Knowledge Base

12073: Drake Tax Demo Software

Demo Software

How do I install and use Drake demo software?

What is demo software?

Evaluation (demonstration) software is the prior year software run in demo mode. In late April, the software for the prior tax year is made available for download to demo customers. At present (09/22/2021), Drake 2020 is the most recently available demo software. If you received a Drake demo disk at a Drake seminar or on the Drake Software website, you have the most recent demo.

This table provides a summary of the functions available in the demo:

Function Demo Availability
Installation Disk or download
Create returns Yes1
e-File test returns Yes2
e-File live returns No
View and Print returns Yes1
Change SSN of a return No
Download state software Yes3
Log in to Drake Support Website After late April
Access Drake Forums No
Update from Prior Year Yes
Update the software Yes2
Email Yes2
Reports Yes
1Forms are watermarked.
2If the demo is registered and set up.
3From the installation CD, or online, if the demo is registered and configured.

How do I get the demo software?

You may sign up for a free demonstration at -- click Try Drake Tax, fill out basic information to register for a demo, and click Continue. As soon as you have completed registration, you are emailed a temporary Drake EFIN, a password, and a link to the Drake Download Center, where you can download the available demo software. Around late April and thereafter, your temporary EFIN and password can be used to log in to the Drake Support website to access the additional resources available there. The first time you visit the website, you will be prompted to set up a self-selected username and password for future access to the website, as well as security questions  and answers for account recovery purposes.

For a step by step guide to downloading and installing the software from the Download Center, see "Download, Install, and Set up Demo Software" in the Attachments below. 

You will also receive a demo disk and instructions in the mail in about a week. 

Which years of Drake can I demo? 

At current, the Drake Support website will allow a demo user to install Drake10 - Drake20 Evaluation software. These versions will be available once logged into the Support Site using the steps above. If not automatically redirected after login, go to Downloads > Drake Tax to access these Demo programs. 

Why is registering the software important and how can I do that?

Registering the demo establishes an account with Drake, which provides you with an account number, Drake password, and a temporary, Drake assigned EFIN. When you enter that account information in the demo software (during the setup process or under the Setup menu on the ERO screen) you enable it to access Drake servers for online functions such as updating the software, installing state programs from the internet, and test e-filing.

If you ordered the demo online, you were automatically registered when you signed up. If you received a demo disk at a Drake seminar, you can register it online by going to Get Started with Drake and clicking Register Your Demo.

How do I set up to e-file with the demo software?

First, see the Attachment "Download, Install, and Set up Demo Software" below. Once the software is setup, test e-filing is available. A test e-file goes to Drake, but not to the IRS. Below are the basic steps to e-filing. For a comprehensive review of the e-filing process, it is highly recommended that users visit the Drake Software Documents page on your Support Website and download the Drake 2020 manual. 

  1. Go to Open/Create, open any of the Drake 40000 or 50000 series test returns and click View. Review and resolve any e-file messages that appear on pages labeled MESSAGES (MESSAGE pages are highlighted in red) -- the messages that appear on these pages will contain additional information and instruction for resolving them. Once all e-file messages are resolved, click Calculate -- there will be a green check under the "EF Status" column, indicating that the file is eligible to be e-filed. Exit the return.
  2. Navigate to the EF menu, and click Select Returns for EF. Check the box to the left of the test return you are preparing to test e-file. Click Continue. A printable report will generate, confirming which return was selected.
  3. Return to the EF menu, and click Transmit/Receive. The box labeled "Files for EF" will contain the single "Federal Individual" return that was selected to e-file. (To remove a return from this box in order to prevent it from e-filing, click the Review button the right. Returns appearing here can be marked and removed using the Remove button. Once you are ready to e-file a return that was removed here, it must be calculated and selected for EF again before it will return to this window.) When you are ready to transmit the test return, click Send/Receive
  4. A printable report will appear, confirming information about the file that was transmitted. After exiting the report, the Transmit/Receive window must remain open until the Communications box says "Session Complete." Once the session is complete, you may exit this window.
  5. Return once more to the EF menu. Click Process Acks. A report will generate, showing a "T" acknowledgement for the successfully transmitted test return. 

Can I install state programs with the demo?

Yes, you can install states during the installation of the program itself, or from within the software itself once it is setup. See the Attachment "Download, Install, and Set up Demo Software" below.

How do I convert from demo to the full version of the software?

If you were using a demonstration version of the software prior to purchasing a license, you can convert your program to the version that you ordered (Full or PPR) by going to File > Convert Demo to Standard. Enter your Drake account number and serial number provided in the email thanking you for your purchase of the software.

Your Drake account number and serial number are also available on the Drake Support website under the home menu as well as Account > Serial Numbers.

How do I uninstall the Demo?

When installed, the Drake demo does not appear in the Add/Remove Programs section in the control panel. To remove the Drake demo, use Windows Explorer to locate the installation folder on your local C or network drive. The folder is named “DrakeYY,” where ‘”YY” is the last two digits of the tax year. If you are unsure of what drive the program was installed to, you can locate the folder by searching your Computer for the folder name DrakeYY.

Note: It is strongly recommended that before proceeding you make a backup of any Drake Tax data that you may want to access at a later date. 

When you locate the DrakeYY folder, delete it. This will remove the demo and all data from your computer. 

If you have purchased DrakeYY and wish to convert the demo to the standard licensed version, follow the steps above instead. You do not need to delete the demo in order to upgrade to the licensed program. 

How and when can I get a conversion program for my old tax software?

When you sign up for your demo software, Drake automatically prepares to send you a disk with the conversion program (if a conversion program is available for your prior tax software) as soon as it the program is finalized, usually in the fall.

You can also download available conversion programs online. Log in to Drake Support with the temporary EFIN and Drake password you received when you signed up or registered. Go to Downloads > Conversions. There's more information in "FAQs About The Conversion Programs" (see Related Links below).

If I decide to purchase Drake, how will I setup the software using my IRS assigned EFIN?

Per IRS regulation, you must register your IRS assigned EFIN with Drake before e-filing under that EFIN can begin. See the Related Link "EFIN Registration or Change -- What Drake Requires for e-Filing" for more information on what Drake will need before e-filing live returns may begin.

Other Questions?

Call Drake Support, (828) 524-8020.


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