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Experiencing QuickBooks error PS038 can be extremely annoying when running payroll. You can come across such an error when trying to install the latest updates for QuickBooks payroll. You can also experience this when installing the latest tax tables. It further shows up on the screen when the paychecks get stuck at the online to send option. When this particular error occurs, it appears with a warning message that states: You’ve retrieved the latest payroll update and validated your Payroll subscription. We strongly recommend that you go online again [PS038]. A bunch of factors can drag you into such an error, which we will elaborate on later in this segment.

QuickBooks error PS038

Thus, stick around this segment carefully to understand what causes QuickBooks error PS038, along with the measures that can be taken to fix the error. You can also get in touch with our technical support professionals at  +1-844-499-6700, and our experts will help you with your queries immediately. 

Also Read: How to Fix QuickBooks Error PS077 or PS032: When Updating or Downloading Payroll?

Factors causing QuickBooks Error PS038

There are a bunch of factors that can drag you into such an error. These factors include: 

  1. In case the QuickBooks program is not updated. 
  2. Another reason can be when you try to send online paychecks but are unable to do so and get stuck at the online to send option. 
  3. You can further come across similar issues when trying to download and install the latest tax tables on the systems. 

Solutions to fix QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038

Getting rid of the error PS038 becomes easy, once you try performing the below discussed measures accurately. Let us have a look: 

Solution 1: Toggle payments that are in a deadlock 

  1. You will first have to access the old paychecks that are stuck. 
  2. Once done with that, you need to click on the paycheck detail tab. 
  3. The next step is to move to review the paycheck window. 
Review paycheck - QuickBooks error PS038
  1. Heading forward, move to earnings and incorporate the similar earnings item in the list. 
  2. You will later have to incorporate the hourly rate item in case the item is an hourly rate. 
  3. Furthermore, a message related to Net Pay Locked will appear on the screen. 
  4. The user will then have to click on no. 
  5. Note that the tax amounts and net pay should not be tampered with. 
  6. You will then have to click on the ok tab. 
  7. A message related to past transactions might show up. 
  8. If that is the case, then click on the yes tab. 
  9. You are then suggested to click on the save and close tab. 
  10. Followed by clicking on close the paycheck. 
  11. Once done with that, click on the yes tab. 
  12. And then try to access the paycheck again. 
  13. You also have to click on the paycheck details tab. 
  14. And furthermore, remove the items corresponding to earnings. 
  15. Ascertain that no alterations are made to the tax amounts and net pay. 
  16. The next step is to click on the ok tab. 
  17. And carry out the steps for all the stuck paychecks.
  18. The user will then have to retry downloading and installing the tax tables to ensure PS038 has been eliminated. 

You might find this helpful: How to Fix PS033 Error: QuickBooks Can’t Read your Payroll Setup Files?

Solution 2: Verify and rebuild utility 

In QuickBooks error PS038 still shows up, then in that case try using the verify and rebuild QuickBooks data file with the help of the steps below: 

Steps to use verify data tool 

  1. Here, you simply need to run QuickBooks desktop. 
  2. Once done with that, click on the file menu. 
  3. You now have to click on utilities. 
  4. Also, select the verify data option. 
Verify data or rebuild data - QuickBooks error PS038
  1. In case the tool diagnoses any issues, then you simply need to use the rebuild data tool. 

Steps to use rebuild data tool 

  1. Initially, click on the file menu. 
  2. Once done with that, go for utilities tab and also choose the rebuild data option. 
Rebuild company data
  1. You are then required to click on the ok tab and head to save the file to a convenient location. 
  2. The next step is to wait for the rebuild process to end. 
  3. Also, rerun the verify data scan to ensure that the preexisting issues are not showing up further. 
  4. This would fix the issue up to a certain extent. 

Solution 3: Update and backup QuickBooks data To Fix QuickBooks Error PS038

Here are a few steps that can be taken to update QuickBooks: 

  1. Begin the process by clicking on the help tab in QuickBooks. 
  2. Once done with that, click on Update QuickBooks desktop and also go for the Update Now tab. 
Update QuickBooks to the latest release
  1. Selecting the reset update checkbox removes all previously downloaded updates. 
  2. You now have to choose get updates and let the update download and install successfully. 
  3. After that, enable automatic updates. 
Get payroll updates - QuickBooks error PS038
  1. Also download the updates from the QuickBooks product download page, in case the issue shows in between the process. 
  2. Now, open the downloads and updates page. 
  3. And select yes, no, or not sure options. 
  4. Click on the country, product, and version. 
  5. Also, click on the search tab. 
  6. Go for the download option. 
  7. After the update has been downloaded, you need to navigate to the computer’s downloads folder. Click on the QuickBooks update file to start the process of installing it. 
  8. Carry out the onscreen prompts to complete the installation. 
  9. Restart the system after the installation ends. 

Steps to backup company file 

Here is how you can create QuickBooks backup company file.

  1. The very first step is to head to the file menu in QuickBooks. 
  2. Select the switch to single-user mode option. 
  3. You now have to access the file and click on backup company. 
  4. Select Create Local Backup. 
  5. Also, go for a browse in the local backup-only section and then decide on a place to the backup file. 
  6. You will now have to choose how many backups you need as an additional step. 
  7. This will test your company file. 
  8. After that, click on the ok tab. 
  9. And also tap the save it now option and hit the next tab. 

Solution 4: Send payroll data or usage data 

In order to update the outdated direct deposit paychecks, you need to send payroll data and usage data. This can be done with the help of the below-scribbled steps: 

  1. The user needs to first head to the employees tab, select My Payroll service, and choose send usage data. 
My payroll service option - QuickBooks error PS038
  1. In case you do not see this option, then move to the next step. 
  2. Here, you need to navigate to the employees tab and choose send payroll data. 
  3. Once done with that, in the send/receive payroll data window, choose to send all. 
  4. Further, enter your payroll service pin in case asked to. 

In case it is successful, then try to update payroll again. If you still face the same issue, then proceed with the steps below. 

Must Read: QBWC1039: Fix QuickBooks Web Connector Error

Solution 5: Look for stuck paychecks 

You need to spot the stuck paychecks using the below steps: 

  1. At first, click on the edit tab and choose find. 
  2. Once done with that, select the advanced tab. 
  3. You now have to click on the detail level from the filter list in the choose filter section. 
  4. Also, click on a summary only. 
  5. The next step is to return to the filter list. 
  6. Further, scroll down to choose online status and also click on online to send. 
  7. Click on find and you will be able to see paychecks that weren’t sent to Intuit. 
  8. Note down the number of matches on the find window and move ahead with the onscreen steps. 

Solution 6: Restore a different backup copy 

In case possible, try to restore backup files in QuickBooks, preferably the initial one before the error showed up. The steps to be carried out for restoring a backup are: 

  1. Here you need to head to the file menu and opt for open or restore company in QuickBooks. 
  2. The next step is to click on the restore a backup copy option and also click on the next tab. 
  3. You now have to select local backup and click on the next tab. 
  4. Head to the system to find the backup company file resembling [Your Company name].qbb 
  5. Choose a folder to find where to store the restore company file and then click on open. 
  6. Avoid overwriting by renaming the existing company file. 
  7. Once done, click on the save tab. 
  8. At the end of this process, you have a new company file ready for your work. 

Solution 7: Disable the antivirus temporarily To Fix QuickBooks Error PS038

In certain cases, the antivirus software might hinder the smooth working of the software by simply creating restrictions. In that scenario, you simply need to perform the below steps: 

  1. To start with, you need to open the start menu and look for the control panel. 
  2. Once done with that, open it and head to programs. 
  3. You will then have to scroll down to find your antivirus software. 
  4. The next step is to click on it and also click on the disable option. 

Solution 8: Maintaining the accuracy of tax information 

  1. Under this process, you simply need to first reboot the system and reopen QuickBooks. 
  2. Once done with that, confirm that the account details are current and accurate. In case not, then make necessary updates. 
  3. You now have to install the most recent update for the payroll tax table

Solution 9: Don’t keep the file on a network 

Acertaining that your file is not present on the network is also essential. After which you will have to update the company file after disabling the antivirus and Windows firewall.  

  1. You now have to right-click and copy the company file from the server system. 
  2. And later on, transfer and paste it to the home screen of the system. 
  3. You can also disable antivirus and firewalls. 
  4. Also, update the new QuickBooks company file to the latest version. 
  5. And update payroll to the latest release and turn off cloud payroll services. 
  6. The last step is to send payroll data to release the stuck paychecks and toggle them. 

Solution 10: Repair QuickBooks 

Fixing QuickBooks can help you fix QuickBooks payroll error PS038 up to a certain extent. You can use the QuickBooks tool hub and Quick Fix My Program to repair QuickBooks and fix this issue. The steps involved here are: 

  1. Download the QuickBooks tool hub. 
  2. After that, open and install the downloaded QuickBookstoolhub.exe file. 
  3. And further, run the InstallShield wizards. 
  4. Now, accept the license agreement. 
  5. Within the QuickBooks tool hub app, select program problems. 
  6. And also click on quick fix my program. This will fix the issue up to a certain extent. 

Also Read: How to Fix QuickBooks Payroll Error PS058?


Now that you know what measures should be taken to eliminate this particular error in QuickBooks, it is believed that you might successfully be able to fix the issue. Just in case you are unable to rectify the error PS038 at any point in time, or if you need any sort of technical guidance at any point in time, then in that scenario, give us a call at  +1-844-499-6700, and our certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors will assist you in getting rid of this issue permanently. 

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