What's QuickBooks error PS038 and How can you Fix it
What's QuickBooks error PS038 and How can you Fix it

The payroll feature in QuickBooks allows small and medium-sized businesses to manage employee benefits, file taxes, and pay salaries. There are instances when users get QuickBooks error PS038 while running payroll. “You’ve retrieved the latest payroll update and validated your Payroll subscription. We strongly recommend that you go online again before mm/dd/yyyy.[PS038],“ message pops up on the screen when the error triggers. Continue reading the blog to analyze the factors responsible for the error and troubleshooting solutions that can be implemented to resolve it.

Looking for a perfect solution to resolve QuickBooks error PS038? Call us on our customer support number +1 800-579-9430 and have words with the certified QuickBooks expert’s team

Main causes of QuickBooks Desktop error PS038

It would be difficult to resolve the issue on your own without knowing the reasons behind it. We have listed some major causes of the error down below. Have a look:

  1. Some QuickBooks-related files are damaged.
  2. QuickBooks Desktop version you’re using is damaged and needs repair.
  3. You are working on an older QuickBooks Desktop update.

Given below are the troubleshooting techniques to resolve the error.

Step-by-Step Methods to Fix QuickBooks payroll error PS038

Method 1. Find the stuck paychecks and then rebuild data

Step 1. Download and install the most recent QuickBooks update by Intuit

  1. Make sure all the company files are closed, then exit QuickBooks.
  2. Click the Windows Start menu, locate the QuickBooks Desktop icon and choose Run as administrator.
  3. When directed to the No Company Open screen, select the Help menu and then Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  4. Under the Update Now tab, click Mark All and then the Save button.
  5. Next, select the Update Now tab and tick the Reset Update checkbox.
  6. To begin the update process, click Get Updates.
  7. Once it completes, open QuickBooks again.
  8. Install the latest QuickBooks update and then restart your workstation.
  9. Open QuickBooks and go to the Employees menu.
  10. Depending on the payroll service you use:
  • Select Send Payroll Data.
  • Choose My Payroll Service and then select Send Usage Data.


  • If the send completes successfully, try to download the payroll update again. If error ps038 reappears, proceed to the next step.

Step 2. Identify the stuck paychecks

  1. Choose Edit and then Find.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab, then move to the Choose Filter section.
  3. Choose Detail Level from the Filter list and select Summary Only.
  4. Next, go to the Choose Filter section, choose Online Status from the Filter list.
  5. From the drop-down menu, select Online to Send.
  6. To view the paychecks not sent to Intuit, click Find and then Run a verify data.

Step 3. Rebuild the data

Back up your QuickBooks company data file and run verify data.

If the Verify Data displays stuck paychecks, run a rebuild data. The rebuild should show that it fixed the paychecks.

If the rebuild is unable to remove the stuck paychecks and the error continues, proceed to the next method.

Method 2. Find the stuck paychecks and make required changes to the paychecks

Step 1. Based on your payroll service:

  • Select the Employees menu, then My Payroll Service, and click Send Usage Data


  • Choose the Employees menu and then Send Payroll Data.

If the send is successful, download the latest payroll update again. If you get the error, move on to the next step.

Step 2. Look for the stuck paycheck

  1. Take a backup of the QuickBooks company file.
  2. Click Edit, then Find and choose the Advanced tab.
  3. Move to the Choose filter section, then from the Filter list, select Detail Level.
  4. From the right, choose Summary Only.
  5. Within the Choose filter section, select Online Status from the Filter list and click Online to Send.
  6. Click the Find button to view paychecks in QuickBooks that haven’t been sent to Intuit.
  7. Note down the details of the paychecks. Send to Excel and Save.

Step 3. Make changes to paychecks

  1. Begin with the first check given in the list, find and open the paycheck.
  2. Click the Paycheck Detail button.
  3. Move to the Review Paycheck window, then within the Earnings section, add up the same earning item as the last earnings item in the list.
  4. A Net Pay Locked message will show up on the screen. Click OK to close the message.
  5. Choose the Rate field of the new earnings item you have added.
  6. Make sure the taxes and Net Pay did not change and click OK to save the changes.
  7. If the Past Transaction message appears, click Yes.
  8. Click Save & Close to close the paycheck.
  9. When the Recording Transaction warning message appears, click Yes.
  10. Reopen the paycheck and click the Paycheck Details button.
  11. Delete the earning item you added in the Earnings section.
  12. Verify the taxes and Net Pay didn’t change and click OK.
  13. Follow the same procedure for each of the paychecks in the results of the Online to Send status.
  14. Once it completes, try to send Usage Data again.

If you still get the same error, move on to the next method.

Method 3. Fix damage by repairing QuickBooks

Any damage to the company data files can be fixed by repairing the QuickBooks Desktop application and fixing errors right away. Here are the steps to repair QuickBooks:

  1. Reboot your system to make sure no program interferes with the repair process.
  2. Click the Start menu and open Control Panel.
  3. Choose Programs and Features, then click Uninstall a program.
  4. From the list of Programs, select QuickBooks and click Uninstall/Change.
  5. Click Continue and then Repair.
  6. Click Next and then Finish.
  7. To complete the repair, restart your workstation.

With the above blog, we understood the primary causes and troubleshooting solutions to fix QuickBooks error PS038. We are not concluding the blog hoping it helped you. If you are stuck while performing the steps and need help, dial +1 800-579-9430 and connect with the certified QuickBooks expert’s team.

Note:- The one of the main reason when this error occur is “file component missing in QuickBooks company file”. Clink on this QuickBooks error 6143  to resolve to resolve this issue or you can follow this step by step troubleshooting guide to quick fix this issue.


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