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If you are receiving an error message when opening a return that states, "Unable to open [file path, file name] - Please verify the file still exists on your computer," the error is likely caused by one of two things:

  1. The file's "Read-only" attribute is checked.
  2. The file has become corrupt.

Please navigate to your Documents library, open the TaxAct 20XX folder, right-click the return file, and select Properties. At the bottom of the General tab, ensure that the Read-only attribute is not selected.

If the Read-Only attribute is selected, click the box to deselect the "Read-Only" attribute and click OK. Then, return to the TaxAct program and open the file by selecting File > Open Return and navigating to the return in the TaxAct 20XX folder in your Documents library. If you receive the same message stating that the file can't be opened and to ensure that the file still exists, check the file properties again to see if the Read-Only attribute became automatically selected. If so, there may be Windows rights or permissions issues, Active Directory, Group Policy, or other settings on your system that are preventing you from editing the file attributes.

If the Read-Only attribute is not selected, it is possible that the file became corrupt. This can occur if there is a power failure, drive interruption, or other interference during a save operation. You may still be able to recover the file from the Auto-Backup folder or other from another backup you may have created. The Auto-Backup files are located in the Auto-Backup subfolder of the TaxAct 20XX folder in your Documents library.

Each return should have a current, daily, and weekly backup file in this location. Please note: You may want to check the date modified of these files in Windows Explorer first. If they have the same date and time, it makes no difference which you use to restore. If they have different time stamps, you will want to decide which is best for you to restore.

To restore your backup from the Auto-Backup folder:

  1. Click on the File menu.
  2. Click Restore Backup.
  3. In the dialog box, locate and click on your backup file.
  4. Click Open.

If you are unable to restore a corrupted file from the Auto-Backup folder or a previously backed up file, you may need to recreate the return from scratch.

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