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QuickBooks error 12038, belongs to the 12xxx series error and typically occurs when you download the latest update to the software. You can come across a warning message on your desktop screen stating “QuickBooks error 12038: Failed to download the update”. As this error occurs in the middle of the downloading the software, it can abruptly freeze the software or might end up in software malfunctioning. To help you fix the error, before the situation worsens, we are here with this piece of writing, sharing the nitty-gritties of QuickBooks error code 12038. 

You scroll through this piece of writing, to unveil the entire information related to the QuickBooks error code 12038, or you can also seek assistance from our technically sound QuickBooks personnel, who can guide you through such errors easily. Give us a call at +1-844-499-6700 and get answers to all your queries. 

Also See: How to Fix QuickBooks Desktop Update Errors?

Causes for QuickBooks update error 12038

There are bunch of factors driving such errors in QuickBooks, which we have tried to list below. Let us together have a look:

  • When your system has incorrect date or time, then you might come across such issues in QuickBooks. 
  • Another prominent reason behind the occurrence of such issue can be if your internet browser settings are not configured properly or if there is any sort of internet issue prevailing. 
  • You can also land into a similar issue if the security or firewall software is blocking the QuickBooks services. 
  • If you are using multiple versions of QuickBooks in one system, then you can simply land into such sort of issues. 

Important Pointers to Consider Before Troubleshooting

There are a bunch of factors that you must keep in mind, before you start fixing the error. 

  • A few devices make use of the download accelerator to speed up the download process. However, these third-party accelerators can corrupt the entire download process. Thus, make sure to disable it before download the updates. 
  • Ensuring that the internet connection is proper and speed is not less than 28.8 KB/s is important factor. 
  • Furthermore, you need to check if the parent controls are enabled in the browser for safety concerns. If yes, then make sure to disable them before you update the software. 
  • Another important task is to create a company file backup before performing any solution steps. 

You might find this helpful: QuickBooks Desktop 2023 – Pricing, Features and Download

Troubleshooting Methods to fix QuickBooks error 12038 (When Installing the Updates)

Now that you have learnt major information about the error code 12038, it is time to unleash the methods that can help you with the fixation of the error permanently. Let us explore each method one by one:

Procedure 1: Uninstall any duplicate/Multiple versions of QuickBooks 

As we mentioned earlier, setting up multiple versions of QuickBooks in one system can hindering the update process. Thus, to fix this, you can perform the below steps:

  • You need to first open the control panel from the start menu 
  • Furthermore, head to the programs and features section 
  • You can also check for any duplicate versions of QuickBooks programs from the list 
Uninstall programs and features - QuickBooks error 12038
  • In case you spot any duplicate copy, then make sure to uninstall them by selecting the icon and also clicking on the uninstall/change option. 
  • Now, click on the uninstall tab and get the copy of QuickBooks removed from the system 
Uninstall QuickBooks Desktop - Error 12038
  • Open QuickBooks and move to the help menu 
  • Click on the option to update QuickBooks desktop and check if the issue is eliminated or not. 

Procedure 2: Creating a new rule for QuickBooks.exe files 

When firewall hinders the process of updating, it is suggested to create a new rule for the QuickBooks. exe file. This involves the following steps:

  • Start off the process by searching for firewall and pressing the windows key 
  • You are then required to open windows firewall and head to the advanced settings 
  • Later on, move to the inbound rules option 
  • And right click the inbound rules 
  • You will see an option that states create a new rule, click on the same 
Create a new rule in firewall settings - QuickBooks Error 12038
  • Choose the program and click on next 
  • Hit the browse tab and go for the files associated with the QuickBooks software.
    • AutoBackupExe.exe, Dbmlsync.exe, DBManagerExe.exe, FileManagement.exe, IntuitSyncManager.exe, QBCFMonitorService.exe, QBDBMgr.exe, QBLaunch.exe, including all other .exe files corresponding to QuickBooks.
  • Also, click on the allow the connection option 
Allow the connection - QuickBooks update error 12038
  • Followed by clicking on next tab 
  • You are then supposed to head to creating a new rule by providing a name to the same 
  • Perform the steps to create outbound rules as well. 

Related Article: QuickBooks Update Error 12045 – Easy Tips and Tricks to Fix 

Procedure 3: Resetting the previous QuickBooks updates and downloading the new one 

  • This process demands you to launch the QuickBooks program 
  • And click on the help tab and also click on the update QuickBooks desktop 
Update QuickBooks - Error code 12038
  • You are later required to click on the update now tab 
  • Followed by ensuring that the reset update tab is selected 
  • You are then supposed to click on the get updates tab 
Get updates option - QuickBooks error 12038
  • Now, check if the error is fixed or not, if not, proceed to the next procedure. 

Procedure 4: Configuring System Date/ Time 

As we discussed above, if your system date and time is set incorrect, then there are chances that you land into this sort of issue. An incorrectly set date or time can directly end up in such an error. The steps involved in this procedure are as follows:

  • Just in case the user experiences that the date and time is not set properly, then right clicking on the date option is suggested. 
  • Followed by, clicking on the adjust date/time tab. 
Date and time settings
  • You are further required to set the correct time zone and also make any corrections required. 
  • In case an error appears, try changing the internet settings

Also Read: How to Fix QuickBooks Error Code 80070057?

Procedure 5: Close all QuickBooks processes and services 

Sometimes, the background processes related to QuickBooks can trigger this sort of issues in QuickBooks. The steps involved in this process are as follows:

  • Start by opening the task manager 
  • You can also use a shortcut for the same i.e., Ctrl + Alt + Delete 
  • Furthermore, click on the processes tab and end all the QuickBooks related processes 
Close QBW32.exe process - QuickBooks error 12038
  • Once done with that, click on the services tab 
  • And after all the QuickBooks services and processes are terminated, try to update the QuickBooks again. 

Procedure 6: Configuring internet connection settings 

  • Simply launch the QuickBooks software and click on the help section 
  • Once done with that, click on the internet connection setup option 
  • Followed by selecting the option to allow QuickBooks to get access to the internet connection 
  • You are then supposed to head to the advanced connection settings 
  • And then click on the advanced tab 
  • Now, you need to click on the option to restore advanced settings 
System Restore Tool
  • And towards the end of the process, click on apply tab and try to update QuickBooks again 

Also Check This Out: QuickBooks File Doctor Tool – Download, Install & Use 

The Crux! 

Bugs and technical snags like Error code 12038 in QuickBooks can be a little bit exasperating. Nevertheless, if you perform the set of procedures elaborated above, you can try getting rid of these errors easily. Just in case you are stuck at some point in time, or if you feel the need of professional guidance, then in that scenario, do not hesitate in connecting with our technical team of certified QuickBooks professionals, who have the right knowledge and experience to deal with any sort of QuickBooks related errors. You just need to ring us at +1-844-499-6700, and we will make sure that all your queries are well-answered. 


FAQs – QuickBooks error 12038

What is QuickBooks error code 12038?

QuickBooks error code 12038 is basically an update error that can be experienced when you try to update your QuickBooks software. You can experience this sort of issue when the date and time isn’t set properly on your system. There can be a bunch of other factors as well triggering such an error in QuickBooks. 

Are there any specific network settings to fix Error 12038 in QuickBooks?

Yes, it is important to keep a check on certain network settings to eliminate this issue in QuickBooks. This includes:

1. Ensuring that the network proxy settings aren’t configured properly 
2. Verifying that no network restrictions block the connection of the software 
3. You also need to confirm that the ISP hasn’t put any limitations. 

What causes QuickBooks error code 12038?

The following factors can trigger such an error in QuickBooks:

1. Incorrect date and time 
2. Internet settings misconfigured 
3. Antivirus or firewall blocking the software 
4. User having multiple versions of QuickBooks set up 


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