Tableau Cloud Manual Migration Guide

This guide explains how to manually migrate your Tableau Server deployment to Tableau Cloud. In a nutshell, this guide is useful for administrators who are running a Tableau Server with fewer than 100 users and who are comfortable with a fully manual, self-service migration process.

If you have a lot more users and your data requirements are more complex, you may benefit from working with professional services or an experienced migration partner(Link opens in a new window) to migrate to Tableau Cloud. Further down, this topic includes guidance on how to plan your migration.

But first, let's make sure you understand why moving to Tableau Cloud is probably the smart move for your organization.

Why migration can make sense

If you are running a single Tableau Server for a small group of users, then it's almost impossible not to save time and money by moving your operation to Tableau Cloud. The easy win for moving to Tableau Cloud is savings in time, which tends to be in short supply for most of us. And if you are a data scientist or analyst who has found themselves unexpectedly running a Tableau Server installation, migrate and get back to your data!

What about bigger organizations? If your organization exceeds 100 users, then you will also undoubtedly benefit from savings of cost and time at scale. Tableau Cloud is built to handle big organizations, but this guide isn't. If you're looking to migrate a bigger organization, check out Tableau Cloud Migration(Link opens in a new window) where you can learn more about working with professional services or an experienced migration partner.

For many organizations, Tableau Cloud will be faster and more reliable, with less bother than whatever you are doing now to keep your Tableau Server humming. You will never need to face another major server upgrade, or even a maintenance release update, which, as you know, is really just an upgrade smuggled in under another name. Tableau Cloud is always running the latest release, with the most up-to-date features. Reliability and performance are baked into the service. After the migration process, your time with Tableau Cloud will be spent managing users and data. That's it. You won't be troubleshooting service errors or combing logs or restarting, and restarting.

Work with your account manager to figure out the costs for supporting your users. As you evaluate overall cost, remember that the single metric of per-user licensing expense does not provide an apples to apples comparison between SAAS and self-hosting a server. This comparison is especially impoverished if you are not including the time spent managing Tableau Server, and the capital cost of refreshing or leasing hardware. The annual cost of running a single server in the cloud can be more than $10,000 a year. And of course any analysis must include your staffing cost of maintenance, periodic updates, and troubleshooting.

Dive deeper

When migration doesn't make sense

The following list describes scenarios where continuing to manage your own instance of Tableau Server instead of migrating can make sense. We’re committed to continually improving Tableau Cloud and will update this list as we release new features to address these gaps. However, it is important that you verify that Tableau Cloud meets your requirements before you decide to migrate. Please be sure to validate your requirements before moving forward with a migration.

Who should read this

This guide is written for the person or team of people who will be performing the migration to Tableau Cloud. The guide is designed for Tableau Server installations that have 100 users or less. This guide provides a step-wise, manual process to get your organization from Tableau Server to a fully-functional site in Tableau Cloud in a week or two.

After you migrate and create the core administrative functionality (identity/user, site configuration, authentication, data connection, etc) in Tableau Cloud, the bulk of content migration can be shared with the creators at your organization. A "creator" is a user who has a Creator role-based license. Depending on your goals, either you (the admin) or your creators can migrate content. For this reason, we've created a chunk of migration-related content you can point your creators to. Users who migrate content need to have a Creators license and access to Tableau Desktop(Link opens in a new window). If the creators will be migrating Tableau Prep flows, then they must also have Tableau Prep Builder installed.


In this guide we will do our best to cover as much of the Tableau Cloud platform as possible, but there are some features that administrators cannot set up on behalf of their end users. Users will need to make some updates to their content after a migration is complete. There are also some features that are better to recreate anew in Tableau Cloud with the benefit of using cloud-native functionality.

Feature differences in Tableau Cloud

As mentioned previously, running Tableau Cloud vs managing your own Tableau Server is much less labor intensive from an administrative perspective. You can find a summarized list of the feature differences in the Tableau Server help topic, Technical Considerations for Migrating from Tableau Server to Tableau Cloud (Windows(Link opens in a new window) | Linux(Link opens in a new window)). Below are a few of the most common items.

Run the Tableau Cloud Migration Technical Readiness Assessment to understand if there are any use cases which may need to be adapted before migrating to Tableau Cloud.

Tasks that need to be completed by end users

There are some features that administrators cannot set up on behalf of their end users or that require manual re-configuration. We’ve made a complete list available separately as an End-User Migration Checklist so that you can share it directly with your users, but these tasks include:

  • Webhooks
  • Embedding solutions updates
  • Update REST API scripts
  • Configuring Analytics Extensions

Version compatibility

 As a general rule, our documentation is based on recent-to-current versions of Tableau Server, but because the process covered in this guide is not a programmatic or automated migration, we don't foresee issues with migrating from older versions of Tableau Server to Tableau Cloud. Strictly speaking, the process in this guide is more "port" than "migration" when it comes to administrative configurations.


Tableau Cloud uses Role-Based Subscription licensing. Tableau Server supports Role-Based Subscription licensing and legacy pricing models. If you are on a different (earlier) licensing model, please contact your Tableau account team to convert your licensing to Role-Based Subscription.

Additional Support

After reading through this material you may decide that you'd prefer not to take on a manual migration yourself, and would rather leave it to an expert. If so, please reach out to one of our experienced migration partners(Link opens in a new window) to learn how they can help you accelerate a migration to Tableau Cloud.

Thanks for your feedback!Your feedback has been successfully submitted. Thank you!