QuickBooks Error 12038

QuickBooks is an accounting software program created and sold by Intuit. Small and medium-sized enterprises utilize it extensively to handle sales, inventory, payroll, and other financial requirements. But QuickBooks may make mistakes, just like any other program. Error 12038 is one such error related to problems with software updates.

When there is an issue with updating QuickBooks or its payroll services, QuickBooks Error 12038 usually arises. This problem prevents users from accessing the most recent security updates and services, causing some operational difficulties.

Symptoms of Error 12038

Users may encounter QuickBooks problem 12038 while trying to upgrade their QuickBooks software or payroll services. It is essential to comprehend and immediately remedy the symptoms of this issue since it has the potential to substantially impair the software’s functioning and dependability. The specific symptoms listed below may be used to determine if QuickBooks Error 12038 is occurring.

  1. Inaccurate Updates:

One of QuickBooks Error 12038’s main symptoms is not finishing software updates. Users will see that although the update process begins, it does not complete properly. An error message mentioning Error 12038 may appear along with this.

  1. Error Notifications:

Users who experience this problem usually see a specific error message appear during the update process. Error 12038 is specifically mentioned in the message, suggesting that the update functionality is the cause of the issue.

  1. Slow or Unresponsive Performance: 

QuickBooks may start to operate slowly or become unresponsive when it encounters Error 12038. This may show up as sluggish command execution, sluggish module loads, or even complete program freeze.

  1. Issues with Connectivity:

Another indicator is problems with communication between the Intuit servers and QuickBooks. Not only might this stop updates, but it can also interfere with other online services that QuickBooks offers, such as online banking, payroll processing, and other functions that rely on the Internet.

  1. Missing or Corrupt Updates:

If an update finishes partly before the issue occurs, users may get an incomplete or damaged version of QuickBooks. This may result in additional functional problems like missing functionality, damaged data, or uneven performance.

  1. Timeouts and Network Errors:

During the updating process, users may encounter network-related issues and timeouts. Error 12038. 7 is often the consequence of these problems, which might stop the program from downloading the required files and finishing the update. Issues with the payroll service

  1. Because Error 12038 often arises during payroll updates, customers may have problems with QuickBooks’ payroll features in particular. This may include issues entering payroll information, downloading the most recent payroll tax table, or mistakes in payroll processing.
  2. Unable to Use Specified Features:

Users may discover that certain aspects of QuickBooks are unavailable or not operating properly as a consequence of inadequate upgrades. This may impact data management and regular company operations.

  1. Extra Indicators
  • System notifications: In the event that firewall or security settings prevent QuickBooks from making changes or from accessing the Internet, the operating system may also provide notifications.
  • Often Occurring Errors: In addition to Error 12038, customers could also see similar error numbers, including 12031, 12045, or 12007, which indicate comparable problems with update procedures and internet access.

It’s critical to identify these signs in order to diagnose and treat QuickBooks Error 12038 properly. Early detection enables users to take the necessary action to fix the issue, including reinstalling the program, upgrading SSL certificates, modifying firewall settings, verifying internet access, and altering date and time settings. Users may guarantee smoother functioning and prevent protracted delays in their accounting procedures by becoming aware of these signs.

Causes of Error 12038

Error 12038 in QuickBooks usually arises when the program has problems updating itself or its payroll functions. There are several underlying causes for this mistake. To diagnose and resolve the problem efficiently, it is vital to comprehend these factors. The main reasons for QuickBooks Error 12038 are as follows:

  1. Problems with Internet Connection

A dependable and steady internet connection is essential for QuickBooks updates. If the connection is sluggish, unreliable, or disconnects periodically, QuickBooks may not be able to connect to the update server, resulting in Error 12038.

  1. Configuring Security or Firewall Software

Installing security software or constricting firewall settings too much might prevent QuickBooks from connecting to the Internet or the Intuit update servers. QuickBooks may not download and install updates if it is not included as an exception in the firewall or antivirus settings.

  1. Inaccurate Time and Date Configurations

The system’s date and time settings are essential for safe communications. QuickBooks requires SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to make a secure connection to the update server; incorrect date and time settings on the PC might lead to problems with these certificates. The update procedure may only succeed if the date and time are correct, making the SSL certificates seem invalid.

  1. Expired or Invalid SSL Certificates 

QuickBooks and the update servers use SSL certificates to provide secure communications. QuickBooks cannot confirm the legitimacy of the server if these certificates are faulty or expired, which causes Error 12038.

  1. Timeout on the Network

When QuickBooks is unable to connect to the update server in a certain amount of time, a network timeout occurs. Network congestion, server problems, or sluggish internet speeds might be the cause of this. Error 12038 might happen when the updating process is interrupted by a network timeout.

  1. Incorrect Internet Configuration

QuickBooks’s update browser, Internet Explorer, may have incorrect internet settings that prevent QuickBooks from connecting to the update server. Configurations like a misconfigured proxy or improper LAN settings may also block the updating procedure.

  1. Applications from Third Parties

Certain background-running third-party programs may hamper QuickBooks updates. For example, QuickBooks may not be able to connect to update servers if you use programs that control internet connections or provide network security.

  1. Configuring Windows User Account Control (UAC)

Sometimes, Windows User Account Control (UAC) might stop QuickBooks from performing essential system upgrades and modifications. Overly stringent UAC settings may prevent the update procedure from happening.

  1. Problems with the Server

Sometimes, the problem might be with the Intuit server. QuickBooks will not be able to finish the update if the update server is offline or having problems, which will result in Error 12038.

  1. Inaccurate Installation of QuickBooks

The update procedure may not succeed if files are missing or the QuickBooks installation itself is corrupted. One of the many issues that might arise from a botched installation is Error 12038.

In summary

There are several possible causes of QuickBooks Error 12038, including expired SSL certificates, incorrect settings, and problems with internet access. Understanding these reasons is the initial step in efficiently diagnosing and fixing the mistake. By fixing these fundamental problems, users may guarantee a seamless and effective QuickBooks update procedure, preserving the program’s functionality and security.

Solutions to Resolve QuickBooks Error 12038

In order to fix QuickBooks Error 12038, the possible reasons must be methodically addressed. Here are thorough fixes to assist you in resolving this issue:

Verify and Set Up Your Internet Connection

The first step in fixing QuickBooks Error 12038 is to make sure you have a reliable internet connection. Make sure your internet connection is up and running first. To make sure webpages load swiftly and without any interruptions, you may do this by opening a web browser and visiting a few websites. Try rebooting your modem or router if you have any problems with your internet connection. In addition, you may fix any persistent connection difficulties by getting in touch with your internet service provider. Making sure your internet connection is steady will provide QuickBooks the dependable access it needs to finish upgrades.

Modify Security and Firewall Configurations

Update failures may often occur when QuickBooks is unable to connect to the Internet due to firewall and security software settings. You must set up your firewall so that QuickBooks may interact with it without restriction in order to fix this. Find the part where you may add exceptions or exclusions by opening your firewall’s settings. Include QuickBooks in this list and make sure that ports 80 and 443 are open—updates are needed. In a similar vein, add QuickBooks as a trusted program and verify the settings of your security or antivirus software. This change will stop your security program from unintentionally interfering with QuickBooks’ update procedures.

Accurate Time and Date Configurations

Update errors might result from incorrect system date and time settings interfering with SSL certificates. The date and time display on your desktop may be fixed by right-clicking on it and choosing “Adjust date/time.” Make sure your time zone is right and that the date and time are set appropriately. Consider turning on this function if your system still needs to be configured to update the date and time automatically. Maintaining valid SSL certificates—which are required for secure connections throughout the upgrade process—requires accurate date and time settings.

Revise SSL Certifications

It may be difficult for QuickBooks to create secure connections to the update server if SSL certificates are invalid or expired. Open Internet Explorer (since QuickBooks utilizes its settings) and go to the Tools menu. From there, choose Internet Options to change these certificates. To see the list of installed certificates, select the Certificates tab and click on it. Verify if any of the certificates are invalid or expired, and renew them if needed. Updating SSL certificates makes sure QuickBooks can authenticate the update server, enabling updates to be successful.

Reinstall QB

Should the fixes above fail to fix Error 12038, it could be essential to reinstall QuickBooks. First, choose Programs and Features from the Control Panel to begin the removal of QuickBooks. Click Uninstall after seeing QuickBooks in the list of installed apps. Restarting your computer will finish the uninstallation. After that, download the most recent version of QuickBooks from the official Intuit website and adhere to the setup guidelines. Reinstalling QuickBooks can resolve any underlying problems with the software installation that could be generating the update error.

Adjust the Internet Explorer Preferences

Incorrectly configured internet settings may break the updated server connection between QuickBooks and Internet Explorer. To fix this, open Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu and choose Internet Options. Select LAN Settings from the Connections tab. Verify that the option to automatically detect settings is selected, and make sure that any proxy servers are set up appropriately or turned off when not in use. By doing this, QuickBooks will be able to connect to the update server using the proper internet settings.

Turn off the User Account Control (UAC). 

Sometimes, QuickBooks updates and the User Account Control (UAC) settings in Windows prevent QuickBooks from making essential modifications. Navigate to User Accounts in the Control Panel to temporarily deactivate UAC. To turn off UAC, choose Change User Account Control settings and lower the slider to the lowest position. After making this adjustment, try updating QuickBooks once again. In order to preserve system security, remember to reactivate UAC when the upgrade is finished.

Speak with QuickBooks Support

If you have attempted all of the fixes above but are still experiencing QuickBooks Error 12038, it may be time to contact QuickBooks Support. The support staff at Intuit may provide specialist help and could possess extra resources or knowledge to address challenging problems. Making contact with support guarantees that you’ll get knowledgeable assistance customized to your particular circumstance, assisting with the error’s prompt and efficient resolution.

By addressing the root causes of QuickBooks Error 12038, you can make sure that your program upgrades without hiccups and continues to work at its best.

Preventive Measures

If you want to steer clear of QuickBooks Error 12038 in the future, you may want to take the following precautions:

  1. Regular Updates: Install the most recent patches and updates to keep your Windows operating system and QuickBooks software up to date.
  2. Stable Internet Connection: To avoid interruptions while updating, make sure you have a steady and dependable Internet connection.
  3. Firewall and Security Configurations: Make sure QuickBooks is not impacted by firewall and security software settings by routinely reviewing and adjusting them.
  4. System Maintenance: To guarantee smooth functioning, routine system maintenance, such as deleting temporary files and scanning for malware, must be performed.
  5. Backup Data: To avoid data loss in the event of a problem, regularly backup your QuickBooks data.


The annoying problem known as QuickBooks Error 12038 may cause disruptions to your company’s operations. That being said, you may reduce the impact of this problem on your workflow and efficiently fix it by comprehending the reasons and putting this guide’s recommendations into practice. Such issues may be avoided in the future by performing routine maintenance and upgrades, configuring internet and security settings correctly, and guaranteeing a seamless and effective QuickBooks experience.