Remove Tableau Server from Your Computer

Warning: The steps below completely remove Tableau Server on Windows, and delete all related data, users, configuration information, and logs. This includes any files in \temp. Tableau Server licenses are also deactivated if you include the -l option when running the command shown below.

Copy any backup files you want to save to a location that is not related to Tableau. This will preserve the files when you remove Tableau. You should copy any backup files to a separate computer for safety, including backup files created when you uninstall Tableau. By default these are created in C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server with a name similar to uninstall-2018.1.tsbak. Saving backup files on a separate computer will allow you to reinstall the version of Tableau Server that created the backup, and have the data contained in the backup, even after running the tableau-server-obliterate script.

If you want to uninstall a particular Tableau Server package to free up disk space (after upgrading, for example), see Uninstall Tableau Server.

As part of the regular installation of Tableau Server, a script is installed that provides you a way to completely remove Tableau and all associated files from your computer. This is something you would only do if you did not care about your Tableau data, configuration, or log files, or if you are working with Tableau Technical Support and need to reinstall Tableau Server after an installation or upgrade attempt fails. The obliterate script will not remove any drivers you installed separately, even those you installed to use with Tableau Server.

The tableau-server-obliterate script is intended for when you want to completely remove Tableau Server from your computer. You might want to do this for a couple of different reasons:

  • You no longer want Tableau Server installed on the computer. Use the tableau-server-obliterate script to remove Tableau Server completely. If this is the case, you can include a -l option to deactivate the Tableau Server license.

  • Troubleshooting Tableau Server installation problems—If you run into issues installing Tableau, you may need to use the tableau-server-obliterate script to completely remove Tableau Server from your computer before reinstalling. Doing this will clean up any older settings or states and allow you to reinstall on a "clean" computer. If you are doing this, you can leave off the -l option to preserve licensing information on the computer. When you omit the -l option, you will not need to activate your license when you reinstall Tableau Server.

    The script will remove all log files, so if you run into an issue that you want to troubleshoot, or if Tableau Support requests log files for a support case, you should zip up the log files before running the script. For details on gathering log files, see Work with Log Files.

    If you have a backup file you want to save (if you will be reinstalling Tableau for example), copy it to a safe location on a separate computer.

Important: You must run the tableau-server-obliterate script from a 64-bit command prompt. For example, run cmd.exe in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. If you run the script from a 32-bit command prompt, the script will not completely remove Tableau, and subsequent installations may fail. To determine if you are running a 64-bit command prompt, type echo %processor_architecture% in your command window. If the result includes "64" (AMD64 for example), the command prompt is a 64-bit prompt. If the result includes "x86" you are running a 32-bit prompt. For more information, see the appropriate Microsoft documentation for your versions of Windows.

What tableau-server-obliterate does

The intent of the tableau-server-obliterate script is to completely remove Tableau Server from your computer. This includes files, system settings and configurations, and, if you specify, licensing information.

Note: An older version of tableau-server-obliterate may miss files from new versions of Tableau Server. As a best practice you should always run the obliterate script from the most recent version of Tableau you installed.

When you run tableau-server-obliterate, the following steps are taken:

  • Uninstall is run for all installed versions of Tableau Server (Control Panel uninstall).
  • All contents of the data directory is removed (by default C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server).
  • All registry entries related to Tableau Server are removed.
  • All server licenses (except trial licenses) are deactivated if you use the -l option.

Running the tableau-server-obliterate script

You can completely remove Tableau Server from a computer, either preserving the licensing information, or removing the licensing information along with all other aspects of Tableau Server. You might want to preserve licensing if you are going to reinstall Tableau Server on the computer.

To completely remove Tableau Server without removing server licensing:

  1. Run the tableau-server-obliterate script:

    By default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\packages\scripts.<version_code>\tableau-server-obliterate.cmd -y -y -y

    Note: If you have already uninstalled Tableau Server using Control Panel and now you want to completely remove it, run the copy of the tableau-server-obliterate script located in the \Tableau Server\temp folder (by default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\temp) . If the script is not in that directory, reinstall the Tableau Server package and then run the tableau-server-obliterate script from the scripts folder (By default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\packages\scripts.<version_code>\).

    If you have a multi-node (distributed) installation of Tableau Server, run the tableau-server-obliterate script on each node in the cluster.

  2. Restart each computer you ran the tableau-server-obliterate script on.

To completely remove Tableau Server and licensing:

  1. Deactivate any active product keys.

    tsm licenses deactivate -k <product_key>

  2. Run the tableau-server-obliterate script:

    By default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\packages\scripts.<version_code>\tableau-server-obliterate.cmd -y -y -y -l

    The -l option for the obliterate script removes all licensing files from the computer. The script first attempts to deactivate any active licenses, but it will remove all licensing information whether or not deactivation was successful. This is why we recommend you run the tsm licenses deactivate command before running the obliterate script.

    Note: If you have already uninstalled Tableau Server using Control Panel and now you want to completely remove it, run the copy of the tableau-server-obliterate script located in the \Tableau Server\temp folder (by default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\temp) . If the script is not in that directory, reinstall the Tableau Server package and then run the tableau-server-obliterate script from the scripts folder (By default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\packages\scripts.<version_code>\).

    If you have a multi-node (distributed) installation of Tableau Server, run the tableau-server-obliterate script on each node in the cluster. You do not need to deactivate licenses on any additional nodes.

  3. Restart each computer you ran the tableau-server-obliterate script on.

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