Upgrade Tableau Desktop
Tableau regularly releases new versions of Tableau Desktop. To take advantage of new features as well as other improvements and enhancements, upgrade to the latest version.
By default, Tableau Desktop is configured to automatically install maintenance upgrades for you. However, if you want to upgrade to a newer major version of Tableau, or want to manually install the latest maintenance update, you can find the links to the installers on the Alternate Download Site page. This site includes links to the installers for both major and maintenance versions.
To install the new version, follow the installation instructions in the Download and Install Tableau Desktop section of this guide.
Note: You can also find links to the installers for the latest maintenance release on the Release Notes page. For more information about maintenance updates, see What you need to know about maintenance upgrades later in this article.
Whether you are doing a simple upgrade for yourself or for your whole organization, the information in this article can help you determine which type of upgrade you need and the impact of performing that upgrade.
In this article
Not all upgrades are the same:
A major upgrade is when Tableau offers a range of new features and updates the look and feel of Tableau Desktop. The interval between major upgrades is typically a matter of months. With a major upgrade, the Tableau Desktop version number changes: the most recent major upgrade was from Tableau 10.2 to Tableau 10.3; the one before that was from Tableau 10.1 to Tableau 10.2.
A maintenance upgrade ensures that your copy of Tableau Desktop is current with security fixes and bug fixes. The interval between maintenance upgrades is typically a matter of weeks. Tableau provides maintenance upgrades for all versions of Tableau Desktop that are still officially supported. After a maintenance upgrade, there's typically no obvious change to what you see. However, if you open the About Tableau dialog box you can see that the third part of the version number will have changed—for example, from 10.1.1 to 10.1.2, or from 10.0.7 to 10.0.8.
For automatic product upgrades, installers are downloaded to the
Downloads/TableauAutoUpdatefolder. If the
Downloadsfolder doesn't exist, the installers are downloaded to the
For information about new features added in recent major upgrades, see What’s New in Tableau Desktop in the Tableau Help. And for information about security issue resolutions, bug fixes, and other details in a major release, see the online Release Notes page.
A major upgrade requires some preparation and planning. Here are some questions to ask before you upgrade:
Are there any power users within your organization? If so, they should install and test the new version before the rest of the users do. Tableau tests each new version thoroughly, but every environment is unique and a test drive is never a bad idea.
Does your organization also use Tableau Server? If so, verify that the new version of Tableau Desktop you will be installing is compatible with your company’s current version of Tableau Server. For more information, see Version Compatibility Between Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server. There are a lot of considerations, but the key scenario is to avoid having a newer version of Tableau Desktop with an older version of Tableau Server. If you're planning to upgrade Tableau Desktop, you should typically also be planning to upgrade Tableau Server.
Is your organization ready to upgrade all workbooks? After you install a major upgrade, any existing workbooks you open and then save in the newer version will be upgraded. After that, you can no longer open these workbooks with an older version of Tableau Desktop. Similarly, any new workbook you create in the upgraded Tableau Desktop can't be opened with an older version.
When you upgrade to a new major version of Tableau Desktop, bookmarks, workbooks, and data sources that you were working with (that is, that are in the local Tableau repository on your computer) are still available in the new version. For information about the Tableau repository, see Files and Folders in the Tableau Help.
After you open and save a workbook or data source with the upgraded version of Tableau Desktop, you can no longer open it with older versions.
Note: If you've been participating in the Tableau Software Beta program, you also have a beta version of the Tableau repository. The beta repository will still exist after you install the new major version, but Tableau Desktop will no longer use it. To make your beta workbooks accessible in the new major version, copy the workbooks from the beta repository to your new repository.
With a major upgrade, new sample data sources and workbooks replace the old samples—unless you've modified and saved any of the sample workbooks or data sources. In that case, the modified workbooks and data sources are retained and the equivalent new sample workbooks or data sources are not installed. This is done on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you've modified the Sample - Superstore data source, but not any of the other sample workbooks or data sources, the installer will replace all of the other sample workbooks or data sources, but not the Sample - Superstore data source.
Typically, you upgrade to the new major version number on the same computer where you were running the previous major version. You don't have to uninstall the older version before you install the new version.
The new major version doesn't replace an existing major version on the computer. Therefore, you can keep two major versions of Tableau Desktop (for example, version 10.2 and version 10.3) installed on the same computer. Of course, after you've been using the newer version for a while and have upgraded all your workbooks, it's best to uninstall the older version to avoid confusion and clutter.
If you're installing a major version upgrade of Tableau Desktop on a different computer from the one where you installed an older version, you must first deactivate the product key for Tableau Desktop on the original computer. You can then use that product key to activate Tableau Desktop on the new computer. You won't be able to use the new version until you transfer the license. If you need to do this, see Move or Deactivate Tableau Desktop .
If you upgrade from an earlier version of Tableau and you open a workbook that uses the Default theme, your workbook will automatically pick up any updates to the theme. If your workbook is set to a theme other than Default, it will retain that setting. Conversely, you can change your workbook's theme from Default to a different, earlier theme. See Format at the Workbook Level in the Tableau Help for details.
After you upgrade, it's a good idea to refresh your custom geocoding so you can take advantage of any fixes made to the geocoding data in Tableau. See Data Blending vs. Custom Geocoding in the Tableau Help.
Your copy of Tableau Desktop can stay current with the latest features, security resolutions, and fixes through maintenance releases. By default, Tableau Desktop is configured to install maintenance upgrades for you automatically with a feature named Automatic Product Updates. When you start Tableau Desktop for the first time after a maintenance release becomes available, you see a prompt offering to download it after you exit Tableau Desktop. You can choose to postpone or skip the update. (The Product Update feature will not automatically install a major upgrade.)
You can also check for product updates at any time by selecting Check for Product Updates from the Help menu. If a new maintenance version is available, Tableau gives you an opportunity to download and install the latest version.
Note: Automatic Product Updates and Check for Product Updates are not available if your Administrator has turned off this feature during install or if your product maintenance services have expired.
With a maintenance release, there's no change to the workbooks, data sources, and other files in your Tableau repository, and everything in Tableau Desktop should look the same as before. One exception is that Tableau sometimes makes new data source connectors available with a maintenance release.
For information about the individual security resolutions, bug fixes, and other changes in any maintenance release, see the Release Notes page. Another resource is the Subscription & Maintenance Policy, which provides basic information about product maintenance.
If maintenance updates aren't being installed on your computer, your copy of Tableau might not be configured for automatic updates, or there might be a problem with updating. For more information, see the Troubleshoot maintenance updates section in the troubleshooting article of this guide.
You can turn Product Updates off or on from within Tableau Desktop:
Choose Help > Settings and Performance > Enable Automatic Product Updates.
This option is only available if Product Updates was enabled during the product install. If the feature was disabled during installation, this menu item is also disabled.