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Returning Member

Can't open 2019 file

Needed to open my 2019 file. TT refused to open the file unless I updated. After update it says it can't open the file. I had 3 backups all with the same results. 

6 Replies
Level 15

Can't open 2019 file

The tax data file can only be opened by the TurboTax software for the same year as the tax data file.

The PDF can be opened and viewed by any compatible PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader.


To access your current or prior year online tax returns sign onto the TurboTax website with the User ID you used to create the account -

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and on the section Your tax returns & documents click on Show.  Click on the Year and Click on Download/print return (PDF)


If you used the desktop CD/Download editions installed on your computer, the only copy of your tax data file and any PDF's will be on the computer where the return was created.  TurboTax does not store online any returns completed using the desktop editions.


Or go to this IRS website for free federal tax return transcripts -

For a fee of $43 you can get a complete federal tax return from the IRS by completing Form 4506 -

Level 15

Can't open 2019 file

Do you get an error code or message?  If you reinstalled Turbo Tax you might need to first download the state program.


After you get the program installed the first thing to do before you open your tax return is to update the program and install any state programs you had. Then open your file. So you first might need to start a fake return to be able to download the state program (go to FILE - NEW TAX RETURN)


Then go to FILE -Open and find your return.


Here's some other links,  

If your program says it's up to date or you can't update it then do the Manual Update.  This has also fixed the State forms not available problem for some users.


See if these 2 support articles help


And can't install state, state looping

Returning Member

Can't open 2019 file

I know all that. When I submitted this issue, the site made me specify the platform - not sure where that info is, but I was using the desktop software. As I said in the post, I have 4 copies of my 2019 tax return which the 2019 Turbo Tax will not open. I used the files many times before filling without an issue. This time, the program refused to start unless I updated the software. That update is the only thing that has changed since I filed.

I have the PDFs, I need to be able to open my tax file. 

Returning Member

Can't open 2019 file

Thank you.  My original installation was complete and updated at the time of filing. I had no problem opening the file multiple times back in April. After the forced update today it wouldn't open my original file or the 3 backups which were spread across multiple devices. 


I will try reinstalling the software

Returning Member

Can't open 2019 file

I can go back to my 2018 turbotax saved file and I can open it and review the information that I entered.  They do require that I go through the update but after that I can open the file. 

When I do the same operation for my 2019 save turbotax file, they require that I enter the "license code" for the product.  I do not have the license code so I cannot open the saved file from 2019. 

I am missing both of the license code for 2018 and for 2019. I can open the 2018 and cannot open the 2019.  What gives.  I paid for and loaded the software so I should be able to open the file without reentering the license setup????

I find this obnoxious. 


Intuit Alumni

Can't open 2019 file

@csicking This would be best resolved by following the instructions here to contact customer support. 

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