"Error parsing XML at line <number> of file..." or "Fatal Error (1, 1)" Opening Workbook

Published: 13 Nov 2013
Last Modified Date: 20 Jul 2023


When you try to open a workbook, one of the following errors might occur:

Error parsing XML at line <number> of file: no element found
Error parsing XML at line <number> of file: unclosed token

Errors occurred while trying to load the workbook "<workbook name>". The load was not able to complete successfully.

Fatal Error(1,1):invalid document structure (id:<filenameAndpath>)"
Fatal Error(1,1): XML document cannot be empty (id:<filenameAndpath>)"


Tableau Desktop


  1. In Windows Explorer navigate to the .twb file.
  2. Right-click the workbook name, and then click Properties.
  • If the file is 0 KB,  you need to recreate the workbook.
  • If the file is larger than 0 KB, send the .twb file to Tableau Support
    If the workbook is not corrupted beyond repair, Tableau Support will attempt to recover the workbook .


The workbook has become corrupted. 

Additional Information

Workbook corruption can occur for a variety of reasons and can be avoided by taking the following precautions: 
  • Ensure that your system is not running low on memory. If the system is memory bound, close other unnecessary programs when working in Tableau Desktop to free up memory. 
  • Try not to let workbooks get too large by keeping the total number of sheets and dashboards lower than 35. You can also split up large workbooks into multiple smaller workbooks. 
  • Save workbooks right after making any major changes (for example, refreshing extracts, adding a new sheet).
  • Avoid having multiple users modify, and/or save the same workbook file on a network share at the same time.

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