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Install Tableau Prep

This topic describes how to install Tableau Prep and includes information about system requirements and other options available when installing the product.

Note: Tableau Prep is designed to work with Tableau Desktop. It is recommended that you install Tableau Prep on the same machine as Tableau Desktop.

Do not install Tableau Prep on the same computer running Tableau Server. Server Resource Manager (SRM) can't distinguish between Tableau Server protocol server process and Tableau Prep protocol server process. If the computer resources are exhausted SRM may terminate the protocol server process belonging to Tableau Prep, which has no recovery mechanism.

Don't have a product key? Try the Free Trial.

For information about renewing a license, see Manage Licenses in the Tableau Desktop online help.

In this article

Install Tableau Prep

To install Tableau Prep you will need to download the installer and you will need a product key.

Note: If you're using a deployment tool that requires the Windows installer (.msi file) to install Tableau Prep, follow the instructions in Extract and run the Windows (MSI) installer to extract the .msi file from the Tableau Prep installer .exe file.

Depending on the type of license you have you may need a separate product key to activate Tableau Prep.

For example a product key that starts with TD can be used to activate Tableau Desktop only. If you have a Creator product key that starts with TC, you can use this single product key to activate both Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep.

If you get an error and can't activate Tableau Prep using your product key, contact Tableau Support. For more information about the different license types, see User-based licenses in the Tableau Server online help.

Locate your product key

After you purchase Tableau Prep, Tableau sends you a welcome email with the information that you need to sign in to the Customer Portal. Your product key is located in the Customer Portal. You need your product key to activate Tableau Prep after the install process is finished.

  1. Sign in to the Customer Portal page on the Tableau website using your email address and password .

  2. Click My Keys.

  3. Copy your product key from the Key Name column in the table. Keep this key ready and secure.

After Tableau Prep is installed and activated you can also view the product keys that are used on the computer from the toolbar menu under Help > Manage Product Keys.

Install Tableau Prep

Important: Tableau Prep requires a specific driver to connect to an Oracle database. This is a different driver than the one used by Tableau Desktop. To download the correct driver, on the Driver Download page, scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the driver for Tableau Prep: <version> to install it.

  1. Download the Installer from either the Customer Portal or the Product Downloads and Release Notes page for Tableau Prep.

  2. Depending on your operating system, do one of the following:

    • For Windows: Run the installer and follow the prompts.

    • For Mac: Open the Disk image file (.DMG), and then double-click the installer package (.PKG) to start the installation.

  3. When prompted, accept the licensing agreement to continue the installation.

  4. To enable or disable usage reporting complete the following steps for your operating system.

    This option allows us to gather usage pattern data to improve the product. For more information about this option and how to turn it off after installation, see Usage reporting.


    • Select or clear the Improve this product by sharing usage data with Tableau check box.


    • On the Installation Type step, in the bottom-left of the install wizard, click Customize. Then select or clear the Send product usage data check box.

  5. (Optional) To customize the install, on the Install welcome screen for Windows or on the Installation Type step for the Mac, click Customize and change any of the following options:

    • Install location (Windows only): Specify a different location to install Tableau Prep.

    • Create a desktop shortcut: On Windows, clear the check box if you don't want to automatically create a desktop shortcut for Tableau Prep. On Mac, select the check box to automatically create a desktop shortcut for Tableau Prep.

    • Create a Start menu shortcut (Windows only): Clear the check box if you don't want to automatically add a shortcut for Tableau Prep to the Start menu

    • Enable error reporting (Windows only): If Tableau Prep has a problem and shuts down unexpectedly, crash dump files and logs are generated. To turn off this option clear this check box during install. To turn this option off after installation see Error reporting (Windows).

    • Install database drivers: Clear the check box (Windows) or check boxes (Mac) if you don't want to automatically install the database drivers.

  6. Click Install to begin the product installation.

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Install Tableau Prep from the command line (Windows)

You can also install Tableau Prep from the command line.

Note: Only some of the installer properties that are available for Tableau Desktop can be used when installing Tableau Prep. To see which properties are available, check the Tableau Prep column in the Installer Properties section in Installer options.

  1. Download the Installer from either the Customer Portal or the Product Downloads and Release Notes page for Tableau Prep.

  2. Run the installer .exe file from the computer's command line as an administrator.

    The syntax for running the Tableau installer from the command line is:

    tableau_<product_installer_name>.exe /option1 /option2 PROPERTY1 PROPERTY2

You must run the command from the directory where the .exe file is located or specify a full path to the location of the .exe file on the computer. Do not run the setup program from a shared directory on your network. Instead, download the .exe file to a directory on the computer where you're installing.

The tableau_<product_installer_name>.exe file is the Tableau installer for the product and version you're installing. The options specify how the installation process should run—for example, whether it should display output while installing or whether it should create log files. The properties settings specify configuration settings that the installer should make during the installation process.

The following example shows an installer command with some options and some property settings.

tableauPrep-64bit-2019-1-1.exe /quiet /norestart ACCEPTEULA=1 CRASHDUMP="0" SENDTELEMETRY="0"

The command in the example does the following:

  • Installs the 64-bit version of Tableau Prep 2019.1.1.

  • Runs the installer in quiet mode, meaning that the setup process doesn't display prompts, UI or the license dialog box.

  • Sets the installation to finish without restarting.

  • Accepts the End User License Agreement (EULA).

  • Sets error reporting to off.

  • Sets usage reporting to off.

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Activate and register Tableau Prep

Important: The Tableau licensing service was moved to a new data center on October 6, 2018. This means that any environments that required special configuration (static IP safe listing for example) to access licensing.tableau.com or licensing.tableausoftware.com will need to be updated. For more information, see Tableau Community.

After the installation process is complete you must activate and register the product to begin using it. To activate the product you will need the product key that you saved earlier and be connected to the internet.

If you're installing Tableau Desktop on a computer that doesn't have internet access, or if your company firewall or proxy restricts access to the licensing.tableau.com site, you can install Tableau Prep offline using Tableau Desktop. For more information, see Activate Tableau Prep Offline

Note: With Tableau Prep version 2018.1.2 and later, you can also activate and register Tableau Prep from the command line. For information about how to do this, see Activate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep and Register Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep.

If you don't have a product key, click Start a free 14 day trial to try the product for free or click Purchase a license to purchase a Tableau Prep license.

  1. Launch Tableau Prep.

  2. Click Activate Tableau Prep.

  3. Enter your product key and click Activate.

  4. Complete the registration form, and then click Register.

When your registration is complete, Tableau Prep opens and you can start preparing your data.

New to Tableau Prep? Try the Get Started tutorial to learn how to build your first flow.

Activate Tableau Prep Offline

To activate Tableau Prep offline, you will need your product key and Tableau Desktop version 2018.1 or later installed on the same computer that is offline.

  1. Launch Tableau Desktop.

  2. From the top menu, select Help > Manage Product Keys.

  3. In the Manage Product Keys dialog, click Activate.

  4. Enter your Tableau prep product key and then click Activate.

  5. Tableau Desktop detects that you are offline and shows the following message. Click Save to create an activation file.

  6. Save the file to a location that you can access from the offline computer. Use the default file name (offline.tlq).

  7. From a computer that has internet access, open a web browser and go to the Activation page on the Tableau website.
  8. Follow the instructions and select the (offline.tlq) file that you just created and upload it to create a create a activation.tlf file. You will need this file to activate Tableau Prep.

  9. Click Upload Activation File. You should receive a confirmation dialog that the upload was successful.

  10. In the confirmation dialog click the link to download the activation file to complete the activation process.

  11. Close Tableau Desktop.

  12. Launch Tableau Prep. You will be prompted to complete the registration process form to register the product. If you have previously registered a Tableau product, the fields may be populated automatically.

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Set your display language (optional)

When you first run Tableau Prep, it recognizes your computer locale and uses the appropriate language if it is supported. If you are using an unsupported language, the application defaults to English.

You can configure Tableau Prep to display the user interface (menus, messages, etc.) in a different language by selecting Help > Choose Language from the top menu. Restart Tableau Prep to apply the change.

The display format for numbers and dates is based on the locale of the operating system on the machine where Tableau Prep is installed.

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Change your My Tableau Prep Repository location (optional)

During install, Tableau Prep automatically creates a My Tableau Prep Repository folder structure in your documents folder on your computer. If you need to move this repository to another location, for example because you are required to have your data on a network server instead of on your local machine, you can specify a new location and point Tableau Prep to the new folder.

When setting a new location for your repository, the following rules apply:

  • The new folder must be a directory.

  • You must have permissions to write to the new folder.

  • The new folder can't be located in the existing My Tableau Prep Repository folder structure.

Changing the repository location does not move the files contained in the original repository. Instead, Tableau Prep creates a new repository where you can store your files.

  1. Select File >Repository Location

  2. In the Select Repository Folder dialog, select a new folder that will act as the new repository location.

  3. Restart the application to use the new repository.

System requirements


Install Tableau Prep on a Windows or Mac computer. For technical specifications, see the Technical Specifications page for Tableau Prep.


Like Tableau Desktop, some drivers are automatically installed for you when you install Tableau Prep. However, some connections might require you to download and install drivers before you can connect to your data.

Tableau Prep can only use 64-bit drivers (unlike Tableau Desktop, which can use 32-bit drivers). If you already have drivers installed, but they are 32-bit, you need to install the 64-bit Tableau Desktop drivers to use with Tableau Prep.

See the Drivers Download page on the Tableau website to get driver download links and installation instructions

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption certificate configuration (optional)

To connect to a server that uses SSL, you will need to make sure that the required root certificate is installed on the computer where Tableau Prep is installed.

Work with your IT Department or System Administrator to complete these steps.

For information about how to configure Tableau Server to use SSL encryption, see Configure External SSL.


  1. Verify that the SSL Certificate Chain File is configured in Tableau Server.

  2. Copy the certificate file (.crt) to the computer running Tableau Prep.

  3. Double-click the certificate file, click Install Certificate, and then click Next.

  4. Select Place all certificates in the following store.

    Browse to select Trusted Root Certification Authorities and then click OK > Next > Finish.

  5. Wait for the certificate to finish importing, then click OK.

Verify that there are no duplicate certificates for Tableau Server CA in the Windows certificate store.

  1. From the Start menu, type certmgr, then open Manage computer certificates.

  2. Navigate to Trusted Root Certification Authorities> Certificates.

  3. If there are duplicate certificates for Tableau Server, open each one and check the Serial number on the Details tab.

  4. Delete all the Tableau Server certificates with serial numbers that don't match the correct Tableau Server certificate.

  5. Follow steps 3 and 4 for any duplicate Tableau Server certificates in Intermediate Certification Authorities > Certificates.


  1. Verify that the SSL Certificate Chain File is configured in Tableau Server.

  2. Add the root certificate to your computer's keychain to ensure that the certificate authority is trusted by your computer. For more information, see OS X Sierra: If your certificate isn't being accepted.

    Disclaimer: Although we make every effort to ensure links to external websites are accurate, up to date, and relevant, Tableau cannot take responsibility for the accuracy or freshness of pages maintained by external providers. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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Error reporting (Windows)

Tableau Prep supports error reporting. If Tableau Prep has a problem and shuts down unexpectedly, crash dump files and logs are generated and placed in your My Tableau Prep Repository > Logs and My Tableau Prep Repository > Logs > crashdumps files. This option is enabled by default.

You can turn off this option during install. Click Customize and clear the Enable error reporting check box.

To turn off this option from the command line during install, add a command line that includes the property CRASHDUMP="0".

To turn this option off after install add the line maestro.enable_fault_reporting=false to the application properties section of the application.properties file.

This file is located in C:\Program Files\Tableau\<Tableau Prep version>\resources\app .

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Usage reporting

To help us improve Tableau Prep, you can share usage pattern data with us. We never collect any specific user data, only anonymous usage data. For example data source connection types (such as .csv, sql or Amazon Redshift), large data sets versus small data sets, number of steps in a flow or types of operations used (but no data specifics such as step names or formulas used), and so on.

Your data is confidential and we will never share this information with anyone.

If you don't want to participate in this option, you can opt out by clearing the usage reporting check box during installation.

To turn off this option from the command line during install, add a command line that includes the property SENDTELEMETRY="0".

To opt out of this option after installation do one of the following:

From the product

  1. Open Tableau Prep as an administrator.

  2. From the top menu, select Help >Settings and Performance.

  3. Click on Share Usage Data To Improve Tableau Prep to clear the check mark.

From the properties file


  1. Navigate to the app folder in the directory where Tableau Prep is installed. For example C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Prep <version>\resources\app

  2. Open the telemetryConfig.properties file in a text editor.

  3. Change maestro.telemetry.enabled=true to maestro.telemetry.enabled=false

  4. Save your changes and close the file.


For Mac, this setting is user-specific. This setting doesn't apply to any other users on the system unless they reinstall the application.

  1. Navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Tableau Prep/

  2. Open the telemetryConfig.properties file in a text editor.

  3. Change maestro.telemetry.enabled=true to maestro.telemetry.enabled=false

  4. Save your changes and close the file.

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