What to Do if Tableau Crashes/Cancels/Hangs

Trying to do something in Tableau Desktop only to find it crashing or getting hung up? Here are 4 steps to help you get through it.

What to Do if Tableau Crashes/Cancels/Hangs

Have you ever found yourself trying to do something in Tableau Desktop only to find it crashing or getting hung up for what seems like forever? We all have. Sometimes I can't tell what it is, and other times I have a sneaking suspicion that it has to do with flat files or an absurd amount of dashboard data that I've copied from one workbook to another.

Though there's often not much you can do in this scenario, here are 4 steps to help you get through the crashes and hang ups you experience.

1) If Tableau has completely crashed, skip to step 3. If it's just hung up or taking forever loading, wait it out a bit.

Perhaps use this time to check in on your favorite Tableau blogs. I will usually go to: vizwiz.com by Andy Kriebel or jacksontwo.com/author/ann-jackson by Ann Jackson. Or Tableau has pulled together this list for you.

Alternatively, if you're more of a YouTube type try these...

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2) Force quit Tableau

If you've had time to watch a few videos or read a few articles, and Tableau is still hung up, it's time for more drastic action. Yep, that's right, just give up and try again! Sorry. I know you were hoping for a real hack, but in the words of the late great Obi-Wan "This is not the trick you're looking for..." or something like that. Unfortunately there just isn't a magic bullet.

3) Restart and (hopefully) Recover

Perhaps start with a prayer that autosave worked. My prayer usually goes something like: "Dearest [insert deity here], you know the ways of the data, far and wide across all the lands, please have mercy and allow my computer to recover my work. AMEN!

Now that you've called in a favor, check to see if autosave did its job or if you lost some work.

At this point you might be frustrated that you lost some work, but remember there's a silver lining in that you've learned something new while consuming videos and articles waiting for Tableau.

4) Take Steps to Avoid a Repeat

This issue could have been one of these things. So try to extract first and double check your data connection:

  1. Connecting to a flat file (live) that has been moved or isn't available anymore
  2. Trying to copy a dashboard or worksheet that has a live connection and pasting it into a new workbook
  3. Trying to import a workbook (that has a live connection) into another workbook
  4. Trying to paste data into a workbook that is entirely too big
  5. Data modeling with a union (again, with flat files)

Good luck in your Tableau endeavors and don't forget to stay curious!

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