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...

Datasaurus Rex
Animated data visualisations from Datasaurus-Rex.com Full disclosure: I currently work at Google. All opinions on this site are my own and do not reflect those of my employer. Any products and information used are available to the public.
Tableau Tim
Share your videos with friends, family, and the world
I love working with data, and love sharing what I know (and learned over the years) to others. This channel is about my data adventures (and mis-adventures!). I hope you will find something helpful or inspirational in this channel. VIDEOSThis channel currently focuses on topics related to Tableau…

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!

See what Zuar offers to companies using Tableau!

Export Tableau Dashboards, Views, Workbooks & Data to PDF | Zuar
Tabcmd [https://help.tableau.com/current/server/en-us/tabcmd_cmd.htm] is apowerful tool, allowing a Tableau Server or Tableau user to do many things, suchas create sites and users via a command line interface (CLI). Using tabcmd export, users can export views, workbooks, and data to PDF, CSV orP…
How to Hide Filters With Tableau Dashboard Actions | Zuar
See a special technique for hiding Tableau dashboard filters until an action is initiated. View this article for full instructions!
How to Embed a Tableau Dashboard in to a Website | Zuar
Here’s how to embed Tableau dashboards with a Tableau embed code, Tableau Javascript API, and iframe + Tableau share link.