QuickBooks 2014 R5 Excel Problem Fixed

Written by Charlie Russell

QuickBooks 2014 R5 Excel ProblemIntuit released the QuickBooks 2014 R5 revision about two weeks ago, and not long after that, we started seeing a lot of reports about problems with exporting reports to Excel and emailing reports as an Excel file. “Excel” wouldn’t appear as an option if you clicked the Export or Send Report as Excel button. This problem could be intermittent – some people would only see it once in a while, some people would never see it. I could never get the problem to show up in any of my test systems. The good news is that Intuit has created a patch to correct this problem, which is being pushed out as an “Ultra Light Patch” (ULIP).

I’ve discussed the ULIP patch method before – it’s a way for Intuit to push out urgent, critical fixes quickly, without having to wait for an “R-level” major patch. This is a good news/bad news issue as far as I’m concerned. The good news is that critical fixes can be distributed to users much more quickly than usual. The bad news is that it’s VERY hard to tell if you actually HAVE this patch applied to your installation. I wish Intuit could come up with some simple way so we could tell if these patches are installed! See Intuit support article INF23122 for details on ULIP/critical fixes and how to ensure they’re installed.

As I understand this, there are two ways you can get this patch:

Automatically  If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you should eventually get this patch. However, it isn’t clear to me if you’ll get that soon or only when the next R-level update occurs. If you’re running into this problem with Excel, I wouldn’t wait for Automatic Updates to push this out.

Manually  Here’s how you can manually update your QuickBooks installation with this patch. Note that you have to do this on every computer you have that’s running QuickBooks.

  1. Select the Help menu and then Update QuickBooks.
  2. Select the Update Now tab.
  3. Scroll down to find Critical Fixes and make sure it’s selected.
  4. Click Get Updates.
  5. Close the window and exit QuickBooks. Note that QuickBooks should not be running in the background – so if you have the Keep QuickBooks running for quick startups preference enabled, you should reboot your computer.

The next time you start QuickBooks, the problem should not occur.

I have not been able to test this patch since I was never able to duplicate the problem in the first place. However, in my experience, these ULIP patches have been very reliable.

About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been writing for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. He retired from accounting and QuickBooks activities in early 2018.

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


      • There are multiple issues with QuickBooks and Excel, some related to this bug and some not related.

        What version of Windows? What version of Microsoft Office? 32 bit or 64 bit Office? What are the exact symptoms you see?

  • I have the same issue. Option to export reports to Excel are “grayed out”, I can’t select anything but “export to .csv file. Spent 2 hours on phone with QB support, to no avail. I’m running 64 bit office with Excel 2010. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hard to say without hands on the system, Julie. 64 bit office is often a problem, and very few people actually need that (even Microsoft recommends using 32 bit office). Registry cleaners and then reinstalling office can help, but you have to be really careful with registry cleaners, some of them can be damaging.

  • I too have this problem, but its intermittent. I can see all the tabs and click on the options but when sending a report to excel nothing happens. I just got fed up with it and turned it off and on again and now it works! What can you do?!

    • Claire, our article related to the US version. I don’t know if the UK version has the same problem and resolution. For MOST cases, in the US the R5 fix resolved the one particular issue. That doesn’t mean that it fixes all of the issues. At this point I don’t have any further recommendations about this situation.

      • The critical fix won’t take. I have rebooted my computer and followed the instructions about 10 times. When I check the critical fix folder, it says force_apply. Per QB support, the critical fix didn’t update successfully.

  • Charlie,
    I have a client that just installed QB 2015 Premier for Contractors and they have the Excel links grayed-out too. Just CSV export available for reports.
    Intuit had us uninstall & reinstall Office 2010; no fix. Removed Office 2010 and installed Office 2007 (both were 32-bit) … same thing.

    Have you heard of this carrying over into QB 2015 too? Thank you.

    • I have QuickBooks 2015 working with Microsoft Office on my test system. It happens to be Office 2013, but it should also work with Office 2010.

      If things are grayed out then QuickBooks just doesn’t recognize that Office is installed. I generally do a “repair” of the office installation first (sounds like you essentially did the same thing already) and then do a “repair” of QuickBooks after that. USUALLY that solves the problem, but in some instances it won’t. I can’t offer a generic solution beyond that, as fixes from that point tend to be computer specific.

      And, I’m testing this on Windows 7 in my case.

    • Mary, it isn’t “my act”, it is Intuit’s act. And clearly some of the problems are resolved by doing things that reset the Windows Registry. The problem may be caused by QuickBooks damaging the registry, I don’t know, but things that reset the registry often fix the problem.

  • Hi

    Don’t know if this thread is still active…

    I use Quickbooks Pro 2014, Windows 8.1, Office 2013.

    When I export a report to excel everything works fine, except the totals at the bottom of each column is 0.00. I can also not do any editing in this excel spreadsheet.

    All updates is done. I have opened QB as administrator and installed all updates.

    Please help

    • Interesting. I’m not seeing that problem (zero totals) in my QB 2014 installation, but I am not running that on WIndows 8.1 with Office 2013. Can’t offer further help at this point without hands on the system.

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