Fix: TurboTax Error Code 65535 “Unexpected error”

This particular error usually appears when users are only starting to install TurboTax on their computers and the error code prevents them from following through the installation process completely. TurboTax errors are usually hard to solve since there is not a lot of information online regarding this subject.

The goal of this article is to provide several solutions to this problem for the users who are struggling with this problem right now. Make sure you follow the instructions below carefully in order to continue using this tool.


Before you follow through with the process of installing or updating the tool again, make sure you first close the error message and simply try running the installer again. If this doesn’t work, restart your PC and try running the installation wizard again.

Also, start off by disabling your antivirus and firewall tools before you try installing TurboTax. Running the installation file as an Administrator is also smart and you can achieve that by right-clicking on the file and choosing the Run as administrator option.

Solution 1: Download the Fix-it Tool from TurboTax

TurboTax has released the fix-it tool for this particular issue and you can download it easily by visiting this link. The tool is an executable file that should change your registry permissions in order to accommodate your PC to make the installation possible.

  1. Visit the link provided above and click on the link displayed in the photo below saying “click here to download and run our fix-it tool”.
  2. Locate the file you just downloaded in the Downloads folder and run it.

Solution 2: Disable Certain Services from Task Manager

One of the possible solutions to this particular issue is simply using the Task Manager in order to find out if certain services are causing this instability. If that is the case, follow the steps below in order to find out whether you can fix this.

  1. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination in order to bring up the Task Manager. Alternatively, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination and select Task Manager from the menu. You can also search for it in the Start menu.

  1. Click on More details in order to expand the task manager and search for the MSIexec.exe entry on the list in the Processes tab of Task Manager, right-click on it and choose the End task option from the context menu which appeared.
  2. While you are still located in the Processes tab of the Task Manager, locate all msiexec.exe on the list, right-click on them and click on the End task option as well.
  3. Try to install TurboTax from the CD or the installation file located on your computer.

Solution 3: Check to See if a Certain Service Is Running

The steps provided below should help you fix the issue if it is actually related to a service that is running on your computer.

  1. If you are using a version of Windows older than Windows 10, the easiest way for you to access the services running on your PC is by clicking on the Start button and navigating to the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “services.msc” in the dialog box and wait for the list of services to open.

  1. If you are using Windows 10, you can also access Services by using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination in order to bring up Task Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Services tab in Task Manager and click on Open Services at the bottom of its windows, next to the gears icon.

After you have successfully open Services, follow the instructions below.

  1. Locate the MSIServer service by clicking on the Name column in order to sort the services in alphabetical order.
  2. Right-click on the service and click on Properties.

  1. Navigate to the Startup type and set it to Automatic but make sure it’s not running.
  2. If the status says Running then it means Windows is currently busy installing something, such as Windows Updates or other programs. Please make sure the other installation finishes and the msiserver status is stopped before attempting to install TurboTax.

The service should start now and you won’t have any problems dealing with it in the future. However, you may receive the following error message when you click on Start:

“Windows could not stop the msiserver service on Local Computer. Error 1079: The account specified for this service differs from the account specified for other services running in the same process.”

If this occurs, follow the instructions below to fix it.

  1. Follow steps 1-4 from the instructions below in order to open the service’s properties.
  2. Navigate to the Log On tab and click on the Browser… button.

  1. Under the “Enter the object name to select” box, type in your computer’s name and click on Check Names and wait for the name to become authenticated.
  2. Click OK when you are done and type in the administrator password in the Password box when you are prompted with it.

  1. Click OK and close this window.
  2. Navigate back to msiserver’s service’s properties and click Start.
  3. Close everything and check to see if the service is still running.

Note: If you still notice certain issues, open Services again by following the instructions above and undo the changes you have made by making sure the service is running.

Solution 4: Install the Update Manually

If you are currently dealing with a TurboTax update that simply won’t install and which is constantly displaying this error code, a smart thing to do would be to simply install the update manually by downloading the files necessary for the tool from TurboTax’ official website.

  1. Make sure you close TurboTax and other programs that may be running beside your browser which you will use to download the update.
  2. Download the manual update file from this link and make sure you choose the correct year. You will probably use the 2017 file located at the top of the page.

  1. Save the file from the link you visit to your PC and open it after it has finished downloading in order to start the updating process.
  2. Follow the instructions on-screen in order to proceed with the update. The software should now be properly updated without the need for an automatic update.

Solution 5: Give Yourself the Permission for the Installation File if it’s Currently Located on Your Computer

If you don’t have permissions for a file located on your computer can be quite a problem and it’s a bug that simply shouldn’t be allowed to occur on Windows. However, these issues occur either way but you can fix them by following the instructions below carefully.

  1. Open File Explorer, and then locate the TurboTax folders you want to take ownership of. These folders are:
  1. Right-click the folder, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.

  1. Click the Advanced button. The “Advanced Security Settings” window will appear. Here you need to change the Owner of the key.
  2. Click the Change link next to the “Owner:” label
  3. The Select User or Group window will appear.
  4. Select the user account via the Advanced button or just type your user account in the area which says ‘Enter the object name to select‘ and click OK.

  1. Optionally, to change the owner of all subfolders and files inside the folder, select the checkbox “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” in the “Advanced Security Settings” window. Click OK to change the ownership.
  2. Now you need to provide full access to the file or folder for your account. Right-click the file or folder again, click Properties and then click the Security tab.
  3. Click the Edit and then the Add button. The “Permission Entry” window will appear on the screen.
  4. Click “Select a principal” and select your account:

  1. Set permissions to “Full control” and click OK.
  2. Optionally, click “Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all descendants with inheritable permissions from this object” in the “Advanced Security Settings” window.
  3. What it means is permissions on this parent object will replace those on its descendant objects. When cleared, permissions on each object, whether parent or its descendant, can be unique. Click OK to get full access to the file or folder.

Solution 6: Disabling Antivirus

In some cases, the Antivirus prevents the user from being able to install the software properly and thus triggers the following error. Therefore, it is recommended that you try to disable the antivirus completely before you proceed to install the TurboTax software. Make sure to completely close the error message, disable antivirus and then proceed with installing.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.