How to Recover Deleted/Lost TurboTax Files on Mac

How to recover deleted TurboTax files on Mac when Mac TurboTax files disappeared after the macOS update or other situations? How to recover deleted TurboTax files on Mac, Macbook, or iMac? Read the post, and you will get all 5 effective ways here.

Table of Contents

TurboTax is an application to prepare and submit federal and state tax returns in the United States. Your inquiries will be answered along the way as you follow the software's step-by-step instructions to complete your tax return. The data files produced by TurboTax are known as TurboTax files. These files provide details regarding your tax obligations, such as your income, deductions, and other financial information.

The default format for TurboTax files is .tax. However, they can easily be exported to formats like .pdf or .csv. However, what if you accidentally delete your crucial TurboTax files? We'll talk about how to recover deleted TurboTax files on Mac. To learn more, keep reading!

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Recover Files from Mac Trash You can try to restore the file to your Desktop by using the steps below if it is in your Mac's trash folder...Full steps
Fix 2. Recover Files with Software EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is your best option if you're trying to recover deleted TurboTax files...Full steps
Fix 3. Search in Default Folders TurboTax saves its files in the Documents folder of the user who used the software to prepare their taxes...Full steps
Fix 4. Restore from Recently Deleted How long have you had the files deleted? Mac preserves data by default for 30 days after deletion...Full steps
Fix 5. Recover from Time Machine If you have Time Machine enabled, it will automatically back up your Mac to your backup disk...Full steps

By default, TurboTax saves its files in the Documents folder of the user who used the software to prepare their taxes. The deleted TurboTax file would be in the Trash where the files can be restored. Alternatively, if you empty the file from the Recycle Bin, it is permanently deleted.

Fix 1. Recover Deleted TurboTax Files from Mac Trash

You can try to restore the file to your Desktop by using the steps below if it is in your Mac's trash folder. You can convert your mistakenly deleted TurboTax files from the Trash folder if you don't empty them.

Step 1. Find and open Mac Trash by left-clicking on the Trash icon.

Mac Trash

Step 2. Dragging the lost or deleted files from the Trash to your Desktop or other desired location. Or you can right-click the aimed file or folder and select "Put Back".

Drag to Mac desktop

Step 3. mac OS X also provides a shortcut - "Command+Z," to undo the last item moved to the Trash.

Command Z

If you empty the Trash, you will find it very difficult to retrieve the disappeared Tax files because you can no more find the lost files by searching the names in your Mac hard disk. However, recovery is possible if you empty the Trash on Mac.

Because only the directory entries, not the actual files, are changed when files are deleted. The system has made the space the files took up accessible for storage, but the files are still on the drive. The files will eventually be overwritten by writing to the industry, resulting in their permanent loss.

Additionally, if a file with the same name already exists and you save it, the older file gets overwritten and lost forever. So you can use a professional data recovery tool to recover your deleted files.

Fix 2. Recover Tax Files with Data Recovery Software

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is your best option if you're trying to recover deleted TurboTax files on a Mac. The data recovery software distinguishes itself from others because it is expert-grade, secure, and simple. Most sophisticated recovery software on the market has a free version with a 500MB to 2GB recovery file size limit. EaseUS offers the maximum amount of the free offer of 2GB. You can try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free

  • It enables you to retrieve Tax files lost in macOS due to deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, system crash, and all other probable reasons.
  • After emptying, you can do data recovery tasks, such as restoring files from a formatted USB device or recovering deleted files on Mac from the Trash Bin.
  • Thanks to its wizard-like UI, it can walk you through an entire Mac Tax file recovery operation with little effort.

Here is a video to show how to use the EaseUS Data Recovery tool to find lost TurboTax files.

Download it now and follow the steps below to recover deleted files from your Mac in minutes:

Note: You can create a backup by clicking the "Disk Backup" on the left first. The software will recover the document from the backup image. It can prevent further damage to your disk and data, making it safer and more reliable.

Step 1. Scan for lost documents

Select the location where your important Word/Excel/PPT/Numbers/Pages documents were lost and click "Search for lost files".

select a location and scan for lost documents on Mac

Step 2. Find lost documents on Mac

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately start a scan on your selected disk volume. Meanwhile, the scanning results will be presented in the left pane. Select "Documents" and you can quickly filter the DOC/PDF/PPT/XLS files you've lost earlier.

choose the lost documents

Step 3. Recover lost/deleted documents

Select the target files and preview them by double-clicking them. Then, click "Recover" to get lost documents back at once.

recover lost documents from Mac

Fix 3. Search Deleted TurboTax Files in Default Folders

By default, TurboTax saves its files in the Documents folder of the user who used the software to prepare their taxes. Moreover, do you have the same login information you used to file your taxes last year? Unless they have been destroyed, TurboTax should be able to access the files automatically. So you can search for them on your Mac in Finder and Spotlight.

1. Search Deleted TurboTax Files by Finder

Step 1. On your Mac, the Finder is always open by default. Click on the Finder icon in the Dock at the bottom of your screen if you can't find a Finder window.

Mac Finder

Step 2. In the search box, enter your search word. Remember, the tax file has an extension of .tax2018, .tax2017, or .tax2016.

Step 3. A menu with the heading "Name Matches" will appear as you type. Select this option if you are sure that the Tax file you require bears the name you were looking for. If not, disregard it and press "Enter" to start the search.

Search Deleted TurboTax Files

Step 4. When you start a search in Finder, it first looks through the open folder. The search would begin with "This Mac," which searches your entire device if you don't have a folder open.

Step 5. Using this search approach, you may locate the TurboTax file you're looking for and either double-click it to open it or right-click it and choose "Show in Enclosing Folder" to take you to the folder it's currently in.

2. Search Deleted TurboTax Files by Spotlight

Step 1. Click the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your Mac's screen to launch Spotlight.

Open Spotlight

Step 2. Fill in the field with your lost files' name when it appears. The latest results, including files, folders, and frequently even a definition of your search word, will be displayed in a new window that Spotlight will open.

Step 3. If you're attempting to find a tax website quickly, Spotlight can significantly assist you because it will also show webpages connected to your search criteria.

Fix 4. Restore TurboTax Files from Recently Deleted Folder

How long have you had the TurboTax files deleted? Mac preserves data by default for 30 days after deletion. To find something you may have unintentionally deleted, browse the "Recently Deleted" folder.

Step 1. Go to "sidebar" - "View" - "Show Folders".

Step 2. Locate the "Recently Deleted" folder, look through the notes, and move them into the appropriate folder.

Recently Deleted Folder

Fix 5. Recover Deleted TurboTax Files from Time Machine

If you have Time Machine backup enabled, it will routinely and automatically back up your Mac to your backup disk. So, if you accidentally deleted the Tax files from TurboTax on your Mac, Time Machine can help you get them back.

Step 1. To access the Time Machine, click the downward-pointing curved arrow around a clock face icon. Selecting this symbol will bring up the Time Machine choices.

Step 2. Ensure the option to display the time machine in the menu bar is selected. The menu bar now features the Time Machine icon. Time to depress the trigger.

Recover Deleted TurboTax Files from Time Machine

Step 3. Click the "Enter Time Machine" button. This screen will display every Time Machine backup you've ever made. Search for a file or folder in its original place to restore it.

Step 4. Then press the Restore button to restore the item and transfer the file back to its original location.

How To Open Old Turbotax Files on Mac

If you used Turbotax to file your tax returns, those returns are kept in your account. According to the Turbotax community, you should use the same account as you did during the filing procedure. In the new tax year, it's typical to open a new account, which divides your returns among several accounts. Find your Turbotax account setup in your inbox and reset your password if necessary to log in.

Turbotax advises using the "Documents" option from the left menu once you've logged in to the account used to file earlier returns. The option can be found directly beneath the label that reads "Tax Home." To choose the preferred tax year for the return you wish to retrieve, go to the drop-down menu next.

However, the section only displays the years for which you used Turbotax to file returns. You can also open the document to view it in PDF format, download it, or print it straight from the screen.


Don't panic if you accidentally deleted or misplaced your TurboTax files. By employing the strategies described in this post, you can still get them back. For rapid and simple file recovery, we advise utilizing EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. You may be confident that your lost information will be recovered safely and securely thanks to its user-friendly interface and strong data recovery capabilities. Therefore, use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac right away and stop waiting!

Recover Deleted TurboTax Files FAQs

Here are 4 additional questions about recovering deleted TurboTax files. Check here for the answers.

1. How do I recover deleted files from TurboTax on Windows and Mac?

The simplest method for recovering TAX2016 data that were saved is through backups. As long as you activated the tool prior to the overwriting, Windows PCs also have a built-in feature that enables you to retrieve earlier versions of X files. Time Machine is a comparable feature for the Mac. Alternatively, you may use Windows System Restore to go back in time and restore your computer, but you would first need to make a backup.

2. How to save the TurboTax file?

TurboTax automatically saves your information. You are not required to always keep your files, because:

  • The files are automatically generated and kept after you submit a return or tax interview.
  • You can still save the file after signing out.
  • To save a TurboTax file for the first time and to be on the safe side, select the File option and then click the Save button.

3. Why can I recover TAX2016 from the hard drive?

The TAX2016 files that are removed from a computer are not yet totally gone. These files remain hidden on the storage medium as long as they are not overwritten by fresh data and can be recovered using reputable data recovery software. Data recovery methods include using backup software like File History, System Restore, and Timeline.

4. How to recover permanently deleted files on Mac?

The only built-in tool you can rely on to recover irreversibly erased files, aside from third-party data recovery tools, is Time Machine. On a Mac, Time Machine is the backup program that stores the chosen files on a backup disk. When necessary, you can recover both the single file and the OS.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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