Here are several solutions to resolve multi-user errors such as H202 or H505 in QuickBooks Desktop.

quickbooks h202

Important: Do the following steps on your server computer (the machine that physically hosts your QuickBooks company file(s). You will also need to make sure you sign in to the server as the administrator user (or user with administrator rights) to be able to run the File Doctor.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Ensure QuickBooks is Installed on your Server Computer

Ensure QuickBooks is installed on your server before you begin.  It can be installed with a license (full QuickBooks Desktop) or without a license (database manager hosting only).  If QuickBooks is not installed on your server, you will not be able to use multi-user mode. You can download QuickBooks from here.

H202 Error only: Use the QuickBooks Database Server Manager to fix your H202 error

  1. Go to your server computer (computer that physically stores your company file).
  2. At your server computer (computer hosting your company file/s), open the start menu and type database.
  3. ​Click on QuickBooks Database Server Manager.
  4. If no folder locations are shown, click Browse and browse to the folder where you store your company file(s).
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Start Scan, which will repair the firewall permissions to allow QuickBooks to communicate over your network and resolve your error.
  7. When finished, click Close and try opening QuickBooks in Multi-User mode on your workstation(s).

    data base server manager fix h202 errors

H505 Error only: Disable Hosting Mode on each of your workstation(s)

quickbooks h505

On each workstation (not the server or hosting computer), go to QuickBooks File menu > Utilities. Note: This can be done even without opening a specific company file.

    • If you see Host Multi-User Access on the list, this computer is not hosting the company file and you can go to the next computer.
    • If you see Stop Hosting Multi-User Access, select that option to disable hosting on your workstation, which will fix the H505 errors.
    • Ensure all workstation(s) in your office look like this under the File -> Utilities menu:

      host mult-user access quickbooks h505

If the above steps do not fix your H202 or H505 errors, see below for the manual troubleshooting steps. It is recommended an IT professional assist with these steps if you are not comfortable as these can be more complex then the above troubleshooting.

Solution 2: Check hosting and services

In a multi-user environment, hosting should only be enabled on the hosting computer (server).

Verify hosting

On each workstation (not the server or hosting computer), go to QuickBooks File menu > Utilities.
Note: This can be done even without opening a specific company file.

  • If you see Host Multi-User Access on the list, this computer is not hosting the company file and you can go to the next computer.
    Note: Don't change anything if you see Host Multi User Access at your workstation.
  • If you see Stop Hosting Multi-User Access, select that option.

Verify QuickBooks services

When working with QuickBooks Desktop in a multi-user mode, QuickBooks services (QuickbooksDBXX and QBCFMonitorService) need to be running on the server computer.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the run box.
  2. Type services.msc, then press Enter.
    Tip: You can search for services.msc on the Windows search bar.
  3. In the services window, scroll down and look for the QuickBooksDBXX service.
    Note: XX represents the year of QuickBooks Desktop you are troubleshooting.

    If you do not see the QuickBooksDBXX service

    • If you only use the Database Server Manager (the entire program itself is not run on the server) make sure that the Database Server Manager is installed on the server.
      Note: Each year of QuickBooks Desktop you have on the workstations will need to have its Database Server Manager installed to use multi-user mode.
    • If you run the entire program on the server, open QuickBooks, go to File > Utilities and make sure hosting is enabled (it should say Stop Hosting Multi User access. If it says Host Multi User mode, click it to enable hosting on the server).
  4. Double-click the QuickBooksDBXX service and make sure the Startup Type is set to Automatic and service status is Running or Started.
    restart services
  5. Select the Recovery tab.
  6. Select the drop-down menu for First failure, then select Restart the Service. This will automatically restart the QuickBooksDB service if it fails. Do the same for Second failure and Subsequent failures.
  7. Select OK to save the changes.
  8. Repeat steps 1-6 above for the QBCFMonitorService.
  9. Open QuickBooks in multi-user mode on each affected workstation. If the issue persists, try to make sure the QuickBooksDBXX service is a member of the administrator group and has the appropriate permissions. See Set Windows access permissions to share company files to verify.

For Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 users

Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 requires that programs be authenticated every time the system boots up. QuickBooks will not pass this authentication. When using that system as a QuickBooks file server, a few steps need to be taken after every reboot or an H202 error will occur.

The following steps should only be done when running Windows 2012 Server Essentials

  1. Stop the Base Filtering Engine Service.
    Note: This will result in other computers and active remote session/s losing connection to the server. Restart the server to regain connection.
    1. On your keyboard, press Windows + R to open the Run window.
    2. In the open field, enter services.msc, then press Enter.
      Tip: You can search for services.msc on the Windows search bar.
    3. Right-click the Base Filtering Engine Service.
    4. Choose Stop. (If an error occurs, dismiss the error and stop the service again).
  2. Scan the QuickBooks File Directory with the QuickBooks Database Server Manager.
    1. Start > All Programs > QuickBooks > QuickBooks Database Server Manager.
    2. Select the Scan folders tab.
    3. Select Add folder (if no folders are present). Otherwise, highlight the folder with the files, then select Scan.
    4. When the process is complete, close the Database Server Manager.
  3. Start the Base Filtering Engine Service.
    1. On your keyboard, press Windows + R to open the Run window.
    2. In the open field, enter services.msc, then press Enter.
    3. Right-click the Base Filtering Engine Service.
    4. Choose Start. (If an error occurs, dismiss the error and stop the service again)

If this did not resolve your issue, follow the steps in the Multi-User access changes in QuickBooks Desktop 2016 and later (how to enable alternate setup/NAS drive) article.

Important: The Base Filtering Engine Service (BFE) service controls the operation of the Windows Filtering Platform. This service is essential for operation of many firewall products.

Ensure the Windows Firewall is "started" after the BFE services are re-enabled.

  1. Return to Services:
    1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run window.
    2. In the Open: field, type services.msc, then press Enter.
  2. In the Services window, scroll down to the service for Windows Firewall.
  3. Double click Windows Firewall.
  4. If Windows Firewall is not running, select Start.

Solution 3: Open the network ports QuickBooks uses to transmit data

IMPORTANT: (Windows 8) and AVG Anti-virus 2013 users: In depth research by our engineering team has determined that a conflict exists between QuickBooks and AVG Anti-virus 2013 on Windows 8. The conflict has been isolated to AVG, and if you are using AVG Anti-virus 2013 or AVG Anti-virus 2013 Free on Windows 8 and have an H202 error, you will need to uninstall the AVG program and enable Windows Defender (built into Windows 8). You will need to contact AVG support if you have any questions or wish to keep the AVG 2013 software.

Configure Firewall

See Configure Firewall and Internet security settings for QuickBooks Desktop for detailed instructions on how you can manually set up ports exceptions on your Windows firewall. After performing the steps, open QuickBooks in multi-user mode again.

Note: If you have a third party anti-virus/firewall program, you may need to configure firewall or anti-virus software. You may disable the anti-virus/firewall program temporarily to identify if it is causing the error. Make sure to re-enable it when you're done with the test.

Check UNC vs. Mapped Drive (file path troubleshooting)

Important: These steps are highly technical in nature and may be best performed by a qualified IT professional present.

We are testing the file path to check if QuickBooks can reach the server from the workstation(s).

Before you start, please ensure the following:

  • Network Discovery is Turned On

    1. Open Control Panel.
    2. Select System and Security, then select Windows Firewall.
    3. In the left pane, select Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall (if you are running Windows Server 2012).
    4. Select Change Settings.
    5. Select Network Discovery, then select OK.
  • You know the name of your server

    1. Press the Windows Key + R to open a run command and type CMD , then press the Enter key.
    2. Enter ipconfig /all, and press the Enter key.
    3. Under the IP Configuration section, find the line "Host Name".
    4. The name on its right is your server name.
    5. Take note of the name and proceed to the next step.
  1. Press Windows Key + R to open a Run command.
  2. Enter ping [servername], then press Enter. You should see a reply for each packet with none being lost.
    User-added image
    Important: If you see packet loss or a slow reply, your network should be diagnosed by a qualified IT professional.
  3. If using a mapped drive to connect to your company file on the server, bypass the mapped drive by navigating to the server shared folder via UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path from the workstation computer (ex: \\server\QBData\).
    If the path to your company file is on your network and begins with a drive letter, it's a mapped drive.
  4. Use the UNC path to navigate to your company file within QuickBooks. You can either find it at the title bar when clicking the mapped drive, or:
    1. Press the Windows Key + R to open run command and type CMD, then press the Enter key.
    2. Enter net use [drive letter:]. For example: net use z:
    3. Hit Enter.
    4. Under the IP configuration section, find the line “Remote Name”.
    5. Take note of the UNC path.

Solution 4: Add your server to the Windows hosts file

See Edit Windows hosts file for the detailed instructions.

Solution 5: Create a new folder for your company file

  1. On the hosting computer, create a new folder, share it and set up folder and Windows access permissions.
    Note: If you do not have access to the file server, contact your IT professional.
  2. Copy the .qbw file to the new folder.
  3. Open your company file in multi-user mode again.