Error "Communication with the Tableau Protocol Server process was lost" When Connecting to Excel File

Published: 18 Oct 2013
Last Modified Date: 21 Apr 2019


When you try to connect to an Excel file from Tableau desktop, the following error might occur:

The connection to the data source might have been lost.
Communication with the Tableau Protocol Server process was lost.
Unable to connect to the server. Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Microsoft Office Access Database Engine 2007 (Version 12.0.4518.1031)
  • Connection to Excel data source in Tableau Desktop 8.1 and earlier
  • Connection to Excel data source using Legacy Connection in Tableau Desktop 8.2 and later, but earlier than 2019.1 (see note in Additional Information below).


From the Tableau Drivers & Activation page, download and install the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2007 drivers. If the 32-bit driver is already installed, choose the Repair option in the driver installation program.

Note: You need Local Administrator permissions to install drivers on a computer.


This issue typically occurs when the drivers necessary to connect to the data source are not properly installed or 64-bit database drivers are in use.

Additional Information

Note: Starting in Tableau 2019.1, you can no longer create a new Legacy Excel or Text connection. Existing workbooks created with these legacy connections will continue to work until 2019.2, when all support for legacy connections will be removed. See the Legacy Connection Alternatives document in Tableau Community for alternatives to using the legacy connection.

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