Are you tired of encountering pesky errors while using QuickBooks Payroll? One such error that can cause frustration is QuickBooks Error 15271. This error occurs when your payroll update isn't successfully installed, preventing you from accessing the latest features and improvements. But fret not! In this blog post, we will dive into the causes of QuickBooks Error 15271 and provide you with effective solutions to resolve it. So, get ready to bid farewell to this error once and for all! Let's jump right in and unlock the secrets to maintaining and updating QuickBooks without any hiccups.

What is QuickBooks payroll error 15271?

QuickBooks Error 15271 is an error code that often appears when users attempt to update their QuickBooks Payroll software. It typically occurs due to issues with the installation process or when there are incomplete or corrupt files present on your system. This error can be frustrating as it prevents you from accessing the latest payroll updates and features.

When this error occurs, you may see a pop-up message displaying "Error 15271: The payroll update did not complete successfully." It's important not to ignore this error, as it can hinder your ability to accurately calculate employee wages and file taxes.

One of the main causes of QuickBooks Error 15271 is an outdated version of QuickBooks Payroll. If you haven't updated your software in a while, it's possible that certain components are no longer compatible with newer updates, leading to errors during the installation process.

Another common cause is improper configuration of Windows User Account Control (UAC) settings. UAC helps protect your computer by notifying you before changes are made to your system, but sometimes it can interfere with QuickBooks updates if not properly configured.

In some cases, conflicting programs or third-party applications installed on your system can also trigger this error. These applications may prevent QuickBooks from updating correctly or interfere with its functionality.

Now that we have a better understanding of what QuickBooks Error 15271 entails and its potential causes let's move on to exploring effective solutions for resolving this issue once and for all!

What Causes QuickBooks Error 15271?

QuickBooks Error 15271 can be quite frustrating to encounter when you're trying to update your payroll software. But what causes this error in the first place? Let's take a closer look.

One of the main causes of QuickBooks Error 15271 is an incomplete or corrupted installation of QuickBooks software. This could happen if there was a problem during the initial installation process, such as interrupted internet connectivity or a power outage.

Another possible cause is when certain system files related to QuickBooks get deleted or damaged. These files are crucial for the proper functioning of the software, and any issue with them can lead to errors like 15271.

Sometimes, conflicts with other programs on your computer can trigger this error. It could be due to antivirus software blocking certain components of QuickBooks from updating or incompatible third-party applications interfering with its operation.

Outdated versions of QuickBooks may also contribute to Error 15271. It's important to regularly update your accounting software so that it remains compatible with new operating systems and security patches.

By understanding these underlying causes, you'll have a better idea of how to address and prevent QuickBooks Error 15271 from occurring in the future. Stay tuned for our next section where we discuss some solutions for resolving this error!

Important Points to Remember

When it comes to dealing with QuickBooks Error 15271, there are a few important points that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, this error usually occurs when there is an issue with the payroll update. It can prevent you from accessing your company files and hinder your ability to process payroll.

Another crucial point to remember is that this error can be caused by various factors such as incomplete installation of software, corrupted system files, or even malware infection. Identifying the root cause is key to resolving the issue effectively.

It is also worth noting that symptoms of QuickBooks Error 15271 include error messages popping up on your screen, freezing of the software, or even crashing of your computer system. These signs should not be ignored and prompt action should be taken to address them.

To resolve QuickBooks Error 15271, there are several solutions available. Some options include turning off UAC (User Account Control) in Windows, changing the system registry settings, cleaning junk files on your system, updating QuickBooks Desktop to its latest release version, or performing a clean installation in selective startup mode.

Lastly but importantly always ensure that you have backup copies of all your company data before attempting any troubleshooting steps for QuickBooks Error 15271. This will help safeguard against any potential loss or damage during the resolution process.

Remembering these important points will assist you greatly in maintaining and updating this particular error effectively.

Symptoms of QuickBooks error code 15271

When encountering QuickBooks error code 15271, you may experience several symptoms that can disrupt your accounting workflow. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

1. Error message: The most obvious symptom is the appearance of an error message on your screen indicating "Error 15271: Payroll update did not complete successfully." This message will prevent you from using certain features and accessing payroll-related information.

2. Software freezing or crashing: Another telltale sign of this error is when your QuickBooks software freezes or crashes unexpectedly. This can be frustrating and hinder your productivity.

3. Incomplete payroll updates: If you notice that recent payroll updates have not been installed correctly or are missing altogether, it could be due to error code 15271.

4. System slowdowns: Sometimes, this error can cause your computer system to slow down significantly while running QuickBooks, making it difficult to perform tasks efficiently.

5. Unresponsive program features: Certain functions within the QuickBooks software may become unresponsive or fail to work properly when faced with this error code.

It's important to address these symptoms promptly in order to resolve the underlying issue causing QuickBooks error code 15271 and get back on track with managing your finances seamlessly.

Solution steps to resolve QuickBooks Error code 15271

1. Turn Off UAC in Windows: To disable User Account Control (UAC), go to the Control Panel, click on User Accounts, then select Change User Account Control Settings. Move the slider down to Never Notify and click OK.

2. Change the System Registry: Press the Windows + R keys and type "regedit" in the Run dialog box. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options folder and delete the QBW32.exe key.

3. Clean Your Systems Junk Files: Use a reliable PC cleaner tool to remove junk files, temporary files, cache, cookies, etc., from your system. This will help optimize your computer's performance and resolve any software conflicts causing QuickBooks error 15271.

4. Update to the latest release of QuickBooks Desktop: Open QuickBooks and go to Help > Update QuickBooks Desktop > Update Now tab > Reset Update checkbox > Get Updates button.

5. Perform a clean installation of QuickBooks in Selective Startup Mode: Follow the instructions provided by Intuit for performing a clean installation of QuickBooks while in Selective Startup Mode.

6. Using Safe Mode to Install Payroll Updates: Restart your computer and press F8 repeatedly before Windows starts loading until you see the Advanced Boot Options screen. Choose Safe Mode with the Networking option using the arrow keys and hit Enter.

By following these solution steps, you can effectively resolve QuickBooks Error code 15271 and ensure the smooth functioning of your payroll system without any interruptions or errors popping up!

Solution 1: Turn Off UAC on Windows

One of the possible solutions to resolve QuickBooks Error 15271 is by turning off User Account Control (UAC) in Windows. UAC is a security feature that helps prevent unauthorized changes to your computer.

To turn off UAC, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type "Control Panel" and click OK.
3. In the Control Panel window, search for and click on "User Accounts".
4. Click on "Change User Account Control settings".
5. Move the slider down to Never Notify.
6. Click OK to save the changes.

By turning off UAC, you are allowing QuickBooks Payroll updates without any interruptions caused by security restrictions.

It's important to note that disabling UAC may leave your computer more vulnerable to malicious software or unauthorized access, so proceed with caution and make sure you have other security measures in place.

Implementing this solution may help resolve QuickBooks Error 15271 and allow you to update your payroll smoothly without any issues arising from user account control settings in Windows

Solution 2: Change the System Registry

Changing the system registry can help resolve QuickBooks Error Code 15271. However, it is important to note that modifying the registry can be risky if not done correctly. It is recommended to consult with a computer professional or seek guidance from QuickBooks support before making any changes.

To change the system registry, follow these steps:

1. Press Windows + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type "regedit" and click OK.
3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
4. Right-click on System and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
5. Name the new value as EnableLUA and set its value data to 0.
6. Close the Registry Editor.

By changing the system registry, you disable User Account Control (UAC), which can sometimes interfere with QuickBooks updates or installations.

Remember, modifying the registry should only be done if you are confident in what you are doing or have expert guidance.

Solution 3: Clean Your Systems Junk Files

Over time, our computer systems accumulate unnecessary files and data that can slow down their performance. These junk files can also interfere with the functioning of QuickBooks, leading to errors like Error 15271. Cleaning up your system's junk files is a simple yet effective solution to resolve this error.

To clean your system's junk files, you can use built-in Windows tools or third-party software designed for this purpose. Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Start by opening the Disk Cleanup tool on your computer.
2. Select the drive where QuickBooks is installed (usually C: drive) and click OK.
3. The tool will analyze your disk and present a list of files that can be safely deleted.
4. Check the boxes next to categories like Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary Files.
5. Click OK to delete these unwanted files from your system.

By regularly cleaning out these junk files, you not only free up valuable disk space but also ensure smoother operation of QuickBooks without encountering Error 15271.

Remember to always exercise caution when deleting files and make sure not to remove any important system or program-related data inadvertently.

Keeping your system clutter-free is imperative for maintaining optimal performance and preventing various errors in QuickBooks or any other software you use on a daily basis.

Solution 4: Update to the latest release of QuickBooks Desktop

Keeping your QuickBooks software up-to-date is crucial in resolving error code 15271. Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, regularly releases updates that include bug fixes and enhancements. These updates can help address any compatibility issues or glitches that may be causing the error.

To update your QuickBooks Desktop software, simply follow these steps:

1. Open QuickBooks and go to the Help menu.
2. Select "Update QuickBooks" from the drop-down menu.
3. In the Update Now tab, click on "Get Updates."
4. Wait for the update process to complete (this might take a few minutes).
5. Once done, restart your computer.

It's important to note that you need an active internet connection for this process. If you encounter any errors during the update, make sure to check your internet connection and firewall settings.

Updating your software not only resolves specific errors but also ensures that you have access to new features and improvements introduced by Intuit. Regularly checking for updates will help keep your system running smoothly and minimize potential issues down the line.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to software errors!

Solution 5: Perform a clean installation of QuickBooks in Selective Start-up Mode

Performing a clean installation of QuickBooks in Selective Startup Mode can help resolve QuickBooks Error 15271. This method allows you to install the software without any interference from other programs or services running on your computer.

To start, you need to access the System Configuration Utility by pressing the Windows key + R and typing "msconfig" in the Run box. Then, go to the Services tab and select "Hide all Microsoft services." Next, click on "Disable All" to disable all non-Microsoft services.

After that, navigate to the Startup tab and click on "Open Task Manager." In Task Manager, disable each startup item one by one by right-clicking on them and selecting "Disable."

Once you have disabled all non-Microsoft services and startup items, restart your computer. After rebooting, install QuickBooks using a clean installation file downloaded from Intuit's website.

Remember to re-enable your antivirus software after completing the installation process.

Performing a clean installation of QuickBooks in Selective Startup Mode can help eliminate any conflicting programs or settings that may be causing QuickBooks Error 15271. By following these steps carefully, you can ensure a smooth installation process without any interruptions.

Solution 6: Using Safe Mode to Install Payroll Updates

Safe mode is a troubleshooting option that starts your computer with only the essential files and drivers. By using safe mode, you can isolate any software conflicts or issues that may be preventing QuickBooks from installing payroll updates properly.

To install payroll updates in safe mode, follow these steps:

1. Restart your computer and press the F8 key repeatedly during startup until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu.

2. Select "Safe Mode" from the list of options and press Enter.

3. Once Windows has started in safe mode, open QuickBooks Desktop and navigate to the Help menu.

4. Select "Update QuickBooks" and then click on "Update Now".

5. Follow the prompts to download and install any available updates for QuickBooks Desktop.

6. After the installation is complete, restart your computer normally to exit safe mode.

Using safe mode can help resolve any conflicts or issues with other software programs that might be interfering with QuickBooks' ability to install payroll updates correctly.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your system is updated with all necessary payroll updates without experiencing error code 15271.


In the realm of QuickBooks payroll, error 15271 can be a frustrating obstacle. It may prevent you from updating or maintaining your software, hindering your ability to manage your finances efficiently. However, fear not! By following the solution steps outlined above, you can overcome this error and get back on track.

Remember to turn off UAC in Windows and change the system registry if necessary. Cleaning your system's junk files is also crucial for resolving this issue. Additionally, always ensure that you are using the latest release of QuickBooks Desktop as outdated versions may contribute to error 15271.

If all else fails, performing a clean installation of QuickBooks in Selective Startup Mode or utilizing Safe Mode to install payroll updates might be the key to success.

By implementing these solutions and staying proactive with regular maintenance and updates, you can keep QuickBooks running smoothly and minimize any disruptions caused by error 15271.

Keep up-to-date with the latest information from Intuit support channels to stay informed about any new developments regarding this error code.

Remember: knowledge is power when it comes to troubleshooting technology issues!

So don't let QuickBooks Error 15271 hold you back; take action today and regain control over your financial management processes!


1. What is QuickBooks payroll error 15271?
QuickBooks payroll error 15271 is an update error that occurs when the software cannot successfully download or install updates for payroll.

2. What causes QuickBooks Error 15271?
There are several possible causes of QuickBooks Error 15271, including issues with the User Account Control (UAC) settings in Windows, problems with the system registry, accumulation of junk files on your computer, or an outdated version of QuickBooks Desktop.

3. How can I resolve QuickBooks Error code 15271?
Here are a few solutions you can try to resolve QuickBooks Error code 15271:

- Turn off UAC in Windows
- Change the System Registry
- Clean your system's junk files
- Update to the latest release of QuickBooks Desktop
- Perform a clean installation of QuickBooks in Selective Startup Mode
- Use Safe Mode to install payroll updates

4. Can I fix this issue on my own or do I need professional help?
In most cases, you should be able to fix this issue by following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above. However, if you are not comfortable making changes to your computer's settings or if the problem persists after trying all solutions, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from an IT expert or a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

5. Will updating my version of QuickBooks solve this problem?
Yes, updating your version of QuickBooks Desktop can often resolve many errors and issues, including error code 15271. Make sure you have installed the latest release and check for any available updates regularly.

Remember that maintaining and updating your accounting software is crucial for smooth business operations and accurate financial records. If you encounter any difficulties while resolving this error or require further assistance with using QuickBooks Payroll effectively contact our support team who will guide you through every step necessary to ensure optimal performance without interruptions.