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With your TaxAct Professional preparer's edition running please follow the instructions below to restore a backup file:

  1. On the main menu bar at the top of the program window, click File, on the dropdown menu go to Restore, and on the popout menu click Client Return(s).
  2. Select Local with the radio button, then click Next at the bottom.
  3. In the dialog box, click the Browse button to select the location of your backup return files.* Find the specific folder where the files are located, click on it to fill the folder name in the bar at the bottom, then click the Select Folder button at the bottom.
  4. You will then be returned to the box displaying the return files. Check the box of each return file you want to restore, or use the Select All button near the bottom. With the files selected, click the Next button at the bottom.
  5. You will then have a box specifying the location to restore the files. The default location may already be showing. The default directory for your client returns is C:\TaxAct\TaxAct 20XX [Preparer’s] Professional Edition\Client Data (where XX is the specific year, for example 17 for 2017). If the default directory is not showing, or you want to restore to a different location, click the Browse button to then navigate to the location, click on the specific folder, then click the Select Folder button at the bottom. When you return to the box with the selected location, click the Finish button at the bottom.
  6. Once you have restored the files, if you have restored them to the directory specified for Client Data in the program (Preparer > Master Information > Directories), you can rebuild your Client Manager to refresh the client list. Hold down the following keys at once to rebuild the Client Manager: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + P.

Rebuilding the client manager will refresh the file references in your client manager and you will see the names of your clients reappear.

* You will not see the return files in the dialog box to select the folder. You can use Windows Explorer (Windows logo key + E), outside of TaxAct, to verify the files are there if you are not certain of their location.

Restoring Preparer Master and Program Information

  1. As in step 1 above, from File > Restore, click the option Preparer's Information and then Local.
  2. You will be given a box to select your preparer data files from your Client Data folder. Click the file showing there with the .dat or .dtX extension (where X is the last digit of the year, e.g. 7 for 2017), for example: pr16master.dat.dt7. (If the final extension is not showing in your Windows setup, note the file type in the Type column: it should say "dtX file," with X the last digit of the year) Click the Open button at the bottom.
  3. You will then be prompted for the location to save the file. It should default to your Client Data folder. With the correct location of your client data showing, click the Select Folder button at the bottom.
  4. You will be prompted to replace existing data files with your preparer information. You can click Yes or No for each file, or Yes to All or No to All.

Restoring Client Returns from TaxAct Servers

This is for Preparer's Enterprise editions ONLY. Please also note that, for 2014 edition or earlier, in order to restore from our servers you must have created an online backup account and performed a backup operation with your Enterprise Edition. TaxAct Professional programs do not automatically make backups or copies of your return files on TaxAct servers. You may upgrade to the TaxAct Professional Enterprise Edition by contacting our Professional Support department at 319-731-2682.

Note. If you are using the Enterprise Online mode, regularly saving returns to TaxAct servers, there is no online backup function in the program.

For the local restore for the Enterprise Edition follow the instructions above.

To restore from your online backup:

  1. On the main menu bar at the top of the program window, click File, on the dropdown menu go to Restore, and on the popout menu click Client Return(s).
  2. Select Online with the radio button, then click Next at the bottom.
  3. For the 2015 edition and after, you will receive a box to sign into your TaxAct account, just as you would on the TaxAct website. You can use "Forgot username" and "forgot password" links if you've forgotten those.
    For editions prior to 2015, on the next box, you will type in the username and password for the online backup account you created when you backed up your files. If you have forgotten this username or password, you can use the buttons below: "Forgot your Username?" or "Forgot you Password?" After entering your Username and Password, click the Next button at the bottom.
  4. On the next box, check the box for each return you want to restore, or use the Select All button.
  5. Note also the check box for Restore Preparer Master Information. Check this to restore this at the same time as return files. Or you can go through the restore steps from the beginning selecting the Preparer Information instead of Client Return(s).
  6. Click the Next button at the bottom.
  7. If using the 2015 edition or after, skip to step 9. If using editions prior to 2015, the next box will prompt you for the authorization procedure (security for access to your client and preparer data). The steps are outlined there. You will be sent an e-mail with a link to click.
  8. Click the Authorize button to begin this. Once you have clicked the e-mail link and received the confirmation, return to the TaxAct program. Click the Next button at the bottom.
  9. You will then be given the box to select the location to restore your data. This will be the directory your program uses for Client Data, the default again being C:\TaxAct\TaxAct 20XX Preparer’s Edition\Client Data (where XX is the specific year, for example 17 for 2017). The default should be showing already. If you are sharing a client data folder on a network, you would use the path for the shared drive and the shared folder (example: Z:\Client Data). Click Finish at the bottom.
  10. You will be prompted to overwrite any files of the same name that exist. Please note: Backed up client return or preparer data files will be copies of what you had been using. If you are restoring because you lost these files, you will not be prompted, but if you did not lose the files, the files will have different times and most likely different data. Please be aware that you are restoring returns as they were at the time you performed the backup. If restoring your preparer information, there will be prompts for three or four files. You can click Yes or No for each file, or Yes to All or No to All.

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