Timeless Solutions to fix QuickBooks Error 15311 [Solved]

One such error is QuickBooks Error 15311, which occurs when users attempt to update or download payroll tax tables or other software updates. This error can lead to payroll processing delays and affect the accuracy of financial records. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and step-by-step solutions to troubleshoot and resolve QuickBooks Error 15311, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted accounting experience for users.

Understanding Payroll Update QuickBooks Error 15311

QuickBooks Error 15311 is associated with the software’s update process and is primarily triggered when there is an issue with verifying the digital signature of a downloaded file. The error message typically reads: “QuickBooks Error 15311: The digital signature of the update is invalid.” This error can occur due to various factors, such as damaged system files, issues with security software, or problems with QuickBooks components. Resolving QuickBooks Error 15311 requires a systematic approach to identify the root cause and implement the appropriate solutions.

Causes of QuickBooks Error 15311

QuickBooks Error 15311 can occur due to a combination of factors. Understanding these potential causes is essential for effective troubleshooting. Common reasons for this error include:

  1. Corrupted or damaged system files: System files necessary for QuickBooks updates may be corrupted or damaged, leading to Error 15311.
  2. Issues with security software: Overprotective security software settings can sometimes interfere with the QuickBooks update process, causing validation errors.
  3. Incorrect QuickBooks installation: An incomplete or faulty installation of QuickBooks can prevent updates from being verified correctly.
  4. Internet connectivity problems: Poor or unstable internet connections can lead to incomplete downloads, triggering Error 15311.
  5. Firewall and network issues: Firewall settings or network configurations may block QuickBooks from accessing necessary update files.
  6. Expired digital signatures: If the digital signature of the update file has expired or is invalid, QuickBooks will not recognize the update.

Symptoms of QuickBooks Error 15311

Users encountering QuickBooks Error 15311 may experience the following symptoms:

  1. The error message “QuickBooks Error 15311: The digital signature of the update is invalid” is displayed on the screen.
  2. The update process stops, and QuickBooks fails to download or install the updates.
  3. The software becomes unresponsive or freezes during the update process.
  4. Payroll tax tables are not updated, leading to delays in payroll processing.
  5. QuickBooks may shut down abruptly without any warning.

Troubleshooting Guide to Fix QuickBooks Error 15311

To resolve QuickBooks Error 15311 and restore the update functionality, users can follow these comprehensive troubleshooting methods:

Solution 1: Verify and Correct System Date and Time Settings

Incorrect system date and time settings can cause digital signature verification issues in QuickBooks updates. Verifying and correcting the date and time settings can resolve Error 15311.

To verify and correct system date and time settings:

  1. Right-click the Date and Time display in the Windows taskbar.
  2. Select “Adjust date/time.”
  3. In the Date & Time settings window, toggle the “Set time automatically” and “Set time zone automatically” options to “On.”
  4. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Solution 2: Update QuickBooks to the Latest Release

Ensuring that QuickBooks is running on the latest release can help resolve known bugs and compatibility issues that may trigger Error 15311.

To update QuickBooks to the latest release:

  1. Open QuickBooks and go to the “Help” menu.
  2. Select “Update QuickBooks Desktop.”
  3. Click on the “Update Now” tab.
  4. Checkmark “Reset Update” to clear previous update downloads.
  5. Click “Get Updates” to initiate the update process.
  6. Once the update is complete, close and reopen QuickBooks.

Solution 3: Perform a Clean Install of QuickBooks

A clean install of QuickBooks involves uninstalling the software, renaming installation folders, and then reinstalling the software to ensure a fresh and stable installation.

Before performing a clean install, make sure you have a backup of your company files and a copy of your QuickBooks license and product information.

To perform a clean install of QuickBooks:

  1. Uninstall QuickBooks from your computer using the Control Panel.
  2. Rename the QuickBooks installation folders to prevent conflicts with a fresh installation:
    • C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks
    • C:\Users[Your User Name]\AppData\Local\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
    • C:\ProgramData\Intuit\QuickBooks (year)
    Note: Replace “(year)” with the version of QuickBooks you have (e.g., 2021, 2022).
  3. Reinstall QuickBooks using your installation media or downloaded setup file.
  4. Activate QuickBooks using your license and product information.
  5. Restore your company files from the backup.

Solution 4: Temporarily Disable Security Software

Overzealous security software settings can sometimes cause issues with digital signature verification. Temporarily disabling antivirus and firewall software can help determine if they are causing Error 15311.

Before disabling security software, ensure you disconnect your computer from the internet and disconnect it from any local networks to minimize potential security risks.

If QuickBooks functions normally without errors when the security software is disabled, consider adjusting the software settings to allow QuickBooks access while maintaining necessary security protections.

Solution 5: Check Internet Connectivity

Unstable internet connectivity can lead to incomplete downloads, triggering Error 15311. Ensure that your internet connection is stable and functioning correctly.

To check internet connectivity:

  1. Open a web browser and try to access a reliable website.
  2. If the website loads without issues, your internet connection is working fine.
  3. If there are connectivity problems, contact your internet service provider for assistance.

Solution 6: Verify Digital Signature Certificate

If the digital signature of the update file has expired or is invalid, QuickBooks will not recognize the update. Verifying the digital signature certificate can resolve the issue.

To verify the digital signature certificate:

  1. Right-click the QuickBooks update file and select “Properties.”
  2. Go to the “Digital Signatures” tab.
  3. Select the signature in the list and click “Details.”
  4. Click “View Certificate” and verify the certificate’s validity.

If the certificate is invalid or expired, contact QuickBooks Support at [QuickBooks Support Number] for further assistance.

Solution 7: Adjust Firewall and Network Settings

Firewall settings and network configurations may block QuickBooks from accessing necessary update files. Adjusting these settings can resolve Error 15311.

To adjust firewall and network settings:

  1. Add QuickBooks to the list of allowed applications in your firewall settings.
  2. If you are using a third-party security software, ensure that it allows QuickBooks access to the internet and necessary update sites.
  3. Check for any network restrictions that may be preventing QuickBooks from downloading updates.


QuickBooks Error 15311 can hinder the update process and disrupt critical accounting tasks, such as downloading payroll tax tables. By understanding the potential causes and following the step-by-step troubleshooting methods outlined in this guide, users can effectively identify and resolve the issue.

Verifying and correcting system date and time settings, updating QuickBooks to the latest release, performing a clean install, temporarily disabling security software, checking internet connectivity, verifying digital signature certificates, and adjusting firewall and network settings are effective ways to troubleshoot and resolve QuickBooks Error 15311.

By adopting these practices and maintaining an up-to-date QuickBooks installation, users can ensure a smooth and uninterrupted update process, thereby maximizing the software’s potential for their financial needs. For personalized assistance in resolving QuickBooks Error 15311, users can contact QuickBooks Support at +1-888-538-1314.


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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