Invalid Product Key Error Occurs During Software Activation

Published: 12 Feb 2013
Last Modified Date: 18 May 2018


When you try to activate Tableau Server or Tableau Desktop, the following error occurs:

Invalid Product Key


  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Prep


  1. Copy the product key directly from Tableau Customer Portal (under "My Keys") or from your invoice.
  2. Paste the product key into the activation window, making sure that:
    • There are no additional spaces before or after the product key.
    • A dash is added after every 4 characters (for example: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX)
  3. Select Activate.
Tableau Server only
Ensure that the Run as User has the correct permissions on the computer running Tableau Server. For more information, see Required Run As User Account Settings.

Tableau Prep only:
A key must start with TC or TP in order to activate Tableau Prep.  A Tableau Desktop key starting with TD, will not activate the Tableau Prep product.


Typically this error message occurs because extra spaces are inserted before or after the product key, or the product key has been mistyped.

Additional Information

This error message also occurs if you try to activate Tableau Desktop with a Tableau Server product key, or vice-versa.

If you have confirmed that you entered the correct product key and no spaces exist before or after it, contact Tableau Support.

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