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Fix QuickBooks error PS038 – Fail to Update Payroll

QuickBooks payroll is a useful accounting software that helps businesses manage their payroll-related activities efficiently. It systematically organizes employee information and payroll. It even simplifies the task of calculating and filing taxes, allowing businesses to focus on other core, important aspects of their operations. Just like the QB software is prone to various technical errors and glitches, the same goes well with the QuickBooks payroll version. Users of QB payroll even encounter various errors while working on it, and one of the most common errors is QuickBooks error PS038.

In this article, we will provide complete information about the QuickBooks error code PS038. From the possible causes behind the error to the solutions to resolve the error, we will be covering every aspect related to the error. So, if you are also facing this error, then make sure to read this blog post till the end. We hope that by the end of this blog, you will be able to resolve the error and continue using the payroll services without any interruptions.

What is QuickBooks Error PS038?

QuickBooks error PS038 is a common payroll update error that arises when the user tries to download or update the QB payroll. This specific error disallows you to successfully download or update the QuickBooks payroll and further prevents you from accessing the important features and benefits of payroll.

You will be able to notice this error with a pop-up display message such as:

QuickBooks error PS038

You’ve retrieved the latest payroll update and validated your payroll subscription. We strongly recommend that you go online again before XX/XX/XXXX [PS038].

In order to fix QuickBooks error PS038, you must understand the possible reasons behind the error. Thereon, they must create a backup of their QuickBooks company file and then begin with the troubleshooting process.

Causes Behind the QuickBooks Error PS038

Understanding the possible causes behind any QuickBooks error is very important. It will help you to identify the exact reason due to why you may encountering the error and further assist in resolving the error. Some common possible causes behind the the QuickBooks error code PS038 are listed below;

  1. Using an outdated version of the QuickBooks desktop software can lead to the QuickBooks payroll update error PS038.
  2. Damaged or corrupted QB company file.
  3. Poor internet connection.
  4. Active firewall settings can also block the updating request for the QB payroll.
  5. If you are trying to download the latest tax tables without updating the QuickBooks payroll.
  6. Incorrect date or time settings on your PC.
  7. Stuck paychecks can also cause the error.

How to Fix QuickBooks Error PS038?

After you have a clear understanding of the possible causes of QuickBooks error PS038, you can move ahead to implement the solutions. These solutions are described below. Make sure to follow them in the right sequence.

Solution 1. Update QuickBooks Desktop to Latest Release

The first feasible solution that you should follow to deal with the ps038 error in QuickBooks desktop is to update the QB software to the latest release. Given below are the manual steps that you can undertake to do so:

  • Firstly, launch the QuickBooks desktop application on your workstation.
  • Click on the Help menu option available at the top of the menu screen.
  • Thereon, as the help menu settings expand on the screen, click on the Update QuickBooks Desktop option.
Update QuickBooks Desktop option.
  • As the QB update window appears on your PC screen, click the Update Now option.
  • Now, click on the Get Updates option, and then the updating process will commence on your PC.
Get Updates option

Solution 2. Download the Latest Payroll Tax Tables

In order to update the QB payroll, its necessary to download the latest payroll tax tables. Without that, you can’t update the payroll and may encounter the QB payroll update error code PS038. Let’s take a look towards the steps that you can follow to download the latest payroll tax tables on your PC;

  1. Login to your QuickBooks account and then choose the Employees option.
  2. After that, click on the Get Payroll Updates option and then verify the tax table version.
  3. To do so, you have to check the number available next to the You are using the tax table version option.
  4. Moving ahead, click on the Latest Payroll News and Updates option and verify if you are using the latest version.
  5. Now, click on the Payroll Update Info option and check out more details regarding the tax table versions.
  6. Thereon, choose the Download Entire Update option and get the latest tax table by clicking on the Update option.
  7. With that effect, the updating process will commence on your workstation.
  8. As that process ends, an information window with the Download is Complete message will appear on your PC screen.

Solution 3. Verify Internet Connection Settings

The downloading of the QuickBooks payroll updates can fail due to incorrect internet connection settings and may lead to QuickBooks payroll update error PS038. Therefore, if you are encountering the error, we advise you to verify the internet connection settings on your PC. To do so, here are the steps that you can follow to get the same done:

  1. On your QuickBooks desktop account, click on the Internet Connection option.
  2. As the internet connection settings expands on the screen, choose the Use my computer’s Internet connection settings to establish a connection when this application accesses the Internet option.
  3. Followed by the above steps, click on the Next option.
  4. Thereon, click on the Advanced Connection Settings tab and switch to the Advanced tab.
  5. Moving ahead, choose the Restore Advanced Settings and then click on the OK > Done option.

Solution 4. Verify Stuck Paychecks

Another solution that you can follow to fix QuickBooks error PS038 is to verify the stuck paychecks. If a payroll is stuck as “Online to Send,” then it can lead to an error. Here are the steps that you can undertake to verify the stuck paychecks on your QuickBooks account:

  • First of all, click on the Report menu option available on the left side.
  • Thereon, choose the Check Detail Report option and click on the Edit option.
  • After that, click on the Find > Advanced option.
  • Moving ahead, click on the Choose Filter tab, and then choose the Detail Level in the Filter list.
  • Now, choose the Summary Only option, and then navigate back to the filter list.
  • Click on the Online Status option and choose the Online to Send option.
  • Choose the Find option and then you will be able to see all the paychecks that are not sent.
  • Under the Find window, note down the number of matches, and then close the current window.
  • Following the above steps, you have to run the QuickBooks built-in tool, Verify and Rebuild. This will show you the stuck paychecks.
  • As the verify data tool process ends, you have to rebuild your data file.
  • Navigate to the Utilities option and choose the Rebuild Data option.
  • With that effect, the QuickBooks information window will appear on your screen.
  • Click on the OK option. Thereon, a prompt window will display to create a backup of the company file.
  • Keep following the on-screen instructions to create a backup file. As the backup process ends, the tool will automatically start working on rebuilding the file.
  • At last, as the rebuild process ends, click on the OK option.

Once you have successfully executed the above-listed steps, try to update the QuickBooks payroll. If you are still facing the PS038 error QuickBooks desktop, then you might not be running the QB software with admin rights.

Solution 5. Launch QuickBooks Desktop with Admin Rights

In order to implement any changes or download any new updates in the QuickBooks software, you have to run the software with admin rights. This will ensure that you have the necessary rights to download new updates.

Below are the steps that you can follow to run the QuickBooks software on your workstation with admin rights:

  1. First of all, close the active applications and windows on your PC.
  2. Thereon, find the QuickBooks desktop application icon on your PC screen and do a right click on it.
  3. Now, choose the Run as Administrator option.
  4. Launch the QuickBooks desktop application on your PC, and then try to update the QuickBooks payroll to the latest release.

Ending Note

QuickBooks payroll is a useful tool for managing payroll. However, facing unwanted errors with payroll, such as QuickBooks error PS038, is not manageable. In this guide, we have shown the complete procedure for how you can easily fix the QuickBooks error code PS038. You can follow the steps in the right sequence to get rid of the error. However, if you are still unable to resolve the error, then we advise you to get in touch with the QuickBooks payroll support team. Trained experts are available 24/7 around the desk to help QB users resolve technical errors and use the software smoothly and efficiently.

Benjamin James
Benjamin James

I am Benjamin james, a technical content writer with over 13 years of experience in the domain. My passion for technology and writing has helped me become an expert in software tools. Through my extensive knowledge and expertise, I am working to help the world leverage the power of technology.

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