TurboTax 2019 Software

Installation and
Use Description

on Microsoft Windows 10

(in April 2020)

(on a Windows 10 desktop PC)

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I run most of my computers (desktops and netbooks) using Linux.

BUT, there is one piece of software for which I require a Microsoft Windows operating system --- TurboTax (Wikipedia link).

I avoid Microsoft operating systems like the plague. There is too much monkey business going on underneath the covers --- and out of my control.

BUT I have to stifle my frustrations and use MS Windows once a year. The cause :

The only program that I use that requires a Microsoft operating system --- TurboTax --- has no equivalent on Linux. So, once a year, I have to hold my nose and use a Microsoft OS.

I installed TurboTax software on a Dell desktop computer (with Windows 7) for about 7 years --- since 2012 -- including installs in March 2018 and March 2019 --- for the 2017 and 2018 tax years.

Around the year 2020, I bought an HP 'Slimline' desktop computer to replace the Dell computer. That HP computer came with the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system on it.

    I plan to describe, on different web pages, how I setup (tailored) that Windows 10 computer.

    In fact, I have assembled a Windows 10 Bloatware Cleanup page that provides some information on bloatware removal. However, that page does NOT describe the many Windows 10 'default settings' that should be changed.

    For the following TurboTax installation description, it suffices to point out that I setup a userid (say 'marlo') in addition to an 'admin' userid.

    The 'admin' userid (and password) had permissions to do software installations, while the 'marlo' userid (and password) did not.

The following notes on TurboTax 2019 installation are based on notes for installation of TurboTax 2017 & 2018 on the aforementioned Dell desktop Windows 7 computer. Those TurboTax installs were done in March 2018 and 2019 and were described on a separate web page.

    I also installed TurboTax one year (spring 2017) on a laptop with the Windows 10 operating system.

    On the Windows 10 bloatware removal page, I described how I removed the bloatware (and dealt with the horrible 'Metro' desktop interface).

The following TurboTax2019-on-Win10 install notes are similar to the TurboTax-on-Win7 install notes and are presented in two sections:

  • Installing TurboTax using an 'admin' userid

  • Starting up TurboTax using a 'user' userid to begin entering data.

A main reason for these notes is to serve as a reference when I install TurboTax in the future (on Microsoft Windows computers).

    Besides the appeal of upgrading to a computer with more up-to-date hardware components, I was mainly motivated (and forced) to migrate to Windows 10 because Microsoft was stopping support of Windows 7 in January 2020.

    So, around the year 2020, I will, finally, migrate files from that old Windows 7 computer to a Windows 10 computer.

    But that data-migration could wait. For now, I needed to install TurboTax 2019 on this Windows 10 computer --- to handle the 2019 tax season.

In the other-data-migration process, I will need to transfer

  • mail (Thunderbird mail files)

  • bookmarks (from Seamonkey and Firefox web browsers)

  • personal directories, such as 'Desktop' and 'Documents' --- including old TurboTax files.

I will probably provide a page on this site that describes that 'Windows7-to-Windows10' migration process --- with details on moving those various types of files and 'importing' them into the newer versions of the applications that use those files.

Enough of this introduction. A description of the install of TurboTax 2019 on a Windows 10 computer follows.

    In a few places below, the name 'TurboTax' may be abbreviated as 'TT'.

TurboTax Install Preliminaries:

Each year, I buy the TurboTax Premiere software DVD disk --- NOT TurboTax 'Deluxe' --- because 'Premiere' supports the entry of investment information (information from 1099-B forms).

The following install steps would probably apply (with no changes) to dealing with 'Deluxe' as well as to dealing with 'Premiere'.

Before presenting the install-steps, I need to point out that on this Windows 10 computer, I had set up two user accounts:

  • an 'admin' account, for the purpose of having the permissions to install software which asks for the password of the/an administrator

  • a 'user' account, for my wife, who is not well versed in the area of computer security risks --- for the purpose of doing tasks like checking email, web browsing, word processing, etc. --- tasks that do not involve installing additional software or software upgrades on the computer.

    The 'user' account is also for myself --- for working with TurboTax as a user --- with reduced likelihood of me inadvertently installing something that I should not.

The install of the TurboTax 2019 software was done using the 'admin' account. A fairly detailed description of the install steps follows.

TurboTax Install Steps:
(2020 Apr 07)

  • I connected the HP PC to the internet with an ethernet cable. (We have wired ethernet in our house.)

  • I logged in as 'admin' on the Windows 10 desktop computer --- via a choice of two icons, for 'admin' and a user.

    • An 'HP Jumpstart' window popped up to register. I uninstalled 'HP Jumpstart' by a right-click on the 'HP Jumpstart' line in the Start menu and chose 'Uninstall'.

    • Then an 'HP Support Assistant' window popped up. I uninstalled 'HP Support Assistant' by a right-click on the 'HP Support Assistant' line in the Start menu and chose 'Uninstall'.

  • I put the TurboTax DVD disk into the DVD tray of the computer.

  • A window DID NOT pop up with an option to run 'setup.exe'.

    • I started up 'FileExplorer'. I clicked on 'ThisPC'. The DVD drive showed up with name 'TurboTax2019'. I right-clicked on the 'setup.exe' file and chose to install.

  • Loud noises from the DVD drive --- for about 60 seconds or more --- with no indication of what was going on. Just a 'static' TurboTax window on the screen.

  • The blue TurboTax window was visibile on the screen with 100% progress showing for about a minute. It finally changed to a 'Welcome' window.

  • I clicked 'Next' in the 'Welcome' window and a license agreement showed. I clicked on the 'Agree' button.

  • I got a window ('Welcome to TurboTax 2019') that showed:

      Install location: C:\Program Files(x86)\TurboTax\Premiere 2019

      Update automatically: Enabled

    I unchecked the box for 'Send us anonymous performance reports'.

    Then I clicked the 'Install' button.

  • The install started at 5:43PM (DVD drive whirring).

    A progress bar showed:
    about 24% done in 1 minute
    about 49% done in 2 minutes
    about 75% done in 3 minutes

    Done at 5:47PM.
    I clicked the 'Launch TurboTax Now' button.
    (There was no other button like 'Later' or 'Cancel'.)

  • A small blue window in the center of the screen says something like

    "OK we know it's a little more than a moment ..."

  • A 'TurboTax 2019 - Updater' window pops up. It says:

    "Let's install the latest updates" ...
    "It will take approximately 11 minutes."

    I clicked the button 'Update TurboTax 2019' on the lower-right of the window.

  • A progress bar popped up - with '11 minutes left' on the right of the bar.

    Started at 5:51PM. It went fast. It showed '5 min left' in less than a minute.

    At 51% it was 'Installing Federal Tax Forms'.

    It seemed to get stuck at 95% and 'less than 1 min left'.

    It finished at 5:54PM. (In about 3 minutes, instead of 11 minutes.)

  • A window showed:

      Successful updates:
      - Help & Support ... Released 2/12/2020
      - Program Updates (Critical) ... Released 4/1/2020
      - Federal Tax Forms (Critical) ... Released 4/1/2020

    I clicked on the button 'Continue using TurboTax 2019', although I was still logged in as 'Admin', rather than as user 'marlo'.

  • I got a small blue window that said:
    "OK we know it's a little more than a moment ..."

  • Then I got a 'TurboTax Premier 2019 - Activation' window, in which to enter a license code of the form


    Then I clicked on the 'Activate TurboTax' button.

  • Got a new 'Activation' window with the message:
    "You're all set."

    I clicked on 'Get Started' button (still as 'Admin').

  • Got a window asking for:
    - name, email-address, street-address, city, state
    - How prepped taxes last year? (TurboTax)
    - Where bought this year? (Target)

    I clicked on 'Continue' button (still as 'Admin').

  • A window showed with a 'Begin' button.

    I clicked the 'Begin' button (as 'Admin'). It wanted to start a new return (under 'Admin') - and it started looking for tax files.

  • As 'Admin', I exited the TurboTax 'Begin' window.

    I switched from the 'Admin' login to the user 'marlo' login - to start entry of data into TurboTax.

      On Windows 10, I clicked on the lower-left 'Start' button, and in the 'Shutdown' drop down menu, I chose 'Switch user'.

An outline of the first steps in TurboTax data-entry --- when logged into the 'user' account --- follows --- in the next ('Data-Entry') section.

(as a 'user', NOT 'admin')

See below the point at which
state (Virginia) software was loaded.

  • I switched to a login under the 'user' account. See above.
    (Still on 7 April 2020.)

  • I launched TurboTax 2019 by clicking on the 'TurboTax 2019' icon on the desktop.

  • I got a small blue window that said 'taking more than a moment'.

  • Got a 'Register' window (name, email, etc.).

    I didn't enter anything.

    I clicked on a 'Continue' button and got a yes/no 'Continue without registering?' window. I clicked 'Yes'.

  • Got the 'Begin' window.

    I clicked the 'Begin' button --- rather than the 'Amend Return' or 'File extension' buttons.

  • 'Starting a new return ...' showed in a small window for about 10 seconds.

  • Got a 'Good News. We Found Your Tax Info' window with the name of the 2018 file.

    I clicked on the 'Transfer Return' button beside the filename while TT seemed to be looking for more files. (A busy indicator was rotating on the window.)

      Note that TurboTax data is stored in files with suffixes of the form '.tax2019', for example. And the 'return' forms for printing are stored in '.pdf' files.

      If you have a '.taxYYYY' file, you can use a 'Browse' option on the TurboTax data-transfer panel to navigate to a copy of the file --- that you may have on a 'USB stick' --- or a copy that you put in some non-TurboTax folder on the computer.

      Note that, if you have to find a previous year's TurboTax data file, the typical place that TurboTax stores the data files is in the MS Windows 'folder' location

      C:\Users\<username>\My Documents\TurboTax\

      In fact, I had copied a '.tax2018' file from the old Windows7 Dell computer to a USB stick. Then I copied that file into the above named 'folder' on the new Windows10 HP computer.

  • I got a 'Transfer Complete' window which showed:

    Name, Spouse's Name, Address, Filing Status (such as Married Filing Jointly), Dependents (such as None), Forms last year (such as 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099R), Deductions (such as Property Tax, Personal Property Tax, Charitable Deductions), Credits (such as Foreign Tax Credit).

    Clicked 'Continue' button.

  • A 'Review' started up.

      Filing jointly. Radiobuttons. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Husband's info was OK. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Husband a dependent? NO. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Legally blind? Passed away? NONE OF ABOVE. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Wife's info was OK. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Wife a dependent? NO. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Legally blind? Passed away? NONE OF ABOVE. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Made money in another state? NO. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Children or finanacially support other. NO. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Where to receive mail? Address OK. Clicked 'Continue'.

      A personal info summary (the above info) showed.
      OK. Clicked 'Continue'.

      Income reported on last year return:
      Yes/No radiobuttons were displayed beside a list of 1099's.
      Most were still valid. Left them all at Yes.
      Clicked 'Continue'.

  • A 'How do you want to enter your income?' window appeared.

    I clicked "Walk Through" rather than "I'll choose what I work on".

  • Input Summary from 2018 and 2019 appeared.

    Clicked 'Continue'.

  • Used 'File > Save' to pause here and get tax docs.

Started entering data the next day, 8 April 2020.

  • Logged back into Windows 10 using the user account ('marlo') rather than 'Admin'.

  • Started up 'TurboTax 2019' by clicking on the desktop icon.

  • Got a popup about updates available (about 1 minute to install). Clicked OK.

  • Got a prompt for 'Admin' password. After password was entered, Virginia software (Released 3/25/2020) was downloaded.

    I clicked 'Continue to TurboTax' button.

    Funny thing. No TT startup. Had to click the TT2019 desktop icon to restart.

  • Then I started the 'Walk Through' to enter data.

    You can let TurboTax walk you through the income and deduction sections.

    Here is where the TurboTax software shines, in multiple ways:

    • TurboTax prompts you through the data entry process --- thus helping you determine what kinds of data are needed. Also, it helps you make the best choices during the data entry process.

    • TurboTax performs the final calulations for all the various federal and state forms 'in a flash' --- and with much less likelihood of errors than you would experience with 'manual' data-gathering and calculations.

    • TurboTax can print out high-quality forms for mailing --- or can submit the form-data electronically.

Here I end the description of the install of TurboTax 2019.

Note that in this year, the Virginia software was not downloaded until I got to the point of entering data as the user 'marlo'. I had to supply the 'Admin' password to allow the download.

In some other years of using TurboTax, the Virginia software was downloaded at a different point --- such as during the software install as 'Admin' --- for example, at the 'Begin' window described in the 'Install' section above, where the install started looking for previous TT files.


In the early days of installing TurboTax, a great concern of mine was how to handle installing the software using an 'admin' login --- and then use the software under a non-admin login.

The steps above outline what I found worked well in handling that concern.

In subsequent years (after learning how to handle the 'admin' and 'user' logins), my main concern was whether my internet connection would be steady and bug-free --- thus allowing for all the software updates that are typically downloaded from a TurboTax site at the start of each installation.

Another concern of mine has been that a bug in the TurboTax software might cause a problem in the installation --- or a problem later when using the software.

One year, I DID have a problem in using the software. At some point, the estimated tax, that TurboTax shows at the top of the panels as you work through the data-entry sections, blew up to a ridiculous size.

I had not been watching that 'estimated tax' display. I had never noticed it in previous years. In any case, although I first thought it might be a bug in the TurboTax software, I ended up having to start a new data-entry session. I ended up with a good outcome --- a reasonable-and-expected tax bill.

It was probably the case that I failed to enter a decimal point in some figure that caused the subsequent calculations to go haywire. I was not able to find where I may have made a data entry error --- but starting over 'with a fresh slate' got me out of that mess.

In summary, I have been able to use TurboTax successfully over at least 7 tax years (2012 to 2019), and my three main concerns :

  • handling 'admin'/'user' install/use login sessions

  • having a stable internet connection

  • encountering a TurboTax software bug --- either in the install or in the data-entry phase

have proved to be surmountable.

The install-and-use notes here may be used to guide me through use of TurboTax in future install-and-use sessions --- on a Windows 10 computer, instead of a Windows 7 computer.

Furthermore, a few notes above may help in getting previous TurboTax data files from a Windows 10 computer to a new Windows 11 computer --- for use to minimize data entry for the next tax year.

Unfortunately, TurboTax does not provide a guide that deals with several of the issues that are considered on this page. (And my web searches did not fill in the blanks.)

I would like to have had a guide like this from TurboTax. By a series of experiences, I had to come up with my own guide --- to help me with a task that I do only once a year --- and whose details I forget over the course of a year. (Some tasks --- like migrating data from one computer to another --- I do even less frequently --- like once a decade.)

Hence, this web page --- to help me, and perhaps others.

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TurboTax 2019 software installation on MS Windows 10
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Page was created 2021 Jul 24.