Background Map Does not Load and “The online map cannot be loaded” Error Received

Published: 20 May 2019
Last Modified Date: 08 Jul 2022


When either creating a new map or clicking “Reset” in the Map Layers pane in Tableau Desktop 2019.2, Tableau Desktop users, who have clicked “Make Default” in the Map Layers Pane in any version prior to 2019.2, will encounter an error message:

"The online map could not be loaded. Mapbox user style (tableau-light-gray) not found. Please correct and try again.”   

 Previously existing maps/workbooks are not being impacted upon upgrade. 
MapBox Error


Tableau Desktop  2019.2 


Follow the steps below:

  1. Close Tableau 
  2. Navigate to: 
  • Windows: C:\Users\<user>\Documents\My Tableau Repository\Mapsources   
  • MacOS: /Users/<user>/Documents/My Tableau Repository/Mapsources  
  1. Delete Tableau.tmsd 
  2. Reopen Tableau Desktop.  


  1. Create a map. 
  2. Close the error dialog. 
  3. Change the map style. 
  4. Close the error dialog. 
  5. Select the map layer defaults you need and select “Make Default.” 


Old TMSD files, which are created when a user selects “Make Default” on a map style, are not compatible with 2019.2. 

The structure of the TMSD file changed when Tableau switched from a raster file service to the Mapbox vector file service in 2019.2.

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