Activate Tableau Server Offline - Adding a License

When you install Tableau Server, you have to activate at least one product key, but we recommend that you activate all Tableau Server licenses found in the Tableau Customer Portal. Doing this activates the server, and specifies the number of license levels you can assign to users. For offline activations, you should activate the product key listed in the Offline Activation Id field in the Tableau Customer Portal.

There are also times you may need to activate licenses after Tableau Server is installed, for example, if you add capacity to your server, or get a new product key. If you don't have your product key, you can get it from the Tableau Customer Account Center.

In most cases, you can activate your key directly from Tableau, either during installation, or later, using the Tableau Services Manager (TSM) Licenses page, but there are some circumstances that don't allow you to do this. If your computer is not connected to the internet for example, or has a firewall that restricts access outside your intranet. In these cases you need to do an offline activation.

Offline activation and login-based license management (LBLM)

Beginning in Tableau Server version 2023.1.0, offline activation is supported for LBLM when your server is configured to use the Authorization-to-Run (ATR) service. You can only configure Server to use the ATR service during a new install. Upgrading customers with existing server installations need to install a new instance of Tableau Server version 2023.1.0 or later and restore a backup of their existing installation to that new instance. For information on this process, see Using a Blue/Green approach for upgrading Tableau Server.

There are two scenarios in which you may need to do an offline activation:

  • Offline activation during install—To complete an offline activation when you are installing Tableau Server, see Offline Activation When Installing Tableau Server .
  • Offline activation of licenses after install—To complete an offline activation after your server is installed and running, follow the steps below.

Offline activation overview

Offline activation of Tableau Server involves the following steps:

  1. Generate an offline activation request file.
  2. Upload the offline activation response file to Tableau and download the resulting activation file to activate Tableau Server.

Offline activation file name changes

Beginning in Tableau Server version 2023.1, the Tableau licensing system supports two underlying licensing technologies. From an administrative perspective, the only configuration difference between the two systems is the file types that are generated and consumed for offline activation. The licensing technology is determined during the initial installation of Tableau Server, and cannot be changed after install.

We refer to the legacy (and still supported) version of licensing technology as FlexNet. The latest version of the technology is referred to as Server ATR. For more information, see Activate Tableau Server Using the Authorization-To-Run (ATR) Service. The following table describes the file naming nomenclature for each technology. The table also includes the generic reference.

FlexNet file names ServerATR file names Generic file name reference
TableauOfflineActivationRequest.tlq OfflineActivationRequestFile_yyyyMMdd.hhmmss.json OfflineActivationRequest
activation.tlf OfflineActivationResponse

Since this documentation supports multiple versions of Tableau Server, we will use the generic file name reference for the rest of this topic. You can identify the licensing technology your Tableau Server installation uses, according to the file type that generated in the steps that follow.

If you attempt to activate your product key from the TSM licenses page and see a dialog that says online activation is unavailable, you can activate the key offline. Click Activate License Offline.

  1. Create an offline file you will upload to Tableau. If your license key is not pre-filled in the form, enter your key and click Create Offline File to generate an offline file (OfflineActivationRequest) on the local computer.

    Copy the OfflineActivationRequest file to a computer with internet access. You need to upload this file to Tableau to generate an activation file. If you are using Server ATR, then upload the entire zip file (

  2. Upload and submit the offline file.

    On the computer where you copied the OfflineActivationRequest file, open a browser and go to opens in a new window) to open the Tableau Support Activation page. You will upload and submit the OfflineActivationRequest file to Tableau. This automatically generates an activation response file (OfflineActivationResponse) that you can download and copy back to the Tableau Server computer.

    1. On the Offline Activation page, click Choose File to select the OfflineActivationRequest file.
    2. Click Upload Activation File to submit the file to Tableau.
    3. Click the here link to download the resultingOfflineActivationResponse file to your computer.

    4. Copy the downloaded OfflineActivationResponse file to the computer where Tableau Server is installed.
  3. Upload the activation file.

    On the Tableau Server computer, click Upload Activation File to upload the file to Tableau Server. When you do this successfully, the Activate Product Key button is enabled.

  4. Click Activate Product Key to complete the offline activation.

  5. (Skip this step if you are installing Tableau Server for the first time.) 

    Restart Tableau Server for licensing changes to take effect.

Step 1. Log in to Tableau Services Manager

Before you can proceed you must log in to Tableau Services Manager (TSM). To log in to TSM, run the following command:

tsm login -u <username>

What if I can't log in?

Verify that the account you are using is a member of the Local Administrators group on the Windows computer where you are installing Tableau Server.

Step 2. Generate an offline activation request file

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  2. Type this command to get your offline activation file: 

    tsm licenses get-offline-activation-file -k <product-key> -o <target-directory>

    You can get your product key from the Tableau Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window). The target directory must already exist.

  3. Copy the offline activation file (OfflineActivationRequest) from the target directory to a computer that has internet access.

Step 3. Upload the offline activation request to Tableau

  1. On the computer that has internet access, go to the Tableau Product Activations(Link opens in a new window) page.

  2. Complete the instructions to upload your OfflineActivationRequest file. If you are using Server ATR, then upload the entire zip file (

    This creates an activation response file (OfflineActivationResponse).

  3. Download the resulting activation response file from Tableau.

Step 4. Initialize or activate your license

  1. Copy the activation response file (OfflineActivationResponse) to a location accessible from your Tableau Server computer.

  2. Run the following command: 

    tsm licenses activate -f <path-and-activation-file> 
  3. (Skip this step if you are installing Tableau Server for the first time.) 

    Restart the server for licensing changes to take effect: 

    tsm restart 
  4. (Optional) To verify that all licenses are activated, you can run this command:

    tsm licenses list

    If you have completed the steps above, you should see a success message:

    Activation successful.

    Tableau Server is activated. If you need additional assistance, contact Tableau Technical Support(Link opens in a new window).

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