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Find your tax data file (.tax file) in Windows

Here's how to find a tax data file (also called a .tax file) you created in the TurboTax CD/Download software for Windows or downloaded to your computer from TurboTax Online.

The data file must be opened in the CD/Download software to be read and edited. It's not the same thing as a PDF copy of your return.

E-filing doesn't keep a copy of your return on our servers. We can't retrieve tax files prepared in the TurboTax CD/Download software because the data is stored locally on your computer.

How to find your tax data file

  1. Select the Start Menu and select search or use Cortana search if you're using Windows 10.
  2. Search for *.tax20XX (replace XX with the tax year of the return you're looking for).
  3. In the search results, copy the tax file's location or path. By default, TurboTax saves tax files in the My Documents > TurboTax folder.
    • Tip: Don't double-click the tax file in the search results to open it. This can cause errors.
  4. After locating the path to the tax file on your computer, open your tax return using the same version of TurboTax (for example, open your 2018 return in the TurboTax 2018 program).

If you can't find your file, it may have been saved under a different Windows account or to an external storage device. Repeat these instructions in your other account(s) or after plugging in your external storage device.

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