Evergreen Remedy for QuickBooks Error 15271 [Fixed]

It offers a range of features to simplify financial management, including payroll processing. However, like any complex software, QuickBooks may encounter errors that can disrupt normal operations. One such error is QuickBooks Error 15271, which specifically relates to payroll updates. In this blog, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and step-by-step solutions to resolve QuickBooks Error 15271, ensuring a smooth payroll processing experience for users.

Understanding What is QuickBooks Error 15271

QuickBooks Error 15271 is an update-related error that occurs when users attempt to download or install payroll updates in the QuickBooks software. The error message typically reads: “Error 15271: The payroll update did not complete successfully. A file cannot be validated.” This error can be frustrating and may prevent users from accessing the latest payroll updates, leading to inaccuracies in employee payroll and tax calculations.

Causes of QuickBooks Error 15271

Several factors can trigger QuickBooks Error 15271. Understanding the root causes can help in effectively resolving the issue. Some common reasons include:

  1. Incomplete or failed installation of a recent QuickBooks update.
  2. Corrupted or damaged QuickBooks company files.
  3. Incorrect User Account Control (UAC) settings or insufficient user permissions.
  4. Firewall or security software blocking the QuickBooks update process.
  5. Network connectivity issues preventing access to the update server.
  6. An outdated version of QuickBooks or an obsolete payroll tax table.

Symptoms of QuickBooks Error 15271

When encountering QuickBooks Error 15271, users may experience the following symptoms:

  1. The error message “Error 15271: The payroll update did not complete successfully. A file cannot be validated” appears on the screen.
  2. QuickBooks freezes or becomes unresponsive during the payroll update process.
  3. The computer crashes or shuts down abruptly.
  4. Users may not be able to download and install the latest payroll updates.
  5. The payroll calculations show discrepancies or errors.

Troubleshooting Step to fix Message Code QuickBooks Error 15271

To resolve QuickBooks Error 15271 and resume normal payroll processing, users can follow these step-by-step troubleshooting methods:

Solution 1: Run QuickBooks as an Administrator

Running QuickBooks with administrative privileges helps in bypassing certain permission-related issues that might be causing the error. By doing so, you ensure that QuickBooks has the necessary permissions to perform updates and access system resources without any hindrance.

If you are using QuickBooks as a standard user, it might lead to conflicts during the update process, resulting in Error 15271. By running QuickBooks as an administrator, you elevate the software’s privileges, reducing the likelihood of encountering permission-related errors.

Solution 2: Verify User Account Control (UAC) Settings

User Account Control (UAC) is a security feature in Windows that helps prevent unauthorized changes to your system. However, UAC settings can sometimes interfere with the installation or update process of certain software, including QuickBooks.

Verifying and adjusting UAC settings can be an effective way to troubleshoot QuickBooks Error 15271. By setting UAC to the recommended level, you strike a balance between security and convenience, allowing QuickBooks to perform updates smoothly without unnecessary restrictions.

Solution 3: Update QuickBooks to the Latest Release

Updating QuickBooks to the latest release is crucial for ensuring the software’s stability and functionality. Intuit regularly releases updates and patches to address known issues and bugs, including those related to payroll updates.

The “Update QuickBooks Desktop” feature within the software makes it easy for users to check for and download the latest updates. By keeping QuickBooks up-to-date, you ensure that any existing errors, including Error 15271, are resolved with the latest fixes.

Solution 4: Perform a Clean Install of QuickBooks

Performing a clean install of QuickBooks is a comprehensive troubleshooting step that helps address issues related to software corruption. In some cases, certain files or components within QuickBooks may become corrupted, leading to errors like Error 15271.

A clean install involves uninstalling QuickBooks, removing any residual files, and then reinstalling the software from scratch. It is essential to create a backup of your company file before proceeding with a clean install to ensure that your data remains safe.

Solution 5: Check Firewall and Security Software Settings

Firewall and security software settings can sometimes interfere with QuickBooks’ ability to connect to the internet and download updates. These settings might mistakenly identify QuickBooks as a threat, blocking its access to the update servers.

To resolve this, you can add QuickBooks to the list of allowed applications in your firewall and security software settings. By whitelisting QuickBooks, you ensure that it can communicate with the update servers and download the necessary files without interruptions.

Solution 6: Perform a Windows Repair or Update

Issues within the Windows operating system can also contribute to QuickBooks Error 15271. Performing a Windows repair or update can help address system-related problems that might be affecting QuickBooks’ functionality.

A Windows repair can fix corrupted system files and restore missing components, while a Windows update ensures that your operating system is equipped with the latest features and security patches.

Solution 7: Use QuickBooks File Doctor

QuickBooks File Doctor is a tool provided by Intuit to help users troubleshoot and fix common QuickBooks file-related issues. It can be particularly helpful when encountering errors related to company files or data corruption.

To use QuickBooks File Doctor, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install QuickBooks File Doctor from the Intuit website.
  2. Launch the tool and select “Browse” to locate your QuickBooks company file.
  3. Click “Check your file” and then “Continue” to start the scanning process.
  4. If any issues are detected, the tool will prompt you to repair the file.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair process.

Solution 8: Run QuickBooks in Safe Mode

Running QuickBooks in Safe Mode can help determine if third-party applications or services are causing conflicts with the software. Safe Mode allows QuickBooks to run with minimal background processes, helping to identify potential culprits behind the error.

To run QuickBooks in Safe Mode, follow these steps:

  1. Close QuickBooks and all related applications.
  2. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.
  3. Type “msconfig” in the Run dialog and press Enter.
  4. In the System Configuration window, go to the “Boot” tab.
  5. Check the box for “Safe boot” and select “Minimal.”
  6. Click “Apply” and then “OK.”
  7. Restart your computer to boot into Safe Mode.
  8. Launch QuickBooks and attempt the payroll update again.


QuickBooks Error 15271 can be a frustrating obstacle for users relying on the software for smooth payroll processing. However, by following the comprehensive troubleshooting steps outlined in this blog, users can effectively resolve the error and continue using QuickBooks without disruptions.

Regularly updating QuickBooks, maintaining backups of important company files, and seeking professional QuickBooks Data Services assistance when needed are essential practices to ensure a seamless experience with the software. With the knowledge gained from this blog, users are now equipped with a comprehensive set of solutions to handle QuickBooks Error 15271.


James is a Technical Content Writer at QBDATASERVICES, specializing in QuickBooks, Sage50, MySQL Databases, Active Directory, email recovery, Microsoft 365, pattern recognition, and machine learning. He creates engaging technical blogs that help organizations and Database Administrators resolve issues. In his free time, James enjoys social media, web series, books, and experimenting with new recipes.

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