Learn how to enter your payroll service key in QuickBooks Desktop.
When you purchase QuickBooks Payroll, you're assigned a 16-digit service key that is specific to your EIN and payroll service. To activate the payroll service in your QuickBooks file you must enter this key. We show you how.
Get your service key
You'll usually receive your service key in the mail.
If you don't have your service key, use our automated Service Key Retrieval tool. You'll need to sign in using your Intuit Account login. If you are unable to retrieve your service key using this tool, contact us.
The automated tool may not work if:
- There are multiple payroll orders in our system for your company.
- You purchased your payroll product from a retail store.
- Business phone number you provided did not match what Intuit has on file
(If you are trying to add a new EIN to your existing subscription, see Add an EIN to existing Basic, Standard or Enhanced Payroll subscription.)
Enter your service key
- Open the QuickBooks Service Keys window.
- In your company file, choose Employees, then My Payroll Service. If you do have Payroll set up, choose Manage Payroll Service. If you don't, choose Add Payroll service.
- If you don't have a payroll service in your company file, choose Employees, then Payroll, then Enter Payroll Service Key.
- In the QuickBooks Service Keys window: If you're not using the disk delivery service, select Add, if no payroll service is listed. Select Edit if a payroll service is listed.
- Service Keys window: If you are using the disk delivery service: Select Edit. Take note of the service key.
- Remove payroll service key in QuickBooks Desktop
- Select Add, and continue with the steps below.
- Enter your service key in the Service Key field. (If you have the disk delivery service, you'll also need to enter the latest disk delivery key that you received.)
- If you have the disk delivery service, you'll also need to enter the disk delivery key that you received.
- Select Next and then Finish.
- When the Payroll Update message appears, select OK.
- Verify the Service Status shows Active and then select OK.
Restart QuickBooks Desktop. Now you are ready to start setting up payroll in QuickBooks!