Error "Tableau Setup cannot locate the backup file created by uninstall." when reinstalling Tableau Server

Published: 17 Nov 2015
Last Modified Date: 21 Jun 2018


When installing Tableau Server on hardware where Tableau Server was previously installed, the following error occurs:

Tableau Setup cannot locate the backup file created by uninstall.

The file needs to be in the C:\ProgramData\Tableau Server folder and named either backup.sql or "uninstall-n.n.tsbak" (where "n.n" is the version of Tableau Server that was uninstalled).

To continue, copy your backup into the above folder and click Retry to continue this installation.


  • Tableau Server


In order to resolve this issue, perform a clean installation and then restore any content and configuration from a previous backup, if applicable.
Step 1.
Ensure that you have a Tableau Server backup file (*.tsbak) stored in a location outside of C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server and C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server. During this process, you will be deleting both of these folders, so the backup file needs to be stored somewhere else for later use.
Step 2.
Uninstall the existing server using the Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. If you have a distributed environment, use Add/Remove Programs on your primary machine.
Note: Uninstalling removes the application software, but leaves your data and configuration settings on the machine.
Step 3.
Manually delete the versioned Tableau Server directory. The exact location of the directory depends on your operating system.
    C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server or C:\Program Files (x86)\Tableau\Tableau Server
    C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server
Important: Deleting this directory removes your existing content so that the new installer does not try to import it into the new server.
Step 4.
Download and run the new Tableau Server installer on the new computer. This performs a fresh installation.
Step 5.
Once Tableau Server is installed, restore the contents using the backup file. Detailed instructions for restoring from backup are available in the Tableau Server Product Help guide below:
Restore from a Backup


The error message "Tableau Setup cannot locate the backup file created by uninstall ..." is typically associated with a change in bitness during install. When installing the 64-bit version of Tableau Server, the default install location is C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\<version> whereas the default location for 32-bit Tableau Server is C:\Program Files (x86)\Tableau\Tableau Server\<version>.
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