ProConnect HelpIntuit HelpIntuit

How to resolve "not a legal pathname" or "invalid pathname" messages in Lacerte

SOLVEDby IntuitUpdated July 14, 2022

You may see this message when opening the program, switching to a different directory, or changing tax types. This typically occurs when Lacerte is pointed to a data path or file path with a name the program can’t understand.

For example, in a UNC path:  

\\Hostserver\Lacerte\20 Tax\Idata  

  • This will generate this error message because there is a space between 20 and Tax.

\\Hostserver\Lacerte\20Tax\Idata 

  • This will not generate this error message because it conforms to the rules.

To solve for this, ensure that you are not using any of following common illegal characters/symbols:

# pound% percent& ampersand* asterisk
{ left curly bracket} right curly bracket< left angle bracket> right angle bracket
? question mark$ dollar sign! exclamation point: colon
' single quote" double quote` backtick@ at sign
+ plus sign= equal sign/ forward slash\ back slash*

*A double backslash can only be used at the beginning of the pathname if it is referencing a UNC path. Otherwise, a backslash should only be used to designate a subdirectory.

Other rules and best practices:

  • Make sure there are no spaces in the pathname.
  • Don’t start or end your filename with a space, period, hyphen, or underscore.
  • Avoid using underscores; use a hyphen instead.
  • Most operating systems are case sensitive; verify the path name you entered in Lacerte follows proper casing.
  • Keep your filenames to a reasonable length and be sure they are under 31 characters.

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
Lacerte Tax

Sign in for the best experience

Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of Intuit Accountants users.