Knowledge Base

10809: Archiving Overview

Archive Manager

How do I archive a return? How do I restore an archive? How does the Archive Manager work? 


Creating Archives

To create a new archive, follow these steps:

  1. Go to view mode of a return.
  2. Click the Documents button.
  3. Select Archive Client Return from the drop menu.
  4. Enter a description and click OK.
    • This description will be displayed in Archive Manager, so use one that captures the reason for the archive.
    • The description need not identify your client.
  5. Click OK again to exit the confirmation screen.
Restoring Archives

To restore an existing archive, follow these steps:

  1. Go to view mode of a return.
  2. Click the Documents button.
  3. On the drop list, click Archive Manager to open the Archive Manager screen.
    • If you have not previously archived the return or selected it for transmission, you will get an information screen to that effect; click OK; there is nothing to restore.
    • In the example below, the return has already been archived twice and both archives appear on the Archive Manager screen.
  4. Click the archive file to select it and then click the Restore button.

  1. You are prompted to create a new archive before you proceed (since restoring overrides data in the open return).
  2. Click Yes to create a new archive and restore the old one,
    • Select No only to restore the archive,
    • Select Cancel to return to the Archive Manager screen.

  1. Follow the remaining prompts, and click OK.


  • When you select a return for transmission, an archive of the data file is automatically created, however, this does not create a PDF file of the return. The automatic archive backup data file is named 'Selected for Electronic Filing.'
  • Archive data files are not visible in Drake Documents.
  • Above, the archives called 'Original Return before Amending' and 'Amended Return' are manually created archives and will include a PDF copy of the return which is visible and can be opened in Drake Documents. 

Caution: Like any data file backup, if a software update after the backup was made affects calculated fields in the return, the restored return may differ from what was archived. This occurs because new, updated calculations made from the original data may produce different results. Print a PDF copy to Drake Documents to avoid this problem.

Deleting Archives

To delete an existing archive, follow these steps:

  1. Go to view mode of a return.
  2. Click the Documents button.
  3. On the drop list, click Archive Manager to open the Archive Manager screen.
  4. Select the archive you want to delete, and click the Delete icon.
  5. This deletes the backup of the client data file. Any PDF created with the archive remains available in DDM and can be deleted there.

Note: You must be logged into Drake Tax with admin privileges to access the Delete button within Archive Manager.

Using Archives

When you select a return for transmission, or manually archive a return, you create a date/time stamped client file backup in Archive Manager. This lets you use Archive Manager later to restore your return to its original status. When you manually archive a return in Archive Manager, you also create a date/time stamped PDF copy of the return in Drake Documents (previously Drake Document Manager).

For example, you open a return with a W2 showing $12000 in wages, archive it and then change the W2 wage entry in the open return to $14,000. You can then compare the PDF copy of the original return in the client's Drake Documents folder with the current version of the return that you have changed. You also can use Archive Manager to restore the archived return, to replace the open return with the $14,000 wage entry by the original return with the $12,000 wage entry. Restore does not restore the PDF file; it only replaces original data in the open client file. 

See the instructional video, Archiving a Return, for a demonstration.

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