Error "An error occurred while communicating with Excel Reader" Connecting to Google Sheets

Published: 08 Nov 2017
Last Modified Date: 16 May 2020


After selecting a sheet in a Google Sheets connection, the following error occurs:
  An error occurred while communicating with Excel Reader

The issue may not occur with all sheets in the connection.


  • Tableau Desktop 10.4.0
  • Google Sheets
  • Mac OS


In Google Sheets:
  • If any column in the sheet has clickable URL links, right click the column and choose Unlinked to resolve the issue. 
  • If the sheet in question does not have the URL Links but is in a workbook with other sheets that do, try copying the sheet to a new workbook and connecting to it from there.
  • If any sheet tabs are a pivot table, the pivot tables must be removed


Issue with the Google Sheets file or the file contains a pivot table.

Additional Information

If the sheet causing the error is downloaded as an Excel file, it will not open in Microsoft Excel and may be reported as a corrupt file.

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