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Where did my lost data go?

Worked several hours the other day manually inputting data.  Finished with deductions.  Today I returned to continue my work.  When I first opened the program, the windows version went through an update and then returned me to my return, except that it returned me to the income section, not where I left off.  I worked through the questions to get me back to the deduction section only to find that all of the data that I had entered regarding deductions was gone.  Where did it go and how do I get it back?

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8 Replies

Where did my lost data go?

You have to save your work before closing the Program.

Where did my lost data go?

Save often.

Where did my lost data go?

Check and make sure you don't have more than one saved tax file ... you may have opened an older saved version.

Where did my lost data go?

Check your recycle bin and then search your entire computer for *.tax2018

During a TurboTax update on Saturday (3 days before due date), my tax file disappeared.  After 4 hours of working with tech support to find it, I found other forum entries where people had found their tax file in their recycle bin or in random program files after a June 2019 update.  We are guessing that mine was sent to my recycle bin, and since I didn't even know it was missing, I was an idiot and cleared my recycle bin while cleaning up my desktop.  I had to completely redo my taxes over the last couple of days.  UGH!  I really hope this doesn't happen to anyone else!

Where did my lost data go?

Actually it is the WIN 10 updates that are notorious for sending files to the trash bin ... never clear it without reviewing it carefully. 

Level 2

Where did my lost data go?

That's a good question. 

Why doesn't turbo tax know?

Where did my lost data go?

@IES   You have added on to a 4 year old post or older.  What are your details and problem?  

Where did my lost data go?

When you use the downloaded version it is your responsibility to safeguard your .tax files ... save them often to a thumb drive for safekeeping.


This is my mini version of  a tutorial  that should be in the downloaded program: 



What is Forms Mode?

Forms Mode lets you view and make changes to your tax forms "behind the scenes."

If you're adventurous, you can even prepare your return in Forms Mode, but we don't recommend it. You may miss obscure credits and deductions you qualify for, and you may forget to report things that will come back and haunt you later.

Forms Mode is exclusively available in the TurboTax CD/Download software. It is not available in TurboTax Online.


Related Information:


If you want to play around with different figures and tax scenarios without affecting your original return you can ….

  • >>>In the TurboTax CD/Download software by creating a test copy
  • 1.  Open your return in TurboTax. 
  • 2.  From the File menu, choose Save As. 
  • 3.  Give the copy a new name to distinguish it from the original (for example, by adding "Test" or "Example" to the file name). 
  • 4. Click  Save. You are now safely working in the test copy and anything you do here will not affect the original. 
  •  https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1900642-how-to-make-a-test-copy-of-your-return


  • >>  use the WHAT IF tool: 
  • - Click Forms Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 2 (forms view) 
  • - Click on the Open Form Icon 
  • - In the “Type a form name.” area type What-If (with the dash), click on the name of the worksheet - click on Open Form 
  • - You will see the worksheet on the right side of the screen; enter the information right into the form 
  • - To get back to interview mode - click on the Step-by-Step Icon (upper right of screen) or Ctrl 1


Once you have filed successfully … you can shut off the auto updater function and then save the return &  .taxfile.


For Windows, up in the top menu, you  can set the  "Updater Preferences" to "Always Ask" or more commonly set to "I don't have an internet connection"  (even if you do), and then you are not forced to update....and can manually force an update when you choose to do so.   And then you can open the file(s) at any time with no forced upgrade.


But that's the Windows software.....not a MAC. For a MAC you cannot turn off the auto updater  HOWEVER  you can simply disconnect from the internet before opening the tax return.



It's always a good idea to make a backup copy of your tax data file, in case your original gets lost or corrupted. Here's how:

  1. From the File menu in the upper-left corner of TurboTax, choose Save As (Windows) or Save (Mac).
  2. Browse to where you want to save your backup.
    • Tip: If you're saving to a portable device, save it to your computer first to prevent data corruption. Then, after completing Step 4, copy or move the backup file to your device.
  3. In the File name field, enter a name that will distinguish it from the original tax file (for example, add "Backup" or "Copy" to the file name)
  4. Click Save and then close TurboTax.
  5. Restart TurboTax and open the backup copy to make sure it's not corrupted. If you get an error, delete the backup and repeat these steps.

If you make changes to your original tax return file, repeat these steps to ensure your original and backup copies are in-synch.

Related Information:                             


AND save it as a PDF so you have access to a copy even if you don’t have the program still installed and operational :

AND protect the files :


*** Other clues to the downloaded program ***


In the forms mode ... double click  or right click on a box on a form to data source it ... sadly it doesn't work on all boxes. 


What's the meaning of all the different colors in Forms Mode?

When you look at an onscreen tax form using Forms Mode, you might wonder why one figure is blue and the one next to it is red or black.

These colors indicate the source of that data.




You entered this data, either in the interview or Forms Mode.


The program entered this data or calculated this amount.


This data has either been overridden or is invalid (for example, a ZIP code that doesn't exist).

Red italics

You marked this amount as estimated.

Black italics

The program calculated this amount from an amount you marked as estimated.


This information has supporting details.


This data was transferred over from last year.


This data was imported from Quicken or QuickBooks.

Yellow fields (Windows)

Yellow fields allow user input. Anything you enter here shows up in blue.




If you find you have a  $0  in an entry field that cannot be changed … this issue is almost always one in which you used a "Supporting Details"  (SD) sheet in that field in the prior year.   What happens is that when you transfer in the prior year's data, the SD sheet is transferred too, but empty...and that causes the $0 to show up in many areas of the Step-by-Step mode interview....wherever the SD sheet was used before.


But when switching to Forms Mode, when you try to enter a $$ amount in a field where the SD sheet is attached, the SD sheet will pop up immediately, and you can either enter the $$ amount on that sheet, or delete the SD sheet entirely and avoid future issues (unless you really want the SD sheet)


Sometimes, when you see the $0 in Step-by-Step, you can just


  1. a)  double-click on the field and the SD sheet will pop up.  But I've seen that doesn't work in all cases.


  1. b)  Another way is to click on the field, then go up to the menu..."<<Edit<<<Add Supporting Details"....then the SD sheet pops up and you can use it, or delete the SD sheet entirely and then the regular field will work properly.


  1. c)  OR  click on the problem field, then switch to Forms Mode to make that entry




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