There is a power struggle going on in the world we work in; and it’s between Windows 7/Vista, QuickBooks and QuickBooks 3rd party applications.   You can tell if your computer is caught in up in this struggle if you receive an 80040408 – Could not start QuickBooks error when a 3rd party app  tries to access your QuickBooks company data file.

This article will discuss best practices to help YOU prevent or put an end to this power struggle; and explain why it happened in the first place.

Your New Computer

Any new computer that you buy comes pre-configured with an Administrator Account, which is great – BUT few people, including IT people, ever take the time to research the Microsoft website to learn that it is recommended that you create a Standard User Account for each person who accesses the computer–including yourself AND EVEN if you are the only person who used the computer. why won’t my QuickBooks open


  • What is an Administrator Account? An Administrator account is a user account that lets you make changes that will affect other users. Administrators can change security settings, install software and hardware, and access all the files on the computer. Administrators can also make changes to other user accounts.When you set up Windows, you’ll be required to create a user account. This account is an administrator account that allows you to set up your computer and install any programs that you would like to use. Once you have finished setting up your computer, we recommend that you use a standard user account for your day-to-day computing. It’s more secure to use a standard user account instead of an administrator account.
  • Why use a standard user account instead of an administrator account? The standard account can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer. We recommend creating a standard account for each user.When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if you want to do something that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows might ask you to provide a password for an administrator account.
  • What is User Account Control? With Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft enabled additional security features; such as User Account Control (UAC).   User Account Control (UAC) is a feature in Windows that can help prevent unauthorized changes to your computer.  UAC does this by asking you for permission or an administrator? password before performing actions that could potentially affect your computer’s operation or that change settings that affect other users. When you see a UAC message, read it carefully, and then make sure the name of the action or program that’s about to start is one that you intended to start.By verifying these actions before they start, UAC can help prevent malicious software (malware) and spyware from installing or making changes to your computer without permission.When your permission or password is needed to complete a task, UAC will alert you with one of the following messages:
    • Windows needs your permission to continue
    • A program needs your permission to continue
    • An unidentified program wants to access your computer
    • This program has been blocked


Into the picture comes QuickBooks and Intuit Support Reps

We all know that Intuit offers to install QuickBooks on your computer for you; and many people take advantage of this service – which is fine……BUT I know from talking with customers who have taken advantage of this service – that the Support Rep {9 times out of 10} installs QuickBooks under the Administrator account and NOT the Standard User Account and to my knowledge they never ask the user if they use a 3rd party app.  This is where the trouble begins.

Enter the QuickBooks 3rd Party App, the Intuit Developer Network & the SDK

Developers who utilize the QuickBooks SDK to create their 3rd party applications must follow rules established not only by Microsoft, but also the rules created by the Intuit Developer Network (IDN) regarding how a 3rd party app must or can access the QuickBooks file when they are run on a Windows Vista or 7 computer.

These rules include:


  • The Vista (and Windows 7) user account must have its User Account Control (UAC) set to On (as recommended by Microsoft)
  • Both QuickBooks and the application accessing it through the SDK should be run with Standard User Permissions – NOT elevated to run as administrator {in less technical terms this means that both QuickBooks and the 3rd party app should be installed and then run under the Standard User Account)
  • The QuickBooks company file must also be in a Public or properly shared
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