Troubleshoot Issues with Tableau Bridge

Different parts of the Tableau Bridge workflow require coordination with Tableau Desktop and Tableau Online. Depending on the task you're trying to complete, the type of data source you're working with (live connection or extract), and on the symptoms you're seeing, some troubleshooting steps might require you to work in one or both of these respective products in addition to the client itself.

Locate Tableau Bridge

If you can't find the Tableau Bridge client or the option to use Tableau Bridge, try one or more of the suggestions below.

Can't find the Tableau Bridge installer

To download the client, go to Tableau Bridge Releases page on the Tableau website and click the download button. For more information about the Tableau Bridge installer and the installation process, see Install Tableau Bridge topic in the Tableau Online Help.

Can't find Tableau Bridge on my computer

After installing the Tableau Bridge client on your computer, you can do one of the following tasks to open the client:

  • Double-click the Tableau Bridge shortcut () on your desktop.

  • From your desktop, in the Windows system tray, click the Tableau Bridge icon ().

  • Using Windows file explorer, search Tableau Bridge to locate the client.

  • If Tableau Desktop is installed on the same computer as the client, open Tableau Desktop and select Server > Start Tableau Bridge Client.

    Note: This task opens the correct client if you're using Tableau Desktop 2018.2 and later. If you're using Tableau Desktop 2018.1 and earlier, using the Start Tableau Bridge Client option will cause an older version of the client to open.

Can't find the Tableau Bridge option in the publishing dialog

The reason you might not see Tableau Bridge option in the publishing dialog depends on what you are publishing to Tableau Online: a data source or a workbook.

If you're publishing a data source: 

  • The data source is file-based. Therefore, the option to use Tableau Bridge displays after you have successful published the data source to Tableau Online.

    After you successfully publish the data source, you see the Publishing Complete dialog, which allows you to schedule refreshes for your file-based data source using Tableau Bridge while on Tableau Online. For more information about scheduling refreshes using Tableau Bridge while on Tableau Online, see Create a refresh schedule while publishing the data source.

  • The data source connects to data that Tableau Online can reach directly.

    If Tableau Online can reach the data directly, you do not need to use Tableau Bridge to keep the data fresh. For a list of connectors that Tableau can use to reach the data directly, see Supported connectors.

  • The data source connects to data that is not supported by Tableau Bridge.

    For a list of connectors that Tableau Bridge can support, see Supported connectors.

If you're publishing a workbook:

  • The workbook contains an embedded data source that must be published separately.

    To publish the data source separately, in the Publish Workbook to Tableau Online dialog box, click Edit under Data Sources. Under the Publish Type drop-down, select Published separately.

Resolve installation issues

Using macOS or Linux

Tableau Bridge is not supported on macOS or the Linux operating system. To use Tableau Bridge, you must use a Windows computer. For more information about other system requirements, see System and configuration requirements.

Local administrator on the computer

You must be a local administrator for the computer on which you're installing the client. For more information about minimum installation requirements, see Before you install Tableau Bridge. For more information on system requirements, see System and configuration requirements.

Resolve sign-in issues

Working with multiple Tableau Online sites or Tableau Bridge is signed in to the incorrect site

Make sure you're entering the correct user name and password for the Tableau Online site that the Tableau Bridge client is associated with. If you suspect that an incorrect user name and password is saved for a site or that the client is singed in to the incorrect site, use the Unlink option in the client to remove its association with the site and to clear the password.

Identify causes for scheduled refresh issues

There are several symptoms that can indicate that scheduled refreshes are not performing as expected. Symptoms might include, but not limited to, the following:

  • As the site admin or data source owner, you see an alert on Tableau Online that a scheduled refresh could not complete.
  • As the site admin or data source owner, you receive an email notification from Tableau indicating that a Tableau Bridge refresh could not complete.
  • As a data source owner, you receive an email notification from Tableau indicating that a Tableau Bridge refresh could not start on schedule because the client is not running.
  • You see an alert in the Tableau Bridge client next to the data source whose refresh could not complete.
  • Outdated data in the view.

If any of the above symptoms apply to your situation, follow the procedure below. If the procedure does not resolve your issue, then try one or more of the tasks below the procedure to help identify the cause of the refresh issue.

  1. Open the client, click the data source, and then click the Details button to review the error message.

  2. If the error message does not provide enough information to resolve the refresh issue, go to the Tableau Knowledge Base and search for the refresh issue.

Important: If you see the "There was a problem and the data engine could not start properly" error message and you're running Tableau Bridge client version 2018.2-2018.3, Tableau strongly recommends upgrading to version 2019.1 or later. For more information, see Error "There was problem and the data engine could not start properly" article in the Tableau Knowledge Base.

If the Tableau Knowledge Base does not address your specific issue, then try one or more of the following tasks:

  • Validate authentication information in the client: If a data source requires authentication, ensure that the correct database credentials are being reference by the Tableau Bridge client, even if the database credentials are already referenced in Tableau Online. For information about embedding database credentials in the client, see Embed or update database credentials.
  • Upgrade the Tableau Bridge client: Upgrade to the latest version of the Tableau Bridge client. You can get the latest version of the client from the Tableau Bridge Releases page on the Tableau website. For more information about installation, see Install Tableau Bridge.
    Note: Because of an issue that’s preventing Tableau Bridge 2018.2-2018.3 from performing extract refreshes, Tableau strongly recommends that you upgrade to Tableau Bridge 2019.1 or later.
  • Make sure that the Tableau Bridge client is running: Log onto the computer where Tableau Bridge client is installed and make sure the client is running. After you verify the client is running, you can run a manual refresh of the data source or wait until the next scheduled refresh.
  • Confirm file-based data source uses UNC path: If you're working with a file-based data source, ensure that the client references the UNC path. For more information, see Change the file path for a linked data source.

  • Confirm whether Application mode or Service mode requirements are met: If the Tableau Bridge client is set up to run in Application mode, you must be logged onto the computer where the client is running in order for scheduled refreshes to complete. If your client is set up to run in Service mode, you do not have to be logged on to the computer where the client is running. However, the computer must be on.

  • Confirm that all connections in the data source are supported by Tableau Bridge:

    If refreshing a multi-connection data source (that is, a data source that uses a cross-database join), make sure all connections in the data source are supported by Tableau Bridge. If one or more connections are not supported, Tableau Bridge is unable to refresh the data source until the unsupported connection is removed. For a list of supported connectors, see Supported connectors. To remove a connection from a data source, you must edit the data source in Tableau Desktop. For more information, see Editing a Published Data Source in the Tableau knowledge base.

  • Manually refresh the data source: Manually refreshing the data source can help determine whether the issue is caused by the Tableau Bridge client or by a different part of the Tableau Bridge workflow, such as publishing from Desktop or the data source itself.

    • From the client - To determine if the issue is isolated to the specific scheduled refresh or all scheduled refreshes managed by the client, do a manual refresh of the published data source from the client.

      1. Open the client.
      2. Hover over the data source whose schedule refresh is not working, and click the Run Now icon () to manually start a refresh.

      If the manual refresh is successful, you have a temporary workaround for the refresh issue. If the refresh is unsuccessful, review the error in the client to help resolve the issue.

    • From Tableau Desktop - To determine whether or not the issue is a client issue or an issue with the published data source, you can do a manual refresh of the data source from Tableau Desktop.

      1. Open Tableau Desktop.
      2. In the Connect pane, click Tableau Server and connect to the published data source that is not refreshing.
      3. From the Data menu, select the data source and then select Tableau Data Server > Refresh from Source.

      If the refresh from source is successful, you have temporary workaround for the refresh issue. If the refresh is unsuccessful with the same error that shows in the client, contact Tableau Technical Support on the Tableau website.

    • From Tableau Desktop, create a local copy of the data source - To determine that the issue is not with the publishing process or with Tableau Online in general, first create a local copy and then manually refresh the published data source.

      1. Open Tableau Desktop.
      2. In the Connect pane, click Tableau Server and connect to the published data source that is not refreshing.
      3. From the Data menu, select the data source and then select Create Local Copy.
      4. From the Data menu, select the local copy of the data source and then select Refresh.

      If refreshing from a local copy of the data source is successful, you have a temporary workaround for the refresh issue. The issue is likely with the publishing process.

  • Refresh the data source using the Tableau Extract Command-Line Utility: Refreshing the data source using the Tableau Extract Command-Line Utility is another method for isolating whether the issue is specific to the client or with the data source or other part of the Tableau Bridge workflow. This method can also provide an automated or temporary way of refreshing the extract. For more information about setting up and using the Tableau Extract Command-Line utility, see Automate Extract Refresh Tasks from the Command Line.

    If the refresh is successful through the command line utility, you have a temporary workaround for the refresh issue. If the refresh is unsuccessful, contact Tableau Technical Support on the Tableau website.

  • Scheduled refreshes appear to be running outside of schedule:

    After Tableau Online's upgrade to 2019.2, a data source owner might receive multiple email notifications when an upcoming scheduled refresh can't start because the Tableau Bridge client is not running. Because a data source owner can receive up to five consecutive email notifications per day for up to ten data sources that they own, it might appear the scheduled refreshes are running outside of their scheduled times. As a data source owner, you might be receiving the notifications for the following reasons:

    • The computer where the client is running from is not on. To stop notifications in this scenario, make sure the computer where the client is installed on is on and the client itself is running before the upcoming scheduled refresh is to occur. Alternatively, if the extract data source does not need to be refreshed regularly, consider removing the schedule and manually refreshing it from the client when needed. For more information about removing a schedule, see Remove data sources’ refresh schedules after you unlink a client.
    • Extract data sources continue to be associated with a client that is no longer in use. To stop notifications in this scenario, as a site admin, you can delete the client from the site. For more information, see Permanently remove a client from a site.
      If you're not a site admin, consider the following:

    If you're a site admin, you can disable sending notifications to all data source owners when their clients are not running from the Bridge tab of the Settings page. For more information, see

Identify causes for live query issues

Issues around live queries are typically due to the option not being enabled or that Tableau Bridge does not support the data source type.

No "Live" data sources listed in the client

A few things need to happen in order for "Live" data sources to display in the client. First, the site administrator has to enable live enable it for the associated site. Second, the site administrator must also designate a specific client to support live queries, which are data sources that contain live connections to data. Finally, the data source must be published with a live connection. All three factors need to happen in order for "Live" data sources to display in the client.

The option to publish with a live connection or the "Maintain connection to a live data source" option during publishing is missing

The option to use Tableau Bridge to support live queries for an on-premises data source must be enabled by your Tableau Online site administrator. For more information, see Allow Your Publishers to Maintain Live Connections to On-Premises Data. If the option is not available to you, consider contacting your site administrator to enable the option.

You're prompted for database credentials

If the data source requires authentication by the database, the credentials must be embedded in the data source at the time of publishing. If the credentials are not embedded in the data source at the time of publishing, the credentials can be added to the published data source on Tableau Online.

  1. Go to Tableau Online and sign in to the site associated with your client.
  2. Click the Data Sources page and click on the name of the data source whose database credentials need to be embedded.
  3. From Actions menu, click Edit Connections.
  4. Select the Embedded password in connection and enter the necessary database credentials.

You're working with a file-based or statistical file-based data source

Tableau Bridge does not support data sources with live connections to file-based and statistical file-based data sources. To keep data fresh for these types of data sources, you can publish extracts and set up a refresh schedule for each data source instead. For a list of connectors that Tableau Bridge supports, see Supported connectors. For more information about setting up refresh schedule, see Schedule an extract refresh from Tableau Online for Tableau Bridge.

Data source doesn't display as "Live" in the client:

If the data source does not show as "Live" in the Tableau Bridge client, the data source was likely published as an extract. To validate that the data source was published as an extract, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Tableau Online and sign in to the site associated with your client.
  2. Navigate to the All Data Sources page and click on the name of the data source.
  3. Check whether the data source has a "Extract Refreshes" tab or an extract icon (). If the data source shows the tab then it was published as an extract.

To resolve the issue, republish the data source from Tableau Desktop, ensuring that you select the Maintain connection to a live data source option. This option tells Tableau Bridge to maintain a live connection to your data.

Client is running Application mode

If you're using Tableau Bridge 2018.2 and later, after the site administrator has enabled live queries, live queries are supported in both Application and Service modes. However, if the client is running Application mode, you must be logged on to keep data fresh.

If you're using Tableau Bridge 2018.1 and earlier, even if live queries are enabled by the site administrator, Tableau Bridge cannot support live queries in Application mode. The client must be running in Service mode to support live queries.

For more information about running the client in Application mode or Service mode, see Application mode versus service mode.

Understand other common issues

Delay before list of data sources populate in client

There is a short delay, usually several seconds, populating the list of data sources in the Tableau Bridge client. This is expected behavior. The client is contacting Tableau Online to get the list of data sources before it can display that information.

"No linked data found" in the client

If the client shows a green indicator and "Connected" status, but also shows a "No linked data found," review the suggestions below based on the type of data source you're expecting to see.

If you're expecting to see an extract data source listed in the client, try the following:

If you're expecting to see a data source with a live connection, try one or more of the following:

  • Validate that the data source was published with a live connection.

    1. Go to Tableau Online and sign in to the site associated with your client.
    2. Navigate to the All Data Sources page and click on the name of the data source.
    3. Check whether the data source has a "Extract Refreshes" tab or a extract icon (). If the data source shows the tab then it was published as an extract.

  • Make sure the client is designated to perform live queries. To do this, contact your site administrator. If you're a site administrator, verify that you've enabled live query support for the client. For more information, see Step 2: Configure the client to support live connections.

Red indicator and "Disconnected" status in the client

If the client shows a red indicator and "Disconnected" status, try the following tasks, in the order listed:

  1. In the client menu, click Repair.
  2. If step 1 doesn't resolve the issue, from the Mode drop-down menu, select Application and wait a few seconds. Switch back to Service and wait a few more seconds.
  3. If step 2 doesn't resolve the issue, restart the computer. Make sure that there are no scheduled refreshes that are in progress.

In some cases, the client shows a red indicator and "Disconnected" status if the client is running on a computer that is "locked down." This means that the client is restricted to connecting to a minimum set of domains. For a list of the minimum set of domains that the client needs to connect to in order to work, see Additional security considerations: optional forward proxy filtering.

Understand common errors

While using Tableau Bridge, you might see one of the following errors.

"An error occurred while communicating with Tableau Server: Tableau Bridge does not have a client configured for your site to handle live connections." or "Cannot connect to database"

This is an error that you might see when connecting to a published data source whose data freshness is being managed through Tableau Bridge. To resolve these errors, try the following tasks in the order listed.

"This data source requires a correct file path" or "Unable to refresh data source because of an unsupported operation"

If you're working with a file-based or statistical file-based data source you might see this error because the path referenced by the Tableau Bridge client is the mapped drive path instead of the UNC path. To resolve this issue, you must update the file location path in the client. For more information, see Change the file path for a linked data source.

Prepare and send log files to Tableau Technical Support

If the troubleshooting steps in this article do not help isolate or solve the issue you're having with Tableau Bridge, you can contact Tableau for help. Before you contact Tableau for help, consider following the steps below to gather and send the necessary Tableau Bridge client log files that Tableau will needs to diagnose and help resolve the issue.

Prepare clean log files

  1. On the computer, close the Tableau Bridge client:

    • If your client is running Application mode, from the client menu, select Exit.

    • If your client is running Service mode, change the client to Application mode, and then from the client menu, select Exit.

  2. Go to and open the My Tableau Bridge Repository folder.

    The default location of the My Tableau Bridge Repository folder is C:\Users\jsmith\Documents\My Tableau Bridge Repository.

  3. In the My Tableau Repository folder, rename the Log folder. For example, Logs_archive. By changing the name of this folder, the client will create a new "Logs" folder.

  4. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.

  5. Change to the Tableau Bridge bin folder. For example: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Bridge\bin.

  6. Run the following command: TabBridgeClient.exe -DLogLevel=Debug

    Note: The above command is case-sensitive. If the command is not typed exactly as written, the log files will not capture the issue at the level of detail that is necessary to help diagnose the issue.

    After this step, the client opens automatically.

Reproduce the issue

After you prepare the Tableau Bridge client to create new log files, try to reproduce the issue you're having with Tableau Bridge. By reproducing the issue, the new log files can capture specific details about the issue. These details are essential for Tableau to have in order to isolate, diagnose, and resolve the problem.

Send log files

  1. After the issue has been reproduced, go to and open the My Tableau Bridge Repository folder.

  2. Right-click the Logs folder and select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.

  3. Contact Tableau Technical Support on the Tableau website.

    Note: If the .zip file you created in step 2 is larger than 5 MB, see Sending Large Files in the Tableau Knowledge Base.

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