When activating Tableau Desktop Offline on a MAC, an error is received, "Make sure you are connected to the internet" and "Unable to complete offline activation"

Published: 18 Oct 2021
Last Modified Date: 08 Jul 2022


When activating Tableau Desktop, a prompt to offline activate may occur when previous activations were online.  The online activation message will display:
"We were unable to activate the product. Make sure you are connected to the internet and try again. Alternatively, save an activation file and go to htttp:// to complete the activation process."

When the offline activation is attempted, processing the activation.tlf file also fails with "Unable to complete offline activation."

Other Symptoms:
  • No firewall or proxy blocking the connection.
  • Licensing Health Check Succeeds.
  • Tableau Desktop was running fine on the same machine before it became unlicensed.
  • Used Tableau Desktop with an Online activation previously.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Flexera (Not LBLM or Virtual Desktop)
  • MAC OS


  1. Close any open instances of Tableau Desktop.
  2. From the Mac OS X desktop, hit Command+Shift+G
  3. In the Go to Folder dialog, enter:  /Library/Preferences/FLEXnet Publisher/
  4. Rename the FLEXnet folder by adding '_backup'
  5. Open Tableau Desktop
  6. Attempt activation of the product key
If the Flexnet Publisher folder is missing, re-install Tableau Desktop.


Potential corruption in the Flexnet storage User Folder.
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