How to Fix QuickBooks Error PS038: Tips and Tricks

QuickBooks Error PS038

Stop scratching your head while encountering the QuickBooks error ps038 and learn the effective techniques to resolve it quickly.

We understand the frustration that comes with experiencing QuickBooks error ps038, which can disrupt the smooth management of your accounts. These errors may prevent you from focusing on important payroll tasks such as filing federal taxes, calculating taxes, tracking time management, and paying employee wages. It is critical to address and rectify these issues promptly in order to ensure that the software runs smoothly and efficiently.

QuickBooks Error PS038 Screenshot

If you are also encountering QuickBooks payroll update error ps038, while downloading the tax table updates, or when you’re running the payroll forms or other reports, then this guide is for you! In this article, we will discuss every expectation of payroll error PS038, including the causes and symptoms that enhance your knowledge about the issue. As well as providing you with expertly recommended, tried-and-tested troubleshooting techniques that easily eliminate the problem, ensure that your software runs smoothly and effectively as it did before.

What is QuickBooks Error PS038: Payroll Update Error?

The QuickBooks error ps038 belongs to the PSXXX series of errors, which appear especially while running or downloading the latest tax table updates without admin rights. The updates are sometimes blocked because of incomplete or incorrect dates or times in the system. This error causes significant challenges, especially in disrupting payroll processing activities, such as users being unable to send paychecks online. To fix this issue, it is important to first understand the reason that triggers the problem, which makes your procedure more smooth and effective.

Circumstances when the QuickBooks Error ps038 Appears

Encountering the ps038 error in QuickBooks desktop while running payroll activities can be frustrating. Below, we have compiled a list of common situations that may trigger this error message. Take a look to understand when you may come across this issue.

  • When you are running an old version of QuickBooks and wish to update it, and suddenly you get stuck in between the error.
  • If you are attempting to download and install the latest Tax Tables on your systems.
  • When the user tries to send the online paychecks and suddenly gets stuck at the Online To Send option. The screen will immediately start with the warning message.

What are the Common Reasons for QuickBooks Error PS038?

By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can optimize your actions for the best results. To troubleshoot the QuickBooks error ps038, it is crucial to identify the root cause of the issue. Understanding what triggers this error will enable you to address it effectively. The following are common reasons for this error; carefully review them to pinpoint your specific problem.

  • Your payroll subscription status might become inactive or expired.
  • Damaged or corrupted CPS folder in QuickBooks.
  • If you are running an older version of the QuickBooks application, also invite the ps038 error on the QuickBooks desktop.
  • When there is an improper updating process for QuickBooks desktop.
  • In case the QB data file faces data integrity issues that interrupt the processing of payroll update.
  • The Windows firewall infection or anti-virus attack also triggers this issue in your system.
  • Incorrect internet settings or misconfiguration are also common reasons for this issue in your system.
  • Missing QuickBooks company file or disabled FCS (QuickBooks File Copy Service).
  • If multiple instances of the QuickBooks application are opened on the same system.

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How can I resolve QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038?

We have put together a comprehensive list of methods to help you resolve the QuickBooks payroll update error ps038 on your system. To effectively address the issue, we recommend carefully reading through the steps, understanding the process, and following each method. It is important to try each method, as the first one may not work for you, but the second one could be the method you need.

Note: Before you start following the steps, it’s important to update your QuickBooks to the latest version. Additionally, don’t forget to back up your important company files to ensure that your data is safe in case of any unexpected issues.

Method 1: Install the Latest QuickBooks Desktop Update

If you are experiencing a ps038 error in QuickBooks desktop while processing payroll, it is likely due to pending updates in your outdated version of the software. To resolve this issue, we have put together easy-to-follow instructions for you to update your QuickBooks desktop and ensure smooth payroll processing. Simply follow each step carefully to avoid any further interruptions.

  • Start the process by moving your cursor to the Help option.
Update QuickBooks Option
  • Then, choose Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Hit the Update Now option.
Update QuickBooks Screenshot
  • Select Get Updates, and here the updating process starts.
  • Wait until the updating process is completed successfully; after that, hit the Close option.
  • Re-launch the QuickBooks application where the message prompts you to install the updates.
  • Once the installation process is complete, restart your computer and check the status of the error.

Method 2: Change the Name of the Damaged CPS Folder

The CPS folder is a crucial part of your payroll system, containing important files needed to update payroll and access company information. If you encounter the QuickBooks payroll update error ps038 due to damage or corruption in the CPS folder, don’t worry; we have expert instructions to help you resolve this issue. Simply follow the steps below to rename the folder and get your payroll system back on track.

  • Open the Windows File Explorer by pressing the Windows + E keys together.
  • Click on the This PC option.
  • Then, go to the Local Disk C section and run the Program Files (x86).
  • Choose the Intuit folder and click on the QB Desktop version you are currently operating.
  • Now, choose the Components and click on the Payroll Folder.
  • Here, you have to right-click on the CPS folder.
  • Furthermore, select the Rename option and hit the New Folder Name tab.
  • Save the new folder name by pressing the Enter key.
  • Lastly, restart QuickBooks and try to update the QuickBooks payroll now.

Method 3: Download the Latest Payroll Tax Table

To ensure your payroll processing runs smoothly and efficiently, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest updates released by the payroll tax table. Ignoring these updates can cause your software to slow down and introduce errors, ultimately impacting productivity. If the above methods fail to resolve any issues, we recommend installing the latest payroll tax table. Not sure how to do this? To begin, simply follow the straightforward steps listed below:

  • First, you have to move your cursor to the Employees option.
  • Click on the Get Payroll Updates tab.
  • Now, check your Tax Table version by clicking on the “You are using the tax table version” option.
  • Then, verify if it is the right version by hitting Latest Payroll News and Updates.
  • To find more details related to the tax table version, click on Payroll Update Info.
  • Choose the Download Entire Update.
  • Thereon, click on Update to get the latest tax table.
  • Lastly, wait until the downloading process completes until your screen displays the error message “Download is complete.”

Method 4: Repair the Paychecks Stuck as “Online to Send”

Many users struggle with sending paychecks online and encounter the QuickBooks error ps038. In order to address this issue, it is important to locate the stuck paychecks within QuickBooks payroll to identify the root cause and resolve it effectively. To begin, please follow the steps outlined below for a seamless resolution process.

  • First, launch the QuickBooks application and navigate to the Edit tab.
  • Now, click on the Find option.
  • Select the Advanced tab and move your cursor to the Filter section.
  • Here, you get the Filter list, in which you have to choose the Detail Level.
  • Then, click on the Summary Only option.
  • Again, open the Filter list and scroll down below to select the Online Status.
  • Furthermore, click on the Online to Send option.
  • Hit the Find tab, and here you will see all the paychecks that have not been sent to Intuit.
  • On the Find window, write down the Number of matches.

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Method 5: Utilize the Quick Fix My Program Tool

QuickBooks Fix My program is one of the exceptional tools that can assist you in resolving a variety of system errors. We specifically designed the application to conduct an automated scan of the issue and rectify it with a few straightforward steps. Please refer to the following pointer, which will provide comprehensive information.

  • Visit the official website of Intuit and download the QuickBooks Tool Hub.
  • Now, after completing the downloading process, agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Then, let the installation process complete successfully.
  • After the installation process, restart your software and double-click on the QuickBooks Tool Hub icon.
Quickbooks Tool Hub
  • Click on the Program Problem option.
  • Select the Quick Fix My Program tab.
Quick Fix My Program
  • Here, the scanning process starts automatically, allowing it to complete successfully.
  • To end the procedure, restart the system.


If you want to permanently eliminate the QuickBooks error ps038 from your system, you have to be meticulously attentive while implementing the techniques. We hope that the above-mentioned guide helps you investigate the root causes that trigger this particular issue in your system. And while applying the appropriate methods, such as updating the QuickBooks latest update, downloading the payroll tax table, and changing the name of the CPS folder, it might help you resolve the issue. If, even after applying the methods, you are still experiencing a problem, then we suggest you take advice from the QuickBooks support expert team. The professionals will guide you to the best possible solutions.