Update: Tableau 10 is here! Download now to try out the feature outlined below.

Many of us rely on a scheduled extract refresh to update our vizzes. And when a refresh fails without notice, we might unknowingly base our decisions on stale data.

Tableau Server 10 includes an email-notification feature. It alerts all affected parties when a failure occurs, and suggests a fix for that failure. Both the owner of the published data source as well as the owners of published workbooks containing that data source will be notified.

Here’s an example of an email notification:

How do I unsubscribe?

Email notification is on by default in Tableau Server 10. You can turn off these notifications at three levels:

  • User: Users can turn off email notifications for the site they are working in on their user-properties page. Look for the checkbox under “email notification" (see example below).
  • Site: Site administrators can turn off notifications for all users on a site on the Site Settings page. Look for the checkbox under “email notification.”
  • Server-wide*: Tableau Server administrators can turn off notifications for all sites with this tabadmin command:
  • tabadmin set backgrounder.send_email_on_refresh_failure false

(*When notifications are off server-wide, the “email notification” sections for sites and users aren’t available)

This user-properties page shows the email-notification section and the checkbox to turn it off.

Join the beta

We hope you find this feature helpful, and we’d love your feedback. Please join the beta program and let us know what you think.

Learn more about Tableau 10

Tableau 10 includes a brand new look and feel, and a host of new features to help you prep, analyze, and share your insights even faster. Check out our Coming Soon page for details.


So exciting! Thanks. Any news of when/whether this will be rolled out to Tableau Online as well?

Great question Amy - this feature was rolled out to Tableau Online beta this afternoon (June 20). We're excited too!

By default, the datasource or workbook owner will receive 5 emails before the emails stop (after 5 consecutive failures).
If more or less are emails desired, setting backgrounder.failure_threshold_for_run_prevention to a higher or lower number is possible. e.g. for 10 (instead of the default of 5):
tabadmin set backgrounder.failure_threshold_for_run_prevention 10

Nice! This is what we were waiting for in one of our client sites!

Nice! This is what we were waiting for...

I am not able to see the Email Notification checkbox in User Settings page. Even I am not able to Subscribe other users with the option. When I click on Add User link and enter email address, Ok button is always disabled.
Installed Beta 3 - Tableau Server Version: 10.0.0 (10000.16.0606.1643) 64-bit

Thank you for the feedback Saurabh. We have noticed that a few of the default configuration settings required for the feature described in this article are not being set correctly.
To try this feature, set the required configuration values as follows:

tabadmin set backgrounder.send_email_on_refresh_failure true

tabadmin set backgrounder.failure_threshold_for_run_prevention 5

I'll attempt to find your email address to follow up via email on the other two items you mention.

Apologies for the inconvenience this causes.

Can users subscribe to any workbook for the email notification? or only workbooks/dashboards they published themselves?

Hi Erica, The first version of this feature sends the failure notification to workbook or datasource owners only. The team are working on another improvement to allow others to receive the failure notifications.

Hi Scott, following up on Erica question..When can we expect the improved version of this feature? Any idea ?

This feature while useful for alerting users to failures is severely restricted in the sense that it only reports generic error messages and doesn't give the complete error message.

An Example:
Error message from email: Error message: Connectionless Failure
Error message from background tasks page: Authentication Failure

Can you update this feature so that it actually sends the complete error message in the email to help end users more.

Note: Tableau Server Version 10.2

Great feature but we want to direct the emails to people/groups other than the owners. We could send an email to the service desk to create a support ticket. At the very least, an alert needs to go to an entire support group and not just an individual.

Hello Scott,

Is there any update on this.
for example - I am tableau admin and I want all extract failure notification.
How can we achieve this ?