When you install QuickBooks Desktop, you enter the license number and product code to complete the installation and validate your copy of QuickBooks. If the encrypted file containing that information is damaged, QuickBooks will not open, and might display an error message. In those situations, deleting the entitlement file and re-entering your license and product information may resolve the issue.

The following are issues and errors that can be resolved by deleting the entitlement file*:

  • Error: The validation code is incorrect or the service is temporarily unavailable when activating
  • Error 3371: Could not initialize license properties
  • You must subscribe to accountant's copy file transfer service displays after you subscribe and sync
  • Error reconfiguring your edition of QuickBooks
  • Sync License Data Online is grayed out and unclickable
  • Edit List link is not in my No Company Open window
  • Message: You cannot use Online Banking because QuickBooks is not registered

This list is not inclusive. There may be other errors resolved by renaming/deleting the entitlement file.

* Deleting the entitlement file for these errors is only part of the troubleshooting. Please perform all recommended steps for each error to ensure resolution.

Detailed instructions

Delete the EntitlementDataStore.ecml file

  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop if it's open.
  2. Ensure that all QuickBooks processes are no longer running.
    1. From the keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. This opens the Task Manager.
      Win10: Click More Details to show Task Manager.
    2. Click the Processes tab.
    3. Sort the processes alphabetically by clicking the Process Name header.
    4. Search for all instances of QBW32.EXE and End Task.
  3. Open the entitlement data folder for your operating system and version of QuickBooks.
    1. On your keyboard, press Windows + R to open the Run window.
    2. Enter (or copy and paste) C:\ProgramData\Intuit\Entitlement Client\v8 and then press Enter.
      Server 2003 SP2: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Intuit\Entitlement Client\v8
      Note: The folder location of the .ecml file is the same for all QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise versions.
  4. Right-click the EntitlementDataStore.ecml file and select Delete.
  5. Click Yes to confirm you want to delete the file.
  6. Open QuickBooks Desktop, open your company file, and follow the instructions to register the application.


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