Accessing Files on a Network Drive Using a URL Action

Published: 05 Sep 2014
Last Modified Date: 09 Jan 2019


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


Tableau Server


Step 1. Whitelist the file protocol in Tableau Server

  1. Add the file protocol scheme to the safe list by using the tabadmin set command. The schemes httphttpsgophernews, and mailto are whitelisted by default. This command can contain multiple comma and space-separated values enclosed by double quotes, as in this example:

    tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist "scheme1,scheme2"

    The values you specify overwrite previous settings (exluding the default settings). Therefore, you must include the full list of schemes in the set command. (You cannot amend the list of schemes by running the set command repeatedly.)

    The list should consist of schemes - such as mailto, file, or javascript - rather than individual urls. The following command is not valid:

    tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist file:\\pathtomyfilehere

    On the computer running Tableau Server, open the Command Prompt window as an administrator and navigate to the Tableau Server bin directory:

    • On a 32-bit computer: cd "C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\[version]\bin"
    • On a 64-bit computer: cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Tableau\Tableau Server\[version]\bin"
At the command prompt, run the following commands in order:
  • tabadmin stop
  • tabadmin set vizqlserver.url_scheme_whitelist file
  • tabadmin config
  • tabadmin start
Important: Only Internet Explorer allows the use of the file protocol. Chrome and Firefox block the file protocol for security reasons and whitelisting this protocol in Tableau Server cannot force Chrome or Firefox to allow the file protocol.

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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