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Level 3

archiving old TurboTax software

I'm getting "newer" computer and don't want to copy over all my old desktop copies of TurboTax software for MAC 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. How do I preserve each year (to cd or external HD) in order to keep the updated versions. I have my original cds but they are original and not updated versions and also doesn't have the multiple states I had downloaded. I seem to remember an article mentioning there's an option to archive the return and application software to cd but can't find it.


3 Replies
Level 20

archiving old TurboTax software

If you're buying a new MAC, the older versions of the software just flat out will not work on the newer version OS. What you need to do is open the old tax returns and them save them in PDF format. Then burn the PDF's to CD for posterity. Now when you elect to save as PDF, you want to elect to save everything, which will include all worksheets and calculation forms. Not just the forms "for your records" and not just the ones "for filing". You want absoutely everything saved to PDF.

Now for versions of the program for 2014 and earlier, there is flat out no way to get the required updates and corrections. But for 2015 and earlier you can download the latest update for each tax year (2015-2018) at and burn that update to CD to store with your CD copies of TTX 2015 thru 2018. No guarantee though that you'll be able to install those older versions on the newest version of MAC's OS though.

Level 11

archiving old TurboTax software


That link is only for Windows.  Don't think there is manual updates for Mac.  Mac automatically updates.

Level 20

archiving old TurboTax software

Save both the PDFs  and  the .taxfiles ( especially the last 3 years) so you have everything you could possibly need going forward. 


See this TurboTax support FAQ concerning moving tax files to a new computer -


You can't transfer the programs.  They have to be installed from the CD or Download.  You don't need to install the prior year programs unless you need to amend that year.  Before you move your tax return files make sure you have saved each year as a PDF file.  So you may want to open each year and do that.  FILE - SAVE TO PDF

What I would do is just copy the whole Turbo Tax folder that is under your Documents.  That should be where the .tax files and PDF files are stored.  Then copy that folder to a flash drive or best yet is to burn it to a CD or DVD and then you will have a backup of them.   Then on the new computer copy the folder (or files) from the flash drive to your Documents folder.  Those can always be at least read by any system, even if they can't be used directly by the program.


Save the PDF for each year twice.

1) Once as the tax return for filing   (this contains just the filing tax forms)

2) Again as the tax return, but with ALL the forms and worksheets (this contains all of your worksheets and shows all  of your entries on some form or another).

The selection of the bare tax return, or the extended tax return with everything is made during the Save-to-PDF process.


And back those PDFs up to a backup USB or CD....every year we get tons of folks begging for access to a tax return on a crashed disk....TTX doesn't have it...only you do when you use the desktop software.