Knowledge Base

10983: Installing Drake Tax

Purchasing + Installing

How do I install Drake Tax? 

Current Drake customers can download and install the current and prior year federal and state software at no additional charge through the Drake Download Center. At the Download Center, federal and state programs are available from 2002 to present. Installing Drake Tax from the support website ensures that you are installing the most up to date version of the program.

Before you start:

  • Have your account number and serial number available.
  • If you have already installed the preseason release, verify that Auto Updates has been disabled by going to Tools > Update Manager. If it is turned on, click Auto Update Settings and at the right click Off. Click Exit.
  • Verify that any auto backups (Tools > File Maintenance > Backup) are turned off.
  • Be aware that other auto updating programs may also interfere with installation.
  • Review "Drake Tax Security Information" for information about changes to the software login procedure starting in Drake16. 
  • When installing Drake Tax to a network, make sure to install to the root of the drive you will be running the software from. Running the software from within a sub-folder will produce errors. 

Account and Serial Numbers

If you are installing Drake02- Drake11 from the Downloads section online at the Drake Support website, a serial number is not required.

Note: After installation for Drake07 only, you will need to enter the serial number on the Preparer Login screen before entering the software for the first time. If you do not have a 2007 serial number, please contact Drake Support for assistance.

If you are installing Drake12 and future, an account specific serial number is required. These serial numbers may be found on the Drake Support website. Log in using your user account credentials (SSO information and recovery steps may be found in Related Links below). On the left, choose Account > Serial Numbers

  • If you install from a CD, a serial number is required for all prior years.

If you require a serial number that is not listed, contact the Accounting Department at (828) 349-5900 for further assistance.

To begin the installation process, log into Log in using your SSO user account credentials. SSO information and recovery steps are available in Related Links below. 

Images may vary depending on the year that you are installing.

From the main Drake Software Support page, choose Downloads > Drake Tax

From the tax year drop list, select the tax year that you want to download. Click the Download button.

    During the download, respond to any security warning to continue the download. If offered the choice between running and saving the file, select Run to install the software. Select Save to save the downloaded file for later installation. If you save the file, save it to a location that you can later find, such as your Documents folder. Check your downloads folder for the executable if the file does not begin to run automatically. 

    When you select Run (or later open the downloaded file) to install the software, a pop-up appears. Select Yes to begin installation.

    • On the next window, select:
      1. The Drake Tax Software location to which you would like to install the program,
      2. To Install Test Returns (optional),
      3. Any states that you would like to install (states are not available in the preseason release),
      4. Click Next

    • To proceed,
      1. Check the box to accept the License Agreement, 
      2. Select the Licensed Version radio button, 
      3. Enter your Account Number and Serial Number
      4. Choose whether to Update the Admin account from the prior year and select which drive Drake was installed on in the prior year (optional). 
      5. Click Next.

    • Review the Security Summit Guidelines and click Next. 
    • Review installation details and, if correct, click Install
    • Installation begins and a progress bar is displayed. When the installation is finished, the screen says "Installation is complete." Click Finished.

    • Starting with Drake22, the installer will then check to ensure that all prerequisites are met on your computer. You will be prompted to install any missing required programs before you can proceed with the installer. On the window shown below, click Install and follow the prompts to complete prerequisite installation.


    • At the end, you will see a window indicating what program(s) were installed. Click Close on that Window and then Finish
      • Full system requirements are listed in Related Links below.
      • If you are installing Drake Tax on an NWClient network, after you run the NWCLIENT.exe you will be prompted to install the Drake Tax Prerequisites on that workstation. This ensures that each networked computer has the required prerequisites installed to facilitate full functionality.  

    • To open the software, double-click the program icon on your desktop. Shortcuts for Drake Scheduler and Drake Documents are also created with the installation (depending on the year of Drake that you installed).
    • You will have to activate the program before logging in the first time. 

    Note: If you cannot locate your desktop icon, to recreate it see "Lost Desktop Icons for Drake Software" in Related Links below.

    If you have problems or questions while installing the software, please contact Drake Support at (828) 524-8020.

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