Intuit's QuickBooks has become a crucial tool for businesses of all sizes, providing a comprehensive solution for managing financial operations. However, like all software, QuickBooks is not immune to errors that may disrupt its smooth functioning. QuickBooks Error PS036 is one such error that primarily affects payroll updates and, consequently, business operations. This article aims to provide a thorough understanding of QuickBooks Error Code PS036 and guide you through effective ways of resolving it.

Understanding QuickBooks Error Code PS036

QuickBooks Payroll Error PS036 is an error that usually crops up when a user attempts to update their payroll services. This error prevents users from updating payroll services, thus disrupting the payroll processing operations. It's important to note that payroll errors like PS036 often signal a complication in the payroll subscription.

Symptoms of QuickBooks Error PS036

Identifying QuickBooks Payroll Error PS036 becomes easier if you know what signs to look for. Here are the most common symptoms associated with this error:

  1. The Error PS036 message appears on the screen, prompting the interruption of the active program window.
  2. Your PC crashes frequently when you try to run the same program.
  3. The system's response time slows down, with delayed responses to keyboard inputs or mouse clicks.
  4. QuickBooks hangs or freezes for short intervals.

Reasons Behind QuickBooks Error PS036

Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of QuickBooks Error Code PS036:

  1. The payroll subscription has expired or isn't active.
  2. Multiple active payroll agreements with an inactive Direct Deposit agreement.
  3. QuickBooks Desktop File or Payroll Data damage.
  4. Incorrect service key or PSID in the company file.
  5. Your QuickBooks version is outdated.

Resolving QuickBooks Error Message PS036

Before proceeding with the steps mentioned below, ensure that you have backed up your QuickBooks data. Doing so will safeguard your data from any potential loss during the troubleshooting process.

1. Verify Your Payroll Subscription:

Check the status of your payroll subscription in QuickBooks. If it's inactive, renew it and then try updating the payroll service.

2. Update QuickBooks:

Ensure that your QuickBooks software is up-to-date. If not, update it to the latest version. An updated version of QuickBooks often includes fixes for various issues, including Error PS036.

3. Check the Payroll Service Key:

Make sure that the payroll service key entered is correct. A wrong service key can prevent payroll updates.

4. Repair QuickBooks Software:

Sometimes, corrupted or damaged QuickBooks software may cause Error PS036. In such cases, repairing the QuickBooks software may resolve the issue.

5. Update Billing Information:

Outdated billing information could be a reason for the payroll update failure. Make sure that your billing information is up-to-date.

Read More: QuickBooks Error PS038

6. Use the QuickBooks Payroll Account Maintenance page:

Close QuickBooks and wait for about 15 minutes. Reopen it, and when the Payroll Account Maintenance page opens, close it. You should now be able to send payroll data.


QuickBooks Payroll Error PS036 can be a major disruption, particularly if you're in the midst of payroll processing. However, the steps mentioned above should effectively help you overcome this error. Given the technical nature of some of these steps, if you're unsure, consider seeking professional assistance. If the error persists after following these steps, reach out to QuickBooks support for further guidance.

FAQs on QuickBooks Error PS036

1. What is QuickBooks Error PS036?

QuickBooks Error PS036 is a payroll update error that occurs when a user attempts to update their payroll services. It prevents users from updating payroll services, thus affecting payroll processing.

2. What are the symptoms of QuickBooks Error PS036?

The most common symptoms include the error message 'PS036' appearing on your screen, the active program window crashing, your system running slowly, and QuickBooks freezing intermittently.

3. What are the causes of QuickBooks Error PS036?

The error can be caused by factors such as an inactive or expired payroll subscription, multiple active payroll agreements with an inactive Direct Deposit agreement, QuickBooks or payroll data damage, incorrect service key or PSID in the company file, or an outdated QuickBooks version.

4. How can I resolve QuickBooks Error PS036?

You can resolve the error by verifying your payroll subscription, updating QuickBooks, checking the payroll service key, repairing QuickBooks software, updating your billing information, and using the QuickBooks Payroll Account Maintenance page.

5. Can QuickBooks Error PS036 cause data loss?

While QuickBooks Error PS036 doesn't directly lead to data loss, it can disrupt your ability to update payroll services. However, as a safety measure, always back up your data before starting any troubleshooting steps.

6. What should I do if QuickBooks Error PS036 persists even after trying the provided solutions?

If the error persists even after following the troubleshooting steps, it's recommended to reach out to QuickBooks support. They can provide advanced troubleshooting and help you get QuickBooks back to normal functioning.

Related articles:

QuickBooks Error 6190 816

QuickBooks has stopped working

QuickBooks keeps Crashing

QuickBooks Migration Failed Unexpectedly

QuickBooks Balance Sheet out of balance

QuickBooks Error 6129

QuickBooks Error 6150