Unable to remove a user even when they do not own any content after saving a flow in draft

Published: 01 Dec 2022
Last Modified Date: 19 Jan 2023


A user is shown to not own any content.  When removing this user, the error "User could not be deleted because they own content" is shown and the user is changed to Unlicensed when the user had previously edited a Flow and saved the change as a Draft.  This error is specific to the user having a flow in a draft state.



  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Cloud


Tableau Cloud has resolved this issue as of 1/12/2023.

Option 1

1. Sign-in to Tableau Server with Server Administrator or Site Administrator role.
2. Download all the flows that the user owned from theTableau Server to your local PC as a backup, then remove them from the Tableau Server.
3. After Step 2 is done, the invisible flow draft will be visible to Server Administrator / Site Administrator via the Explore > All Flows as demonstrated below:
User-added image
4. Remove the flow draft.
5. Try to remove user again.
6. Re-publish the flows you downloaded at Step 2 again if needed.

Option 2

1. Change the Site Role of the user to a Server Administrator or Site Administrator, then sign in to Tableau Server with with the user you are trying to remove.
2. The invisible flow draft will be visible to this user via Explore > All Flows as shown below:
User-added image
3. Remove the flow draft.
4. Sign-in to Tableau Server with another Server Administrator / Site Administrator.
5. Try to remove the user again.

Option 3

Check External Assets contact field, for any user owned content.
1. Login to Tableau Server and navigate to External Assets. 
2. Check the "Contact " field, to see if the affected user owns any content. 
3. If they own any external assets listed under their Contact, click to open the asset, then Click on [...] > Change Contact 

Option 4

If you can not use Option1 and Option 2 because you do not know which flows are the ones that the user owned, please contact Technical Support for assistance.


This behavior is being investigated under Known Issue ID 1479169 and fixed on 1/12/2023 for Tableau Cloud.

Additional Information

When changing the ownership of a flow from the user to a Server Administrator or Site Administrator, if the user still owns the flow draft of the flow, after the ownership has changed, the flow draft will become to be invisible to the user as well as the Server or Site Administrator. 
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