QuickBooks Error PS038 – Trusted Methods

Don’t let QuickBooks error PS038 disrupt your payroll operations or online paycheck sending. Use this blog as your reliable guide to effortlessly resolve the issue.

Unleash your business’s payroll power with QuickBooks Desktop Payroll! As the ultimate accounting solution for small and medium-sized businesses, QuickBooks Payroll is a must-have. To keep your payroll process running smoothly, it’s vital to stay on top of the Payroll Tax tables updates. But even the best systems can experience hiccups – and that’s where the infamous QuickBooks error PS038 comes in. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Our expert guide combines the causes, signs, and most importantly, a foolproof solution to help you conquer this rare but pesky problem and unleash the full potential of your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll.

What does QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 mean?

Error message PS038:You have downloaded the latest payroll update patch and verified your payroll subscription. We firmly suggest you go online again before XX/XX/XXXX[PS038]“. In such a situation, users won’t be able to process QuickBooks payroll to their employees, and the “online to send” or stuck paychecks are one the most expected reasons for QuickBooks PS038 Error. However, The solution below, explained by our experts, will surely help you to do payroll before the deadline.

QuickBooks Error PS038
QuickBooks Payroll Update Error

Reasons why QuickBooks error code PS038 occurs?

Here are some of the most common causes that can cause QuickBooks Can’t use payroll Error PS038.

  • A Damaged Company File(.QBW) is likely to cause QB Payroll Error PS038.
  • A stuck Paycheck can also prevent users to perform any payroll services-related task.
  • Inactive QB payroll subscription.
  • Damaged QuickBooks Components.
  • Pending Payroll updates“, which is prior to the use of payroll services.
  • Maybe the Firewall program is stopping QuickBooks payroll to use the network.
  • Antivirus programs or other programs are clashing with QuickBooks desktop.

Prior Things to Do before Troubleshooting QuickBooks Error PS038

  • Make Sure you’re using intuit supported QuickBooks Edition 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023.
  • Your QuickBooks payroll has the latest payroll tax tables installed.
  • Don’t perform rebuild data more than a couple of times.
  • Ensure, You’re using your QuickBooks in single user more.

Note: If you are not tech-savvy or have little hesitation in doing technical stuff, So feel free to reach out to QuickBooks Data Services experts. They’ll help you to get done all of this.

Stepwise guide to fix Payroll Error PS038 in QuickBooks

If you’re interested in finding out which method provides a 100% guarantee to resolve QuickBooks Error PS038, Well, We will advise you to carry out the steps in the order mentioned below by our experts.

1st Step: Update QuickBooks Desktop and backup your data

To Update QuickBooks Desktop software check out the following video and then go through the manual steps given underneath:

How to update QuickBooks Desktop Full video
To Manually Update QuickBooks:
  • Open QuickBooks Desktop App as a windows Admin user.
  • Tap on the [Help menu] option, thereafter select, [Update QuickBooks Desktop].
  • Next, choose the [Update Now] option, and then Select For [Get QuickBooks Update] option.
  • Wait While the Update is downloading.
  • Reopen the QuickBooks Desktop and grant permission to install the recently downloaded update.
To Back up your Company File Data:
  • Turn your QuickBooks into [single user mode].
  • Next, Click on the [File menu], and then drag your mouse over the [Backup Your Data File] option, and then choose the [Create Local Backup] Option.
  • In the Local Backup option, Click on the browse option and then select the suitable directory to save the backup file.
  • Next, In the [Online and Local backup] options to Run a Test to analyze the data.
  • At Last, select option [Save it now].

Note: You can also choose either one [Save it now Schedule future backups] or [Only Schedule for future backups].

2nd Step: Send Usage data or Payroll data

  • Launch the QuickBooks Payroll.
  • Later, Click on the [Employees] option and then choose [My Payroll Service].
  • In My Payroll Service, Select For the [Send payroll usage data].

Note: In Some QuickBooks Desktop version user may find send payroll Data option under the Employees option.

  • Later try to send payroll data, If data is sent successfully, then go back to update QuickBooks Payroll.
  • In case of error persists, then you should reach out to experts at +1-888-704-1357 and Let experts help you.

3rd Step: Find out the checks stuck in the middle

  • Click on the [Edit] button and then drag your mouse cursor to select the [Find] option.
  • Later in the Find option, Select the [Advanced tab] Option.
  • In the Advanced tab, Click on the [Filter] Option.
  • Choose the [Detail Level Filter] Option from the List of Filters.
  • Subsequently, Choose [Summary only].
  • Go back to the list of Filters and pick [online status] Filter.
  • Next, Select [Online to send] Filter.
  • At last, Press the [Ctrl + F] button or choose the Find option to Locate unsent paychecks.

4th Step: Perform Verify and rebuild Data utility Test

To verify Data integrity
  • In QuickBooks Home Window, click on [File] and Then Select Option for [verify Data].

Note: Depending on your File Size This may take a few seconds or a few minutes.

  • If you see below mentioned prompt as a [verify data] result, then you don’t need to perform rebuild data.
To Rebuild Data
  • Choose “File” from the menu.
  • In this stage of the process, click the button labeled “Utilities.”
  • After that, navigate to the option labeled “Rebuild Data.”
  • Later, select the “Ok” option from the menu.
  • Choose “Ok” to proceed with the creation of a backup copy.
  • Click the “View Results“.
  • After reviewing it, you will be required to perform an additional update of the payroll feature.

Read More:- Stepwise Fix QuickBooks Desktop won’t update issue

5th Step: Detailed Inspection of unsent paychecks

  • Firstly, Follow the 3rd steps to get a sorted list of unsent paychecks.
  • Later, select the very first-time stuck paychecks and then pick [detail paychecks].
  •  The moment’s [review paychecks] window will appear.
  • Add a new item, the same as the final earning item, under the earnings item list.
  • Adding a new item to earning list will pop up a prompt [Net Pay Locked]. You need to select the [No] option to close.
  • Ensure, You didn’t make any modifications in [Net Pay] and [tax amounts], and then select [ok].
  • Select [Yes], When you see the [Past Transaction] prompt.
  • Next, Click on the [Save & Close] button to close the [detail paycheks] window.
  • Click on [Yes], When the [Saving transaction] prompt appears.
  • Open the same paychecks again.
  • Deleted the newly added item from the earning item list.
  • Repeat the above steps for each [unsent/stuck paycheks].
  • When you have done the above step for each check, then you should first update your QuickBooks.


Say goodbye to QuickBooks payroll headaches! Our experts have crafted a comprehensive guide to help you overcome the frustrating Error PS038. Don’t let it disrupt your work process any longer. If you need extra support, our team of QuickBooks Payroll gurus is always ready to assist at +1-888-704-1357. With years of experience under their belts, they’ll have you back on track in no time.

FAQs on QuickBooks Payroll Error message PS038

Is updating QuickBooks payroll tax tables mandatory?

Yes, It is essential to update your payroll tax tables monthly, and If you are using QBO, you don’t need to do it manually. But in QuickBooks Desktop, you have to do an update manually or set an automatic update turned on.

How to prevent Error PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop?

1st Step: Update your QuickBooks and Payroll on time.
2nd Step: Whenever you finished your work, make sure to close the QuickBooks Company File appropriately.

What If deleting paychecks wouldn’t help in fixing QuickBooks Payroll update Error PS038?

To extricate the Payroll Error PS038 in QuickBooks Follow the below-mentioned additional steps:
1. Download and Install QuickBooks Tool Hub.
2. Launch QuickBooks Tool Hub and Select the Company File issues tab.
3. Next, Run the Quick Fix my File Tool to repair the company file.


"James, a Technical Content Writer at QBDATASERVICES, specializes in crafting informative articles about QuickBooks, Sage50, MySQL Databases, Active Directory, email recovery, Microsoft365, pattern recognition, and machine learning. With a passion for researching and learning about new technology, he creates engaging technical blogs that aid organizations and Database Administrators in resolving various issues. In his free time, James can be found on social media, streaming web series, reading books, and experimenting with new recipes."