How to Save a Turbo Tax File to a Flash Drive

by Alan Sembera

Backing up your TurboTax file to a flash drive ensures that your tax information will be safe should your computer ever crash, and allows you to easily transfer the information between one computer and another. But saving the tax file directly to the flash drive from the software may result in data corruption, however, so Inuit recommends an alternative method for saving to flash drives.

1

Insert your flash drive into an empty USB port on your computer.

2

Launch TurboTax and open the tax return you wish to save to the flash drive. If you're using Turbo Tax Online, sign in to your account and click "Home" to return to the Welcome screen.

3

Select "Save As" from the File menu in the desktop version, select a save location on your computer's hard drive, and then click "Save." In the online version, click the "Save Your … Return to Your Computer" link on the Welcome screen and then download the file to your computer's hard drive.

4

Close TurboTax, and then open your computer's file browser. In Windows 8, press "Windows-E" on the keyboard to open File Explorer. In Window 7 and earlier, right-click the Start button and select "Windows Explorer."

5

Navigate to the location on your hard drive where you saved the TurboTax file. The file has a ".taxXXXX" extension, where "XXXX" represents the tax year. For example, the file ending in ".tax2013" represents the return for the 2013 tax year.

6

Drag the file to the drive letter representing your flash drive under "Computer" in the left pane, and then release the mouse button. Windows copies the file to the flash drive.

Tips

  • When you want to open the file in TurboTax, first copy the file from the flash drive to your computer's hard drive, and then open the copy from the hard drive.
  • Files you download from TurboTax Online can be opened only in the desktop version of the software.

Warning

  • Information in this article applies to TurboTax for 2012. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

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