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Error "Database error 0x80004005: External table is not in the expected format." Connecting to Excel


Published: 21 Dec 2015
Last Modified Date: 10 Jan 2020

Issue

When connecting to a Microsoft Excel data source, the following error might occur: 

An error occurred while communicating with the data source.
Unable to connect to the server. Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database.
Database error 0x80004005: External table is not in the expected format. 

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Legacy connection to Microsoft Excel 

Cause

The Microsoft JET Database Engine is unable to work with a chart or graph that is contained in the data source.

Additional Information

Jet-based Excel connection issues can only occur in workbooks created in Tableau Desktop 8.1 and earlier or in workbooks that use the legacy connection.

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