Disabling External Caching in Tableau Desktop and Tableau Reader

Published: 05 Jun 2015
Last Modified Date: 04 Nov 2020


How to disable external caching in Tableau Desktop and Tableau Reader.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Reader


On Windows:

Option 1: Use the command prompt

On the computer running Tableau Reader or Tableau Desktop, open the Command Prompt window as an administrator and run the following commands:
  • In Tableau Desktop:
    • ​cd C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau <version>\bin
    • tableau.exe -DExternalCacheDisable=true
  • In Tableau Reader: 
    • cd C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Reader <version>\bin
    • tabreader.exe -DExternalCacheDisable=true
Note: If Tableau Desktop is not installed on drive C, replace C: in the file path above with the correct drive letter.

Option 2: Change the shortcut target

  1. On the computer running Tableau Desktop, right-click the Tableau Desktop icon, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Shortcut tab, in Target, append -DExternalCacheDisable=true

On a Mac:

  1. Open the Terminal app
  2. Type cd /Applications
  3. Note: Change the name of the "Tableau<version>.app" application in step4 to include the full name of the Tableau Desktop application as displayed under Applications (for example Tableau Desktop
  4. Type open -n ./"Tableau Desktop<version>.app" --args -DExternalCacheDisable=true
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