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

SOLVEDby TurboTaxTurboTax Windows4979Updated January 13, 2022

Your tax data file (.tax file) is not the same thing as a PDF copy of your return.

A .tax file can only be opened in the TurboTax CD/Download software. Because it's stored locally on your computer, we can't retrieve tax data files prepared in the TurboTax CD/Download software. E-filing doesn't keep a copy of your return on our servers.

  1. Select the Start Menu and select search or use Cortana search if you're using Windows 10.
  2. Search for *.tax2021 (or whichever year you are searching for, *.tax2020,*.tax2019, etc.).
    • Don't double-click the tax file in the search results to open it. This can cause errors.
  3. In the left pane of the search results, select the > symbol next to the .tax file you're searching for. This will bring up information about this file in the right pane.
  4. In the right pane, select Open file location. By default, TurboTax saves tax files in the My Documents TurboTax folder.
  5. After locating the tax file in its folder, open your tax return using the same version of TurboTax for that year.
    • For example, open your 2021 return in the TurboTax 2021 program and your 2020 return in TurboTax 2020.

Lost or misplaced your CD or download? Review your replacement options.

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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