Error: "Data Engine Error 4... Could not create file handle." Connecting to Excel File

Published: 10 Feb 2016
Last Modified Date: 23 May 2017


When connecting to Excel, the following error occurs:
Tableau Data Engine Error: 4: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process. - DataFile::DataFile C:/Users/admin/AppData/Local/Temp/tmp3D23FE53/SYS/SCHEMAS/SCHEMAS_NAME.dict, writable=true) Could not create file handle. 
Unable to connect to the file "". Check that the file exists and that you have sufficient access privileges for it. 


  • Tableau Desktop 
  • Windows
  • Excel


Option 1:

Create an extract of the of Excel file, and connect to the extract instead.

Option 2:

Save and close all Excel instances. Restart the computer and the file lock should be removed.



Microsoft Excel creates a temporary file and puts a lock on the file for auto-save and recovery reasons. 

Creating the extract will avoid the file lock issue, while closing Excel and restarting the computer should remove latent file locks.
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