Error "User <username> could not be deleted because they own content." When Attempting to Delete a User

Published: 11 Feb 2016
Last Modified Date: 06 Aug 2020


When attempting to delete a user, the following error message might occur even though it appears that the user does not own any workbooks, views, data sources etc:
User <username> could not be deleted because they own content. <username> has been unlicensed.


  • Tableau Server 
  • Tableau Online


Tableau Server 10.5 and newer versions, Tableau Online:

Option 1:
  1. Navigate to the owner's user page (search the owner's name and select their name under Users) 
  2. All content owned by the user, including projects, will appear in separate tabs. 
Option 2:
Navigate to Tasks > Subscriptions and there may be a subscription that is still associated with the user.
A user search may not find the Subscription associated with the User.
You will need to sort by the "Subscriptions" Column then scroll to the user. The user may have "subscribed by" still associated to their account.
Make a note of the users that have the subscriptions and resubscribe under new content owner.
Tableau Server 10.4 and earlier versions:
Locate any projects owned by the user being removed and reassign ownership to a different user prior to removing the user. Project ownership can be viewed and changed through the following steps:
  1. Log into Tableau Server or Tableau Online as a server or site administrator.
  2. Go to Content > Projects.
  3. Enter the user's name in the Owner drop-down under the General Filters section.
    • The list of projects will filter to show only projects owned by that user.
  4. Select the context menu for each project and choose Change Owner.
  5. Choose the desired user to be the new owner and click Change Owner.


A user cannot be removed if any content is owned, including projects. Projects do not appear in the list of owned content for users in Tableau Server 10.4 and earlier versions.
For the subscription, if a user A subscribes user B to a subscription, this subscription will not be visible from user A's contents page.
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