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Bill1940
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

I just bought a new computer and transferred turbotax but when I try to open Turbotax 2020 I get a blank activation screen.  I have no problems opening prior years.
54 Replies
Critter-3
Level 15

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

Are you using the Windows version?

The activation screen is a popup that is very quirky in regards to one's screen resolution or scaling in your computer's display settings.  For some people it can be missing or blank.

 

In Windows 10 to get to the scaling or resolution settings click the Windows start button in lower left corner, then choose Settings (gear icon), then System, then Display.

 

First try the scaling setting.  In your Windows Settings do you have scaling set to a higher value than the normal 100%?  If so, change it back to 100%. Once the license code is entered and activated, you can later change your scaling setting back like it was.

 

If lowering the scaling to 100% didn't help, then it may be screen resolution.  Try a lower screen resolution such as 800x600.  Once you get the license activated, you can revert your resolution setting back like it was.

 

NOTE:  If you happen to encounter a blank popup screen later on in some section of the program, you may have to temporarily perform this maneuver again.

 

 

Bill1940
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

Many thanks for your response.  I did as you suggested but was unsuccessful.  Here's a little more background.  I just purchased a new Dell desktop and also purchased Dell Migrate.  I did not find out until recently that Migrate only transfers data, no apps so none of my Turbotax transferred.  I had used PCmover in the past and contacted them and they suggested that I try PCmover as it would not transfer anything that had already been transferred.  It worked and all of my Turbotax apps and files transferred.  I can open previous years of Turbotax on the new computer with no trouble.  It's only 2020 that gets hung up on a blank activation screen.  I also uninstalled Turbotax 2020 and reinstalled it both from the CD and also from a download with no luck.  I can still open 2020 on my old desktop.  Does this help in any way?  Unrelated side note:  PCmover is head and shoulders above Migrate for transferring data and apps and user settings from old to new.

Bill1940
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

Still no luck on the blank activation screen.  A couple of times the activation screen popped up but when it does, it won't allow me to enter the license code.  I have another thought.  When the activation screen does pop up there is a message that says something about Turbotax can be used on up to 5 machines.  I used it on my old PC once to file my taxes.  Dell Migrate moved the files but no app to my new machine.  PCmover moved the app to my new PC.  I also uninstalled it once and reinstalled it from a download with no luck.  I also uninstalled it and reinstalled it from the CD.  Could the system consider that installing Turbo on 5 PCs?  Again the program has only been used one time for tax filing.

mesquitebean
Level 15

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?


@ Bill1940 wrote:

Still no luck on the blank activation screen.  A couple of times the activation screen popped up but when it does, it won't allow me to enter the license code.  I have another thought.  When the activation screen does pop up there is a message that says something about Turbotax can be used on up to 5 machines.  I used it on my old PC once to file my taxes.  Dell Migrate moved the files but no app to my new machine.  PCmover moved the app to my new PC.  I also uninstalled it once and reinstalled it from a download with no luck.  I also uninstalled it and reinstalled it from the CD.  Could the system consider that installing Turbo on 5 PCs?  Again the program has only been used one time for tax filing.


A problem with a blank or incomplete activation screen is nearly always related to a scaling setting in Windows or screen resolution.    If you tried everything Critter-3 suggested above--i.e., going to the Windows display settings and lowering the scaling setting to 100%, and using a lower screen resolution such as 800x600, you can phone TurboTax Support on Monday.    Also, if 800x600 didn't work, try other resolutions, gradually work up using other resolution settings such as 1024x768 and so on.

 

If you installed and successfully activated the program on an old computer originally, and now are installing on a new computer, then it will have to use a new instance of the activation code (out of 5) no matter if installing from a download or a CD.    Anything TurboTax perceives as a system change can cause it to ask for the activation code.   You can have up to 5 successful activations with one license code.   That shouldn't be your issue, however, if you can't enter the activation code at all.  From the description of the problem with your activation screen, it sounds like you have a screen issue as mentioned above.    If the activation code is wrong, or if you have used it for too many activations, it will produce an error indicating such.

 

Otherwise, you'll need to talk to someone at Support in realtime so they can question you and see if they can figure out your issue.

 

Support hours are currently 5AM-5PM Pacific (8AM-8PM Eastern) Monday-Friday.

 

You can use this contact form to get a phone number, or it may schedule a callback.
https://support.turbotax.intuit.com/contact

gmhyman
New Member

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

The suggestions of 100% scaling and crappy resolution don't come close to working on my Samsung Galaxy 360 laptop.  Is there a real solution to what is obviously a badly coded activation process?

mesquitebean
Level 15

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?


@gmhyman wrote:

The suggestions of 100% scaling and crappy resolution don't come close to working on my Samsung Galaxy 360 laptop.  Is there a real solution to what is obviously a badly coded activation process?


Here's how to talk to someone at TurboTax Support in realtime so they can assist you.

Support hours are currently 5AM-5PM Pacific (8AM-8PM Eastern) Monday-Friday.

 

You can use this contact form to get a phone number, or it may schedule a callback.
https://support.turbotax.intuit.com/contact

midnight Brewed
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

[revised]

I thought I found the solution for Windows 11, I started the Windows service called WebClient.

 

But not the case, I think the update graphics driver (directly from Intel ) was the solution for me....

Bill1940
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

I have discovered the source of my problem and if I wish to pursue it, I will need to contact Turbo-Tax tech service.  I had purchased a new PC and decided to try Dell Migrate (big mistake) to transfer everything from my old PC.  Migrate does not transfer apps such as Turbo-Tax.  It did transfer files so my Turbo-Tax file transferred but the app didn't and I couldn't access my stored 2020 returns.  I tried downloading Turbo-Tax 2020 a couple of times and basically used up my 5 allowable downloads and wasn't successful. I eventually purchased PC-Mover and was successful in getting everything transferred but had used up my 5 Turbo-Tax downloads.  I just got my 2021 Turbo-Tax disc and after installing it I found it was able to access my prior year personal and tax info so I am good to go for the 2021 tax season.  If I need the 2020 program to access my 2020 return, I will have to ask Intuit to allow me an additional down-load of the 2020 program.  Many thanks to all who responded to my initial post and your suggestions, Bill

Unknown_quantity
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

I set my display scale to 100%. Yay! The activation window now has stuff in it. But the license code field won't accepts keyboard input! Tried changing resolution to 800x600. All I got for that was icons that will need to be individually rearranged back to where I had them. No solution, and I'm not going to try all the resolutions to see if one works, like another reply suggested. TT needs to fix this, pronto.

 

I've been using TT for many years. I keep coming back to it because it's what I'm familiar with. There are always issues, every year. If I can actually fix this issue, I can't wait for the dreaded "job cost" error to appear, as it has every year for the last few years.

 

I'm amazed that TT can get away with producing such sloppily coded software. It's frustrating beyond words.

mesquitebean
Level 15

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?


@ Unknown_quantity wrote:

I set my display scale to 100%. Yay! The activation window now has stuff in it. But the license code field won't accepts keyboard input! Tried changing resolution to 800x600. All I got for that was icons that will need to be individually rearranged back to where I had them. No solution, and I'm not going to try all the resolutions to see if one works, like another reply suggested. TT needs to fix this, pronto.

 

I've been using TT for many years. I keep coming back to it because it's what I'm familiar with. There are always issues, every year. If I can actually fix this issue, I can't wait for the dreaded "job cost" error to appear, as it has every year for the last few years.

 

I'm amazed that TT can get away with producing such sloppily coded software. It's frustrating beyond words.


Now that you can at least see a place to enter the license code, try this:

If the box won't take an entry, slowly move the cursor down below the box and see if the cursor changes shape.   If the cursor changes shape, then enter the license code carefully (since you may not see the entry) and submit it.  Several said they have been able to proceed that way.

 

You wrote:  "TT needs to fix this, pronto."

     Well, this is at least the second year with the blank activation screen problems, so it doesn't look like there is any "pronto" to a fix.   I'm not sure the developers at TurboTax even understand it and are working on it.  If they had, it shouldn't take 2 years to fix.  

Kevin B1
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

I just purchased a new Samsung Galaxy 360 Pro and TurboTax 2021 Business.  Like others I get a blank Activation screen.  I have tried multiple changes to display resolution, scaling, etc... but no go.

So Intuit, I've waste 1 hour tonight trying to get your program to load properly.  Where do I claim for reimbursement?

 

I'll be calling Tech Support tomorrow.

Kevin B1
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

Follow-up to previous post.  Called TT tech support.  After 55 min he gave up and escalated.

At first challenged it was the Amazon download.  Had me uninstall, re-download and re-install.  No change.  Then he had me un-install again and try a download straight from TT.  Same issue.

 

Amazing he seemed to have no knowledge of this issue described in this forum... no tech support or bulletins available.  He said as it's 2021 program is still being developed.  Try again in Jan.  Not a good answer.

 

I've escalated service ticket and got link requesting a refund.

mesquitebean
Level 15

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?


@Kevin B1 wrote:

Follow-up to previous post.  Called TT tech support.  After 55 min he gave up and escalated.

At first challenged it was the Amazon download.  Had me uninstall, re-download and re-install.  No change.  Then he had me un-install again and try a download straight from TT.  Same issue.

 

Amazing he seemed to have no knowledge of this issue described in this forum... no tech support or bulletins available.  He said as it's 2021 program is still being developed.  Try again in Jan.  Not a good answer.

 

I've escalated service ticket and got link requesting a refund.


This has been going on for a least 2 years.  It seems to be more common in folks who are using newer laptops with high-resolution displays.   Lowering the screen resolution and scaling setting works for some, but obviously did not work for you.   

 

Here's a FAQ:

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/troubleshooting/help/troubleshoot-blank-screens-missing-buttons-or...

Kevin B1
Level 2

What do I do when I get a blank activation screen with turbotax 2020?

I got a follow-up call from TT management support yesterday.  The representative was most knowledgable and helpful.

 

Yes, this is a display issue.  We were able to troubleshoot and confirm a workaround.  I think confirming this was actually helpful for both of us, as hopefully it can help others resolve the issue and the development team make the required changes.

 

Ironically when I later loaded another version of TT I needed, the Premier version, it had the same Activation problem.  But now knowing the workaround I quickly enabled Activation and was up and running.

 

Everything is working fine now on both versions.

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