Accessing Files on a Network Drive Using a URL Action

Published: 05 Sep 2014
Last Modified Date: 14 Sep 2017


How to access files stored on a network drive using a URL action.


Tableau Server


Step 1. Whitelist the file in Tableau Server

  1. From the computer running Tableau Server, click the Start button, and then select All Programs > Accessories.
  2. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. Navigate to the bin directory of Tableau Server. 
  4. Stop Tableau Server using this command: tabadmin stop
  5. Whitelist the file using this command: tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist <protocol>
    • For example: tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist file to enable the file protocol.
    • Note: You may need to run tabadmin config (for more information, see our Online Help documentation) to ensure all the files are updated. This may prevent the following error from occuring: A potentially unsafe URL has been blocked
  6. Start Tableau Server using this command: tabadmin start

Step 2. Whitelist the file path in Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer on the end user's machine.
  2. Select Tool > Internet Options.
  3. Navigate to the Security tab.
  4. Select Local intranet.
  5. Select Sites > Advanced and add the file path.

Step 3. Create a URL action in Tableau Desktop

  1. Open Tableau Desktop.
  2. Create a dashboard.
  3. In the dashboard select Dashboard > Actions....
  4. Select Add Action > URL....
  5. Rename the filter and select the source sheet for the action.
  6. In URL place the file path start with "file://" For example: file://filesrv01/Public/example-file.txt.
  7. Publish the workbook to Tableau Server.

Additional Information

This solution only works when using Internet Explorer. Firefox, Chrome, and Safari do not allow access to local file systems as a security measure.
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