Upgrading Tableau Desktop

Product(s): Tableau Desktop, Tableau Reader, Tableau Public
Version(s): All
Last Modified Date: 16 Aug 2016

Keeping Tableau Desktop up-to-date with the latest version ensures that you have the latest software fixes and features for optimum performance and usability. Tableau Desktop upgrades are designed to facilitate smooth transitions between software versions. To see a summary of the software updates across upgrade versions, refer the Release Notes page. Before you upgrade, review the information below to determine the type of upgrade you will perform. If you already know which upgrade, follow the procedure described in the following article to download and install Tableau Desktop:


Downloading Tableau Products

Choosing the type of upgrade

Both major and minor versions of the software may be installed concurrently on the same machine. For example, both Desktop 8.2 and 9.0 can be installed on the same machine. Uninstalling any previous versions is not necessary for a successful upgrade. It is important to know that if you are upgrading between maintenance releases (e.g., 8.0.5 to 8.0.6), the newer maintenance release will replace the older maintenance release, but again uninstalling the previous version is not necessary.

Note: If you are upgrading to Tableau Desktop from a version prior to version 6.1, please contact Tableau Customer Service for a new product key that you will need before installing Tableau Desktop.

Upgrading Tableau Desktop on the same machine

Because different versions of Tableau Desktop can be installed concurrently on the same machine, upgrading Tableau Desktop simply requires that you download and install the newer version on the same machine. Before you perform an upgrade however, you should consider the following:

  • Ensure you have the latest supported database drivers installed on the machine. See the Drivers page for more information.
  • If you use Tableau Server, make sure that the Tableau Desktop upgrade will continue to be compatible with your version of Tableau Server. For more information, refer to the Desktop and Server Compatibility article.
  • Tableau recommends that power users within your organization test the upgraded version thoroughly before migrating the rest of the user-base to the new version.
  • Workbooks that are saved in the upgraded version of Tableau Desktop cannot be opened by previous versions of Tableau Desktop. However, later versions of the software can open workbooks created by previous versions of Tableau Desktop.
    • To avoid accidentally upgrading workbooks, go to Control Panel and click Programs and Features. To change file associations, right-click the version you want Tableau to automatically open to and choose Repair.
    • If you prefer to use the upgraded version permanently, go to Control Panel and click Programs and Features. Right-click the latest version of Tableau Desktop, and select Repair to change file associations again.

Upgrading Tableau Desktop on a new machine

Before upgrading Tableau Desktop on a different machine, make sure to review the considerations listed above. If you are performing an upgrade on a new machine that is not just a secondary computer for the Named Authorized User, you will first need to deactivate the product key for Tableau Desktop. Deactivating the product key is required by the End User License Agreement (EULA), which allows one primary installation and one secondary installation of Tableau desktop for one Named Authorized User per product key. Follow the steps listed below to deactivate the product key on the machine you will no longer be using with Tableau Desktop.

Step 1 

Open Tableau Desktop and select Help > Manage Product Keys.

Step 2 

In the Manage Product Keys dialog box, select the product key, and click Refresh.

Step 3 

Then, click the Deactivate button.

Note: If you are unable to complete the deactivation via internet connection to our license system, you will be prompted to create an offline return file. Refer to the process outlined in the Activating Tableau Offline article for more information. After you have created the offline return file, please save and send the file to Customer Service. Once the offline return file is processed, a file will be sent back to you to run on the machine to remove the product key.

Step 4 

Now on the new machine, download and install Tableau Desktop and activate your product key using the Downloading Tableau Products article. If this machine does not have access to the Tableau license system via the internet, refer to the process outlined in the Activating Tableau Offline article.


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