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Troubleshooting when DMS won't open the Scan Documents window

SOLVEDby Intuit2Updated July 12, 2022

If DMS won't open the Scan Documents window (or the window opens minimized or off-screen), the following error message may display:

DMS has encountered a problem
Communication Failed

This article will walk you through troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue.

Possible solutions

  1. Make sure the scanner is powered on and connected to the computer.
  2. Attempt to scan a document outside the DMS program by selecting the Scan button on the scanner.
  3. Try scanning in a 3rd party software such as Adobe, Word, or the scanning software that came with your scanner.

If the document doesn't scan with 3rd party software, then this isn't a DMS issue. There may be an issue with the scanner's interface with the operating system. See the section below to reinstall the scanner driver.

Windows may no longer be able to access your scanner's driver. To correct this issue, try reinstalling the scanner driver. If it scans with other software using the TWAIN driver, this is an unlikely solution.

Refer to the scanner manufacturer's operators manual or technical support for steps to reinstall the scanner driver, or contact your IT Professional.

Follow these steps to power cycle the computer and scanner:

  1. Shut down the computer.
    • Make sure you select the button to shut down the computer, not restart it.
  2. While the power is off, disconnect the scanner's USB cable at the computer.
  3. Turn off the scanner.
  4. Unplug the power connector from the back of the scanner.
  5. Wait about 1 minute before turning the computer back on.
  6. When Windows has completed its startup, reconnect the USB cable for the scanner to the computer.
  7. Reconnect the power plug to the scanner.
  8. Turn on the power for the scanner.
  9. Open DMS.
  10. Test the Scan button again.

We strongly recommend that you contact a local IT professional before trying these steps. You should also back up your registry using the steps in this article.

Follow these steps to scan Windows:

  1. Close DMS.
  2. Press Windows key+R on your keyboard to open the Run app.
  3. In the Open field, type regedit and press Enter.
  4. Browse to the following location:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lacerte\DMS\Forms\Sizing
  5. Highlight the folder labeled frmScanUI and press Delete.
  6. From the File menu, select Exit to close the Registry Editor window.
  7. Open DMS.
  8. Try the Scan button again.

In some cases, DMS won't open the Scan Documents window if DMS opens to the secondary monitor.

Follow these steps to make sure DMS opens on the primary monitor:

  1. Reposition DMS to the primary monitor.
  2. Close DMS.
  3. Open DMS again.
    • The program should now launch on the primary monitor.
  4. Try the Scan button again.

Sometimes antivirus or security software interferes with the program's ability to communicate with the scanner.

  1. Close DMS.
  2. Disable all antivirus or security software temporarily.
  3. Open DMS.
  4. Try to scan a document using DMS.
  5. Enable your antivirus or security software again.

Security software shouldn't be disabled for extended periods of time. If the above steps allow DMS to scan, you should check with your security software technical support or IT professional to determine how to allow DMS to communicate with the scanner without having to disable the security software completely.

DMS may not open the Scan Documents window if the program can't detect the scanner driver. If you receive an error message or DMS hangs up or crashes when trying to open the Scan Documents window, then there may be an issue with a registry entry for the program that prevents it from accessing the proper scanner driver.

We recommend making a backup of the registry before proceeding with the steps below. Refer to this Microsoft article for instructions.


Lacerte agents can't assist you with editing the Windows registry key. The steps below should be reviewed and used by your IT professional.

Follow these steps once you finish backing up the registry:

  1. Close DMS.
  2. Right-click on the DMS shortcut and select Properties.
  3. Put a space after the last character in the Target field, type -FILESCANNER, and click OK.
  4. Press the Windows key+R to open the Run app.
  5. In the Open field, type regedit and press Enter.
  6. Browse to the following registry key: 
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lacerte\DMS\ProgramOptions
  7. In the right panel, double-click on LastScanLocation.
  8. Delete the value in the Value data field, type [FILE]-File System, and click OK.
  9. Close the Registry Editor window.
  10. Open DMS.
  11. Click the Scan button on the menu bar to open the Scan Documents window.
  12. Make sure the Section 1. Scan Documents reads [FILE]-File System.
  13. Select the Scanner dropdown menu and choose the correct TWAIN driver for your scanner.
  14. Click Scan to resume scanning.

If the Scan window opens, but the desired scanner driver isn't listed, remove and reinstall the TWAIN drivers for your scanner

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