Sage Error: “Cannot Open Company File. A Required Data File is Missing”

Cannot open company file

Sage Error: “Cannot open company file. A required data file is missing ” happens when opening a data file or restoring from a backup. It also happens when opening or downloading a company file shared on Remote Data Access. When you encounter this error then it gives you an error message Error: “A required data file is missing. Check your data directory” occurs when opening a company file or restoring from a backup. However, there are many factors that can cause this error like some of the files or folders in the SAJ folder are hidden, the data file might be missing, multi-user not created or used, lost server connection, and more. To explore more about this Sage 50 error: Cannot open company file, read this post till the end or get a complete resolution via this article.

Multiple Causes can be Responsible for Sage Error: “Cannot open company file. A required data file is missing”:

This error is caused by more than one reason. Below is the list of many causes that have been identified:

  • The latest Sage 50 20xx version is not installed
  • It can cause due to lost server connection
  • Company data has been moved to a new computer
  • The icon file (.SAI) and the data folder (.SAJ) don’t have matching names
  • Multi-user not created or used
  • The icon file (.SAI) or the data folder (.SAJ) is missing
  • The company file is already opened by another Sage 50 program or another process or program on the computer
  • The company file (SAI file and SAJ folder) are saved inside a SAJ folder which confuses Sage 50 when restoring the backup
  • Some of the files or folders in the SAJ folder are hidden
  • The backup may not have been done properly
  • The data file has a pound sign (#) or weird character in the file name
  • Some of the files or folders in the SAJ folder have restricted rights for the Windows user
Prerequisites Points need to Consider:
  • The first thing is the latest version of the Sage 50 application should be installed before trying these troubleshooting.
  • Make sure that the data file location is not being synced to One Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or any other cloud file services.
    • If the data should be reside on C:\, move the data to the C:\Sage 50 Data or create a new folder if it does not exist
  • If this problem occurs every time you share a file on Sage Drive, you should run a malware/spyware scan. It is also advised that you install a subscription antivirus and antispyware suite.
  • Make sure there are no # signs or unusual characters in the file name.
  • Do not use Windows Explorer to access the backup. Using the restore wizard, restore the backup.
  • If the SAI file and SAJ folder are missing after doing the 2020.1 update, you may need to find a recent backup in Windows Explorer.

Related article: How to find location of Data File in Sage 50

Quick Resolutions to Fix Sage Error: “Cannot open company file. A required data file is missing”:

There are multiple ways to resolve the error. Here are a few troubleshooting methods to help you in quick and easy troubleshoot the error. Let’s precede one after one:

Method 1: Check to see if the Sample Company Opens:

  • First, open the sample company file
  • If the sample company does not open:
    • AVG PC Tuneup deletes duplicate files and sends them to the Recycle Bin.
    • AVG and Avast prevent Sage 50 from successfully installing.

Method 2: The Icon File (.SAI) or the Data Folder (.SAJ) is Missing:

  • Make sure your company’s Sage 50 icon file (.SAI) and data folder (.SAJ) are both in the same location
  • If you did some file movements and one of them is missing, try redoing these
  • If you can’t undo, Sage suggests restoring from a backup
  • If the business data is kept in a.CAB file rather than a.SAI file and.SAJ folder, the company must be restored from a backup, as the.CAB file is a backup that cannot be read without first being restored into a new business in Sage 50—CA Edition.

Method 3: Verify that the Computer that Hosts the Company Data has the Connection Manager Installed or the right Connection Manager:

Examine the installed program on the hosting machine to determine if the connection manager for the Sage 50 version being used has been installed. Option I and II should be used if it isn’t already installed.

Option 1:

Install the connection manager that matches the latest Sage 50 program installed on the workstation(s).

Option 2:

Move the company file to a computer that has the connection manager or the full Sage 50 program installed.

Open the Company from the System where it will Open:

  • First, go to the Help menu from the home window and then select “About Sage 50”
  • Next, write down the Version and Release as well
  • On the computer that cannot open the company and then start the Sage 50
  • From the welcome screen, select the “Open the Sample Company” option
  • Again, go to the Help menu from the home window and then select the “About Sage 50” option
  • At last, write down the Version and Release.

Method 4: The Versions are Matching:

  • In the beginning, access the Sage 50 Data file folder using the Windows Explorer
  • Next, you’ll see the SAI file and SAJ file (if .SAJ is missing restore from backup)
  • Double-click on the SAJ folder to access the same folder
  • Now, look for another SAI file /SAJ folder
  • Along with that check inside the folders (mysql, simply and possibly performance schema) that were created within the .SAJ folder to ensure that there are no more nested SAJ folders and SAI files
  • If you see SAI files and a SAJ folder, make a new folder on your desktop or C drive and move the files and folders there
  • After that, double-click the SAI file in your Sage 50 Data file folder (step 1) to access your company file (also identified as a “Sage 50 Data file” type)
  • With this, the Sage 50 file
  • If it doesn’t open then you can try to open the SAI files found in step 4 to see if one of those is your company file.

Method 5: Possible Multiple People Accessing File:

  • Confirm that there is no else is in the company file
  • Next, browse to the location where the Sage 50 Data file is location
  • Now, find the .SAJ folder for a file called
  • If the file exists then either someone is currently logged into system under a single user mode
  • Or, there is a hung process and you will have to remove it before continuing
  • If you cannot remove it even after refreshing the system.

Also Read: How to Add, Restore or Delete a Company in Sage 50


The above steps will surely help you in fixing the Sage Error: “Cannot open company file. A required data file is missing”. In case you are still unable to fix the error or having some doubt about Sage 50 software, then you may connect with our Sage team for the instant help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I open my Sage 50 sample company?

Ans: First, open the Sage 50 and you’ll see the Sage 50 welcome window with 5 choices. Next, select the “Open sample company” which should be the first option. At last, click Ok and it’ll open the sample company.

Q2. How do I enable the files that are hidden in the SAJ folder?

Ans: Initially, right-click on the SAJ folder for your company file. Next, select the Properties and then go to the Attributes section of the General tab. Put a checkmarks in the “Read-only and then Hidden boxes. Once done then click “Apply” and a window will appear. Apply changes to this folder, subfolders then select and files followed by Ok. Remove the checkmarks from the two boxes and then hit “Apply” and then “Apply changes to this folder, subfolders. Again, select files then hit Ok. Finally, try to open the data with Sage 50.

Q3. How do I correct the Remote Data Access Sage Company which is missing files in the SAJ folder?

Ans: You can try to re-download the files from the Remote Data Access. In Sage 50 2020.2 and later use Connect to a shared company. And then save the file in a location of your choice with a new name for example: Companynamecurrent.sai.

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