Error "There is an error parsing Preferences.tps. [...] Operation not permitted" When Opening Tableau Desktop

Published: 18 Feb 2020
Last Modified Date: 19 Feb 2020


When launching Tableau Desktop, the following error may occur:

There is an error parsing Preferences.tps. This can occur if quotation marks other than basic single quotes (') or double quotes(") are used around attribute names. Until this is corrected, Tableau Desktop will use the default color palettes.
The following 1 errors occurred while parsing Preference file"/Users/
<user name>/Documents/My Tableau Repository/Preferences.tps":
Unable to open file 'Users/
<user name>/Documents/My Tableau Repository/Preferences.tps': Operation not permitted


  • Tableau Desktop
  • macOS


Rename the existing Preferences.tps file, so that Tableau Desktop generates a replacement:
  1. In Finder, navigate to Documents/My Tableau Repository
  2. In the My Tableau Repository folder, locate the Preferences.tps file.
  3. Right-click or Control click the Preferences.tps file, select Rename, and rename it to Preferences.tps.bak.
  4. Launch Tableau Desktop.


System Integrity Protection (SIP) may be preventing access to the existing Preferences.tps file.
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