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    Activate QuickBooks payroll purchased from the web or the phone

    Article ID: 1000036


    After purchasing a payroll service from the web or phone, you need to activate the service in QuickBooks by entering a service key that you get upon purchasing.

    If you bought the payroll service from a retail store, you need to activate your payroll license online to get the service key. See Activating a payroll service purchased from a retail store.


    • Auto-renewal - your payroll service is a subscription that renews automatically, and your credit card or bank account will be automatically debited at the start of each subscription term.

    Getting your Service Key

    After purchasing your payroll service, you will receive an email with your service key. You need to enter the service key in your QuickBooks to activate the service.

    If you do not have your service key, use our Automated Service Key/Disk Delivery Key Tool. You will be asked to sign in using your Intuit Account login. The automated tool may not work if:

    • There are multiple payroll orders in our system for your company.
    • You purchased your payroll product from a retail store.
    • Business phone number you provided did not match what Intuit has on file.

    To enter the service key in your QuickBooks:

    From the top menu bar, choose Employees > Payroll > Enter Service Key.

    If you have an existing payroll subscription, you may see a pop up message appear asking if you want to add this file to your payroll subscription.
    If you are seeing this message, select an option:

    • Click Skip to proceed to Service Key window.
    • Click Add File if you have an existing payroll subscription and you want to add this file now.

    Click the Add button in Manage Service Key window.

    Enter your Service Key and click Next.

    A Confirmation message will pop up that your payroll service has been activated.

    Click Finish.  QuickBooks will download the latest tax table and verify your payroll subscription.

    If you are unable to activate your payroll, you may also contact us for support.




    i bought quickbooks pro 2013 with enhanced payroll. i can not install enhanced payroll

    program. i understood enhanced payroll is free for 2013. please let me get the activation code

    or service code to start the payroll program.





    Hi Vinu,

    I hope you already have the service code to get your payroll up and running. But if not, you can Contact Us between 6AM - 6PM PST to get the service code and the steps on how to enter in QuickBooks.

    Thank you for posting a comment!



    I cannot get the taxes to be withdrawn when I am trying to do my payroll.




    Hi Laura,

    I wish I had seen your comment sooner and I hope the tax calculation issue you had is now resolved.

    But if not, I have found a better article that should help in resolving your concern. The article QuickBooks calculates wages and/or payroll taxes incorrectly provides detailed steps in troubleshooting problems with tax calculation. I hope this helps! Thank you for the comment.



    looks good




    Thanks Robert! Glad we could help!


    I just tried to reactivate my payroll service by charging to our visa account. Nothing happens.


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