Update Extract with Newly Added Columns in Excel

Published: 04 Oct 2016
Last Modified Date: 12 Jun 2018


Columns added to Excel file after creating an extract are not imported into the extract upon refresh.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Excel
  • Extracts


Option 1: From 10.2 and later versions

New columns in Excel data can be successfully brought into the extract refresh if the refresh is done from the Data Source tab in Tableau Desktop. To do so, please follow the steps below:
  1. Click the Data menu in the Tableau Desktop navigation bar
  2. Select Refresh Data Source.
Such steps will work with the Excel sheet being open (but saved) or with it closed.

Option 2: For earlier versions

If an extract is being used, and the Excel data source is modified with new columns, then you will need to remove the extract, connect to the original data source and create a new extract to reflect the new data structure. However there are also two workarounds which may help if the above is not an option: 
  1. Right-click the extract and select "Edit Data Source". On the Data Source tab wait until the data updates with the new columns and switch back to the view - the new columns should now be added to the view. 
  2. Connect to the data source (Excel spreadsheet) and create a new extract. Then right-click the original extract (the one that is missing the new columns), select "Replace data source" and replace the original extract with the newly-created extract. The original extract can then be removed from the view. For more information, see Replace Data Sources


When connecting to Excel directly from Tableau Desktop (earlier versions), Tableau will pull the new column from the Excel data source on refresh. However, if an extract is being used then new columns will not be imported upon refresh - only new rows will be added for columns which are already part of the extract. The extract structure would have to be updated to receive any new columns. 
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