tool.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

After the tool finishes, try updating QuickBooks again.

Preventing Future Errors

To avoid future errors, keep your software and system up-to-date. Here are some tips:

  1. Regular Updates: Always update QuickBooks and your operating system.
  2. Backup Files: Regularly back up your QuickBooks data.
  3. Check Compatibility: Ensure your software is compatible with your operating system.
  4. Monitor Antivirus: Configure your antivirus to allow QuickBooks updates.


QuickBooks Error 15271 can be frustrating, but it is fixable. By following the steps in this guide, you can resolve the error and continue using QuickBooks smoothly. Regular maintenance and updates can help prevent such errors in the future. If you are still having issues, consider contacting QuickBooks support for further assistance.

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