Easy way to fix QuickBooks Error PS038

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QuickBooks Error PS038 is an issue that may occur while attempting to update your payroll subscription or while trying to download the latest payroll update. This error can prevent you from using the payroll feature in QuickBooks and can be frustrating for users. In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons for the error, signs to look out for, prior things to consider before troubleshooting, troubleshooting steps, and FAQs related to QuickBooks Error PS038.

Reasons for QuickBooks Error PS038:

The most common reasons for QuickBooks Error PS038 are:

  1. Damaged or corrupt company file.
  2. Issues with the Windows Operating System.
  3. Outdated version of QuickBooks or the payroll software.
  4. Incorrect payroll service key.
  5. Firewall or security settings blocking the update process.

Signs of QuickBooks Error PS038:

The signs of QuickBooks Error PS038 include:

  1. QuickBooks stops responding while updating the payroll subscription.
  2. Error PS038 appears on the screen while updating the payroll.
  3. Payroll updates fail to install or download.

Prior Things to Consider before Troubleshooting:

Before troubleshooting QuickBooks Error PS038, consider the following:

  1. Ensure that you have an active payroll subscription and the latest payroll updates are installed.
  2. Verify that the company file is not damaged or corrupt.
  3. Ensure that the Windows Operating System and QuickBooks are up to date.
  4. Check if the payroll service key is correct.

Troubleshooting Steps for QuickBooks Error PS038:

Step 1: Restart your computer.

  1. Save your work: Before you restart your computer, save any work you are currently working on. Close all programs and applications that you are using.
  2. Click the Start menu: Click on the Start menu button in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  3. Select Restart: Click on the Power button, then select Restart from the options that appear. Your computer will begin shutting down.

Step 2: Update QuickBooks and Payroll Software.

  1. Check for updates: Open QuickBooks and Payroll software and check for updates. You can usually find this option in the Help menu.
  2. Download the update: If an update is available, download it to your computer. Make sure to choose the correct version of the update based on your operating system.
  3. Install the update: Once the update is downloaded, close QuickBooks and Payroll software and install the update.
  4. Restart your computer: After the update is installed, restart your computer to make sure that the changes take effect.
  5. Verify the update: Open QuickBooks and Payroll software again and verify that the update was installed correctly. You can usually find the version number of the software in the Help menu.

It’s important to keep your software updated to ensure that it works properly and that you have access to the latest features and security updates.

Step 3: Verify your Payroll Subscription and Service Key.

  1. Open QuickBooks: Open QuickBooks and log in to your account.
  2. Go to the Payroll Center: From the Employees menu, select Payroll Center.
  3. Check the subscription status: In the Payroll Center, click on the Payroll tab and then select the Subscription Status option. Here, you can view your current Payroll subscription status and expiration date.
  4. Verify the service key: In the Payroll Center, click on the Employees tab and then select Payroll Service Options. Here, you can view and verify your current Payroll service key.

If you have any issues with your Payroll subscription or service key, you can contact QuickBooks support for assistance. It’s important to keep your Payroll subscription and service key up-to-date to ensure that you can continue to use Payroll features and receive payroll tax updates.

Step 4: Check Firewall and Security Settings.

  1. Check your Firewall settings: Go to the Control Panel on your computer and select Security and Firewall. Check to make sure that your firewall is turned on and that the settings are appropriate for your needs. You may also want to check the settings of any third-party firewalls you have installed.
  2. Check your Security Settings: Go to the Security and Privacy settings on your computer and check that your computer’s security settings are set to the appropriate level for your needs. Make sure that you have antivirus and anti-malware software installed, and that they are up to date.
  3. Check your Browser Security Settings: If you use a web-based payroll application, make sure that your browser’s security settings are set appropriately. Check that you are using a secure connection (https://) when accessing sensitive payroll information.
  4. Use Strong Passwords: Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  5. Keep your Software Updated: Keep your operating system, antivirus software, and other software up to date. Updates often include security patches and bug fixes that can help protect your computer.

It’s important to regularly check your Firewall and Security settings to ensure that you are protected against online threats and that your payroll information remains secure.

Step 5: Use QuickBooks File Doctor Tool.

  1. Download and Install the Tool: Go to the Intuit website and download the QuickBooks File Doctor Tool. Once the download is complete, run the installation file and follow the prompts to install the tool on your computer.
  2. Run the Tool: Open the QuickBooks File Doctor Tool and select the company file you want to diagnose and repair. You can also choose to diagnose network connectivity issues by selecting the “Network Connectivity” option.
  3. Start the Diagnosis and Repair Process: Once you have selected the file you want to diagnose and repair, click on the “Start” button to begin the diagnosis and repair process. The tool will then scan the file for errors and attempt to repair any issues it finds.
  4. Review the Results: Once the diagnosis and repair process is complete, the tool will display a report with the results. You can review the report to see if any issues were found and if they were repaired.
  5. Test the Company File: Open QuickBooks and test the company file to see if the issues have been resolved.

It’s important to use the QuickBooks File Doctor Tool regularly to diagnose and repair any issues with your QuickBooks company files. This can help prevent data loss and ensure that your QuickBooks data is accurate and up to date.


Q. Can I update my payroll without an active subscription?

A. No, you need an active payroll subscription to update the payroll.

Q. What should I do if the payroll service key is incorrect?

A. Contact QuickBooks Data Services at +1-888-704-1357 to get the correct payroll service key.

Q. What should I do if the QuickBooks File Doctor Tool fails to repair the company file?

A. Contact QuickBooks Data Services at +1-888-704-1357 for expert support.

In Conclusion:

QuickBooks Error PS038 can be resolved by following the above troubleshooting steps. Before troubleshooting, ensure that you have an active payroll subscription and the latest updates are installed. If you still face any issues, you can always reach out to QuickBooks Data Services for expert support.

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