Clearing the Tableau Desktop Query Cache

Published: 21 Apr 2015
Last Modified Date: 24 Aug 2022


How to clear the Tableau Desktop query cache. A user may see the below error message, which could indicate the Tableau query cache has reached its limits.
An error occurred while communicating with the data source.



  • Tableau Desktop
  • Windows
  • Mac OS


Option 1: Invalidate the Cache by Refreshing the Data Source

Each time the data source is refreshed, the cache is invalidated, making this a very simple alternative to the more complicated process of manually clearing the cache.

Option 2: Manually Clear the Cache

  1. Close all instances of Tableau Desktop.
  2. Navigate to the Tableau caching folder:
    1. Windows: C\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Tableau\Caching
    2. Mac: ~/Library/Caches/com.tableau.Caching
  3. Delete the content of the following folders: TemporaryExtracts and ExternalCacheV1.

Additional Information

  • This only works for file-based data sources upon which a query has been performed, as this is a query cache. 
  • This also clears the query cache for Tableau Reader as they share the same cache.
  • Restarting Tableau Desktop does NOT clear the query cache, as Tableau Desktop uses a file-based cache, not a memory-based one.

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