Getting Started with Tableau Cloud and Login-based License Management

A step-by-step guide

Activate Your Tableau Cloud Site


Step 1 - TOL Site Activation Email Sent to Online Administrator

After your purchase is completed, Tableau will email an invitation to activate your new Tableau Cloud site. Your activation will provision your Tableau Cloud site in the region of your choice and finalize the creation of your TableauID.

Get Started


Step 2 - Online Admin Activates Tableau Cloud Site

To finalize your site activation, you will be prompted to create your Tableau customer account and name your new Tableau Cloud site.

Almost there

Add Authorized Users to Your Tableau Cloud Site


Step 3 - Add Users via Tableau Cloud Site

Once you’ve activated your Tableau Cloud Site, you can start adding Authorized Users. When adding new users, you’ll need to select the site role for that user (i.e. Creator, Explorer, Site Administrator). Users will need to be assigned a Creator site role (either Creator or Site Administrator Creator) in order to activate Desktop and/or Prep Builder. For more information on site roles, refer to Online Help.

Site Users

Site Users 2

Step 4 - “You’ve Been Invited” Email is Sent to Added Users

Once you’ve provisioned a user’s account, they will receive an email invitation to join your Online site.

TOL Invite

Authorized Users Join Your Tableau Cloud Site and Activate Desktop/Prep Builder


Step 5 - Authorized User Joins Tableau Cloud Site

After selecting the ‘Join Now’ button in the invitation email above, users will be prompted to create their Tableau customer account. For users assigned a Creator site role, they will log in with their Tableau customer account to activate their Desktop and/or Prep Builder installations (Step 7 below).

Create TOL Account.


Step 6 - Download Tableau Desktop and/or Prep Builder

Once the user creates their Tableau account they will be automatically routed to your Tableau Cloud site. On the homepage, they will be presented with links to ‘Download Tableau Desktop’ and ‘Download Tableau Prep Builder’.

Your Tableau Site

Once the user has downloaded and installed Tableau Desktop and/or Prep Builder, they’ll be ready to activate the programs using LBLM.

Step 7 - Creator User Activates Tableau Desktop and/or Prep Builder

Users launch Tableau Desktop or Prep Builder. If this is a user’s first time launching Tableau on their device, they’ll be given an option to enter their contact information and start a 14 day trial. Users who have already been assigned a Creator role on your Tableau Cloud site can skip the trial prompt by clicking "Activate Tableau" as shown below.

Activate TOL Form

On the Activate Tableau screen, users should choose "Activate by signing in to a server" as shown. To activate by signing in to a server is synonymous with using LBLM.

Activate Sign In Server

A connection dialog will appear; the user can quick connect to Tableau Cloud via the link highlighted below.

Tableau server sign in

The user will be prompted to log in to Tableau Cloud using the Tableau customer credentials they created earlier when joining your Tableau Cloud site.

Sign into TOL

If the user is a member of multiple Tableau Cloud sites, they will be prompted to select the site they wish to use for activation; users should be sure to select a site where they are assigned the Creator site sole in order to successfully activate Desktop and/or Prep Builder.

Sing into TO

Once authenticated, the user will have successfully activated their Desktop and/or Prep Builder installations using LBLM, and they’ll be ready to get down to vizness!


Login-based license management (LBLM) allows Creators to activate Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep by simply logging in to these products with their Tableau Server or Tableau Cloud credentials. Admins can assign, monitor, and reclaim Tableau Desktop or Tableau Prep access directly from Tableau Server or Tableau Cloud instead of distributing product keys to end users.

LBLM provides a number of benefits. First, it makes it easier for you to deploy Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep to end users, as you don’t need to distribute and manage individual license keys. Additionally, you’ll have increased visibility into Creator seat usage through a single, centralized view.

This free feature is available to eligible customers who own role-based Creator licenses and are leveraging a compatible version of Tableau software (2020.1+). As of the 2020.1 release (February 2020), LBLM is enabled by default for all Tableau Cloud customers who have purchased Creator. Tableau Server customers can explore below to learn more about identifying if they are already LBLM-enabled and, if not, how to opt-in!


LBLM modernizes the product activation experience by removing the need for product keys to be distributed throughout your organization when enabling use of Tableau Desktop and/or Prep Builder for Authorized Users. LBLM creates parity across all Creator, Explorer, and Viewer roles (i.e. leveraging login credentials), eliminating dual license management in your Customer Portal and Tableau Server or Online UIs.

To learn more, go to our Help article: Login-based License Management

Server and Site Administrators

  • Eases license deployment and activation events by eliminating the need for the distribution of product keys for Desktop and Prep Builder.
  • Administrators can revoke Creator licenses from departing users by setting users to a non-Creator or Unlicensed site role directly within Tableau Server or Online, allowing reallocation to new Authorized Users.


Creator Users

  • Authorized Users can activate Tableau Desktop & Prep Builder software on their local machines using their Tableau Cloud or Tableau Server login credentials. No product keys required!

All Tableau Cloud customers who own Creator licenses can start using LBLM today! If you’re currently using individual Creator - Desktop & Prep keys and/or need to educate your end users on how to activate using their Tableau Cloud login credentials, see above.

Tableau Server customers need to double-check if their Creator - Server key(s) are LBLM-enabled. If you made your first purchase of Tableau Server after November 12, 2020 you’re likely already enabled. Server Deployments licensed before this date need to opt-in via the instructions linked above in order to enable LBLM.

Yes- both! Whether you are a  new or existing Tableau Cloud and/or Tableau Server customer, LBLM was designed with you in mind and a goal of further streamlining the Tableau license delivery and management experience.

If you’re a Tableau Cloud customer - you have it! As of the 2020.1 version release (February 2020) all Tableau Cloud sites have the ability to use LBLM. The above user guide will break down how to get you started. If your Authorized Users have already activated Creator - Desktop & Prep Builder keys on their local machines, you can [go here] for more information on how to deactivate before instructing users to reactivate with LBLM.

Tableau Server customers can see if they’re LBLM enabled by checking their Customer Portal:

  1. Log-in to the Portal Account in which you have administrative access.
  2. Navigate to Deployments.
  3. Locate the Deployment in question and if “Login-Based License Management” is shown, you’re LBLM-enabled!

Renewal LBLM

If you are not enabled, reach out to your Account Executive today to get on the path to LBLM.

Tableau Server Customers can see if they have LBLM enabled keys by checking their Customer Portal:

  1. Log in to the Customer Portal where you have administrator access.
  2. Navigate to Licenses.
  3. Locate and select your “Creator - Server“ key(s).
  4. On the License Detail page, scroll down to the Login-based License Management field; if the field is checked, that key is LBLM-enabled.

Tableau Server Customers can also check for LBLM enabled keys on their Server:

  1. Sign-in to Tableau Server as an Administrator (Instructions here).
  2. Select Configuration.
  3. Select Licensing.
  4. On the Licensing page, if the “LBLM” field is checked, that key is LBLM-enabled.

Licensing TOL Server

For Tableau Server customers, Server must be able to communicate with Tableau’s licensing server via the internet (refer to the list of minimum required licensing connections that must be allowed). Provided Server has the required internet access, there is no need for Desktop and/or Prep Builder installations to communicate outside your network- they just need to be able to connect to your Tableau Server Deployment.

For Tableau Cloud customers, LBLM is not an option for users whose Desktop & Prep Builder installations lack internet access. Please work with your Account Executive to understand your options.

LBLM is only compatible with versions 2020.1+. If you require use of an older version of Desktop or Prep software, please work with your Account Executive to understand your options.

Yes! The same identity used to log in to the Tableau Server Deployment or Tableau Cloud site is used to activate Desktop and/or Prep Builder for Creator users; there is no need for users to create a separate Tableau customer account outside of your chosen identity service. See Tableau Cloud Authentication or Tableau Server Authentication for more detail on available options.

The following resources dive deeper into the setup and functionality of LBLM.