Troubleshoot Your Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder Installation

When you install Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder, the installation might not always go exactly as planned. In this article, you can find information about how to troubleshoot issues you might encounter and suggestions for how to resolve them.

Search the Support Knowledge Base

To help you find the answer to your questions quickly, you can search the Tableau Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base contains troubleshooting techniques you can use to fix issues, describes known issues that have been resolved and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

  1. To search for troubleshooting articles, go to Knowledge Base.
  2. Type in a description.
  3. On the Support page, choose Knowledge Base from the Source tab.

Repair an installation (Windows only)

A repair of an installation is the process of installing a new build of the same version over the existing installation. Repairing an installation keeps the software in a working state by overwriting changed files and reinstalling missing files.

To run a repair of an installation:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.
  2. Select the Tableau program from the list.
  3. Right-click Uninstall/Change.
  4. In the Modify Setup window that appears, click Repair and allow the repair process to finish.

Create an installation log

If you are working with Tableau Support, they may request log files from your installation. Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder can keep a log of the installation process. Logging is on by default for the Tableau installer for both Windows and Mac. By default, the log files are stored in the user's temporary folder (the location specified in the %temp% environment variable) for Windows and in /private/var/log for the Mac. It's a good idea to keep the log files for the installation process to help you troubleshoot in case anything goes wrong. If so, you can review the log file and search for entries that include Error or Fail to help you spot the problem.

Note: When logging at the DEBUG level, full environment information is gathered when Tableau starts. This means that if you have any sensitive information in an environment variable, it may be included in a log. Logging at the default INFO level only gathers safe environment information.

If you want to change the location or name of the log files, or if you're not sure if logging is enabled, complete the following steps. Logging must be turned on before you start installation.

  1. Download the installer (.exe file).

  2. Open a command window as an administrator.

  3. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded the installer file.

  4. Run the following command:

    <installer> /log "<log_file_path_and_name>"

    Replace installer with the name of the Tableau installer file and replace log_file_path_and_name with the path and name of the file where you want the installation log file to be saved.

    For example:

    tableauDesktop-64bit-2021-3-1.exe /log "C:\Users\henryw\Desktop\install.txt".

Resolve FlexNet licensing errors when activating or opening Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder

If the Tableau licensing service can't read or access the product key, you might see one of the following errors:

  • No licence found for 'TableauDesktop'

  • Unable to add licence

  • Function flxActCommonLicSpcPopulateFromTS returned error 50030, 71521, 0

To troubleshoot the error and resolve it, try the steps in this section in the order shown.

1. Verify the system date and time

Verify that the date and time on your computer is set to the current date. If the clock on your computer is set to a date prior to the current date, Tableau can't be activated.

2. Verify that the FlexNet Licensing Service is installed

When you install Tableau Desktop, the FlexNet Licensing Service is installed automatically. Tableau requires this service to run. When you install Tableau Desktop on the Mac, you might be prompted to enter your password to give the installer permission to install FlexNet. For Windows, permission to install FlexNet is implied from the user account settings.

To check whether the licensing service is properly installed on your computer, complete the following steps:


  1. Navigate to the following folder:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Macrovision Shared\FlexNet Publisher

  2. Verify that the FNPLicensingService application is in the folder.

    If the FlexNet licensing Service is not installed, try reinstalling Tableau Desktop or check your user account permissions settings.


  1. Start the Terminal application.

  2. Type the following command to list the contents of the FlexNet directory:

    ls '/Library/Application Support/FLEXnet Publisher/Service/11.16.2/FNPLicensingService'

    If the command doesn't return anything, or if it returns the message No such file or directory, the licensing service isn't installed. For information about how to manually install the FlexNet Licensing Service, see Error: "The FlexNet licensing service is not present on the system" Activating on Mac(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Knowledge base.

3. Verify that the FlexNet Licensing Service is running

If you have verified that the FlexNet Licensing Service is installed, verify that the licensing service is running. If it isn't, you might need to manually start the service. To start the service, complete the steps below based on your operating system, and then restart Tableau Desktop.


  1. From the Windows Start menu, open services.msc.

  2. In the Services dialog box, verify that the status for the FlexNet Licensing Service is Started.

    If the Start option is greyed out, right-click FlexNet Licensing Service in the list and select Properties. On the General tab, click Start, then click OK to close the dialog box.


  1. Start the Terminal application.

  2. Navigate to the FlexNet directory:

    '/Applications/Tableau Desktop <Tableau>/Contents/Frameworks/FlexNet/'custactutil -view

    For example '/Applications/Tableau Desktop'custactutil -view

  3. Verify that the FlexNet Licensing Service is running. You should see Trust Flags = FULLY TRUSTEDand Status = ENABLED.

  4. Then use the following command to save the output to a file on your desktop:

    /Applications/Tableau\ Desktop\ <Tableau>/Contents/Frameworks/FlexNet/custactutil -view > /users/$(whoami)/Desktop/licresults.txt

4. Repair trusted storage

If FlexNet Licensing Services is installed and running but you're still seeing an error, there might be a problem with the Tableau product key information. To resolve this issue, complete the following steps to repair the key information that is located and saved in trusted storage.

Note: You will need access to the Customer Activation Utility located in the bin folder to perform these steps.


  1. Open a command window and navigate to the directory where the Customer Activation Utility is. For example:

    cd "C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau <version>\bin"

    where <version> is the Tableau product version that you installed.

  2. Type the following command:

    custactutil –localrepair

  3. Launch Tableau.

    If the repair is not successful, type the following command to create a LicResults.txt file:

    custactutil -view >LicResults.txt

    Contact Technical Support(Link opens in a new window) and include the LicResults.txt file that you created.


  1. Start the Terminal application.

  2. Navigate to the FlexNet directory:

    cd /Applications/Tableau Desktop <version>.app>/Contents/Frameworks/Flexnet

  3. Enter the following command:

    ./custactutil -localrepair

  4. Launch Tableau.

  5. If the repair is not successful, type the following command to create a LicResults.txt file:

    ./custactutil -view > /users/<username>/licresults.txt

    Contact Technical Support(Link opens in a new window) and include the LicResults.txt file that you created.

Troubleshoot activation errors using activation exit codes

When you start Tableau and include the -activate option, the activation process returns status information by setting the ERRORLEVEL environment variable to an exit code. If activation was successful, the Tableau application exit code is 0 (zero). The table below lists exit codes from the activation process and what they mean.

If activation fails, you can also find error information in the Tableau log file. Log files are located in the Logs folder in the My Tableau Repository folder under the current user’s Documents folder. For example:

/Users/<user>/Documents/My Tableau Repository/Logs

The following example script shows how to activate Tableau Desktop for Windows and check for specific errors, such as an invalid product key (536871018) and general licensing issues (536871012).

@echo off
start/wait tableau.exe -activate  <product_key>
if %errorlevel% EQU 0 (ECHO SUCCESS)
Exit CodeMessageValue
536871012TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_GENERALAn unknown error occurred during the licensing operation.
536871013TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_INTERNALThe product is unable to start due to an internal licensing error.
536871014TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_SETUPThe product is unable to start due to an internal licensing error.
536871015TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_CONNECTAn error occurred contacting the Tableau licence server.
536871017TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_ACTIVATION_ASRAn error occurred while activating the ASR.
536871016TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_ACTIVATION_GENERALActivation failed, please try again.
536871019TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_ACTIVATION_OFFLINEUnable to complete offline activation.
536871020TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_ACTIVATION_INVALID_MODELAn error was returned from the licence server. Check the Tableau log file for more information.
536871033TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_ACTIVATION_MAX_EXTRA_ACTIVATIONSFailed to activate the licence because you have reached the limit of activations for this licence.
536871022TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_UNLICENSED_GENERALAn unknown error occurred during the unlicensing operation. Check your product key or contact support.
536871024TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_UNLICENSED_EXPIREDOnly expired product keys were found.
536871025TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_UNLICENSED_EXPIRED_TRIALYour trial for this version has ended.
536871028TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_RESYNC_GENERALYour product keys could not be synchronised.
536871029TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_REGISTRATION_GENERALAn error occurred during product registration.
536871030TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_SERVICE_INSTALLAn unknown error occurred during licensing operations.
536871031TABLEAU_ERROR_LICENSING_SERVICE_UNINSTALLAn unknown error occurred during licensing operations.

Troubleshoot internet errors

Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep Builder require certain firewall and proxy settings to load map views, to load web pages and to process licence requests. If you encounter one of the following errors, the administrator for the organisation's network needs to make changes to the network web proxy and firewall configuration settings.

  • The licensing process requests offline activation.

  • Map views appear blank in Tableau Desktop.

  • Web pages in dashboards fail to load.

  • The online map can't be loaded.

For information about how to configure internet access for Tableau Desktop, see Required Addresses, Proxies and Ports

Troubleshoot accessing the licensing server

The Tableau licensing service was moved to a new data centre on 6th October 2018. This means that any environments that required special configuration (static IP safe listing for example) to access or will need to be updated before you can activate, refresh or deactivate a Tableau product key.

To check whether this is the problem:

  1. In a web browser, navigate to the following addresses:



      You should see a "Test success." page.

  2. If you don't see the success page, you may need to update your local environment to access the licensing services. For more details, see the Tableau Community(Link opens in a new window).

Troubleshoot licence reporting (Tableau Desktop only)

When Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop instances are properly configured, Tableau Desktop licence usage information is available in two administrative views, Desktop Licence Usage(Link opens in a new window) and Desktop Licence Expiration(Link opens in a new window). If you can't see these views, or if there's no data in them, there might be a problem with licence reporting. The sections below can help you troubleshoot the cause.

For information about how to configure Tableau Desktop reporting, see Manage Tableau Desktop Licence Usage.

Administrative views aren't available

The Desktop Licence Reporting administrative views are available only to Tableau Server administrators. If you don't see links to the Desktop Licence Usage and Desktop Licence Expiration views on the Server Status page (select Manage All Sites from the Sites menu), verify the following:

  • You are signed in as a Tableau Server administrator.

  • You are running a version of Tableau Server 10.0 or later, and users are running Tableau Desktop version 10.0 or later. Tableau Desktop licence reporting is available beginning with version 10.0 of Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop.

  • Licence reporting is enabled in Tableau Server. (The feature is disabled by default.) For more information, see the procedure for enabling licence reporting on Tableau Server in the Manage Tableau Desktop Licence Usage article in this guide.

Administrative views don't include expected content

If you aren't seeing the data you expect, it could be for one of the reasons listed here.

Tableau Desktop was configured less than eight hours ago

By default Tableau Desktop reports licensing data at an eight hour interval. You might not see usage data in the administrative views if it has been less than eight hours since instances of Tableau Desktop were configured for reporting. Tableau Desktop reports every eight hours while running with the count of hours beginning when you start a properly configured instance of Tableau Desktop.

If Tableau Desktop is not still running when the eight hour time is reached, a report is sent the next time Tableau Desktop is started. Wait a minimum of eight hours after Tableau Desktop instances are configured before you look for those licences in the Desktop Licence Reporting views.

The following events force an immediate report from a properly configured Tableau Desktop instance to Tableau Server:

  • Activating Tableau Desktop version 10.0 or later.

  • Deactivating Tableau Desktop version 10.0 or later.

  • Renewing maintenance on a licence for Tableau Desktop version 10.0 or later.

Tableau Desktop has not been restarted since licence reporting was configured

If Tableau Desktop was already running when licence reporting was configured with a server address to report to, Tableau Desktop must be restarted.

Tableau Desktop has not been opened since being configured for licence reporting

If Tableau Desktop has not been opened since being configured for reporting, you might not see usage data in the administrative views. Licence information is reported only when Tableau Desktop is running.

Tableau Desktop is incorrectly configured for licence reporting

Verify that instances of Tableau Desktop are configured correctly with the address of the Tableau Server to report to.

Use log files on the Tableau Desktop computer to help determine if the instance is configured correctly. Find the log file %Documents%\My Tableau Repository\Logs\log.txt. Search for "licUsageReport" to find entries related to licence reporting.

Error messages for licence reporting

The following table lists log messages that can help identify issues with licence reporting.

Log messageDetails and possible causes
licUsageReport: Response code from server: <server> is: 200Tableau Desktop reported successfully to the server.
licUsageReport: Response code from server: <server> is: 0

Internet communication error: Couldn't connect to server (server_name).

Tableau Desktop is configured for the wrong protocol. For example, the server is configured for HTTPS and Tableau Desktop is configured to report using HTTP.

Tableau Desktop is reporting to a non-existent server.

Tableau Desktop is reporting to an instance of Tableau Server that is not running.

licUsageReport: License reporting server config does not existThe registry key is not set or is in the wrong place in the registry (Windows) or .plist file (Mac).

On Mac computers, this message can be logged when a .plist file has been created in the wrong location. For example, the .plist file was created in or copied to ~\Library\Preferences instead of \Library\Preferences.

On Mac computers, this message can be logged when a .plist file has been created, but the file is then updated with a new or changed server name and the Mac computer is not restarted.

Changing the default reporting interval

By default, when configured for Desktop Licence Reporting, Tableau Desktop reports to the configured server or servers every eight hours. You can modify the registry or .plist file on Tableau Desktop computers to change this interval. This is especially useful for troubleshooting.


To change the frequency that Tableau Desktop reports to the server from a Windows computer, edit the registry to add a string value to the ReportingServer key:

  • Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tableau\ReportingServer

  • Name: add a string value named scheduleReportInterval.

  • Data: The amount of time, in seconds, between reports sent by Tableau Desktop to the server. By default this is 8 hours and if there is no entry the default is used. Increase this for troubleshooting if necessary, but keep in mind that the more frequent the interval, the more network traffic generated.

    For example, the following image shows a registry configured so Tableau Desktop reports to the configured Tableau Servers every hour (3600 seconds):


To change the frequency that Tableau Desktop reports to the server for Mac, edit the com.tableau.ReportingServer.plist file in /Library/Preferences and add a scheduleReportInterval key. Set this to the length of time, in seconds, between reports from Tableau Desktop to the configured Tableau Server. The following example shows the contents of a .plist file that's configured to send information every hour (3600 seconds) to two servers, https://mytableau02:8010 and http://mytableau.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
  <plist version="1.0">

Resolve memory errors

If Tableau runs out of memory on the computer, it displays an out-of-memory error. The following factors can impact memory when using Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep Builder.

  • The Tableau Desktop version.

    • If you install 64-bit Tableau Desktop on a 64-bit Windows operating system, Tableau can access up to 8 TB of system memory.

  • The size and type of data you're analysing. For example, a large crosstab with many columns and millions of rows of values, or a view that shows many marks, can quickly exhaust memory.

  • Other applications running on the computer.

  • The operating system on the computer.

Possible resolutions

To address out-of-memory issues, consider upgrading your operating system or Tableau version to a 64-bit computer. This lets Tableau access a larger amount of system memory.

You can also review the data in your workbooks and how you're aggregating that data when you display it in views. Instead of displaying many rows of values, which might require lots of scrolling to review the data, consider displaying summary data. Tableau Desktop is more effective and uses less memory when the data in the view presents the bigger picture, and instead allows you and others to drill down into specific areas to view the details.

For more information about how to optimise your workbook performance, see Optimise Workbook Performance(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Help.

Troubleshoot opening or saving files on a Dell computer (Tableau Desktop only)

If you installed Tableau Desktop on a Dell computer and that computer has an older version of the Dell Backup and Recovery (DBAR) application installed, Tableau might close unexpectedly when you try to open or save a workbook or try to access a data source. This is because the Dell Backup and Recovery software interferes with the open and save operations for the 64-bit version of Tableau Desktop. For information about how to resolve this issue, see the Error "Tableau has stopped working" Opening or Saving a File on a Dell Computer(Link opens in a new window) article in the Tableau Knowledge Base.

Troubleshoot maintenance updates (Tableau Desktop only)

Tableau provides maintenance updates at regular intervals for all currently supported versions of Tableau Desktop. The following table lists reasons why maintenance updates might not be installed on a specific installed version of Tableau Desktop.

Your product maintenance might have expired.You can elect to purchase support and maintenance services to have ongoing access to product updates, technical support and so on, but this service must be renewed.For information about how to renew your product maintenance, see the Product Renewal FAQs(Link opens in a new window) on the Tableau website.
The maintenance date for your product key is not up to date.If you know that your maintenance services are current, you might need to update the maintenance expiration date for your product key.To refresh the product key with the date that your current maintenance period expires, open Tableau Desktop and select Help > Manage Product Keys.

Select the product key and then click Refresh. Close and restart Tableau Desktop.

If this doesn't resolve the issue or if the Maintenance date is not correct, contact Tableau Support.

There is a delay between the maintenance release and the prompt to update.There can be several days' delay between when a maintenance release first becomes available and when it is available through the product update process. This gives users and administrators time to evaluate and test the release in their environment before installing it.If you don’t want to wait for the automatic product updates process, you can sign in to the Tableau Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window) to download the latest maintenance release. For information about how to download products, see Install From the User Interface(Link opens in a new window) in this guide.
Product updates are turned off.As a user or as an administrator, you can turn off automatic product updates. Doing this enables you to control when product updates are distributed to the computers. Turning this option off disables the Enable Automatic Product Updates menu option. It also disables the Check for Product Updates menu option.If you're a user, open Tableau Desktop, go to Help > Settings and Performance, and untick the box next to Enable Automatic Product Updates Then restart Tableau. If your administrator has turned off product updates for your instance of Tableau Desktop, this option is not available.

If you're an administrator, turn product updates on or off for your users. For details, see Control Product Updates for Tableau Desktop in this guide.

Tableau Desktop is still open on the computer.Tableau Desktop checks for updates only at startup.Exit and restart Tableau Desktop. When Tableau Desktop restarts, it checks for product updates.
Tableau Desktop can't contact the Tableau product update server.Tableau Desktop must be able to access the TableauAutoUpdate.xml file to check for product updates.Make sure that the computer can access TableauAutoUpdate.xml file and that the file doesn't contain an error message instead of the Tableau update information. For details, see Control Product Updates for Tableau Desktop in this guide.
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