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So now we know where the logs are stored, and broadly the information they contain, lets take a look at using them.

Usage and Retention

Due to the logs' naming only being tied to the date and time in which the were created, retaining logs beyond your work serves very little purpose, especially as multiple workbooks will share and write to the same log leading to cross-referencing. As a result, when it comes to the time that you need to use the logs such as, for error tracing, or optimisation, you can just go ahead and clear-out the logs directory.


  1. Open the workbook that you are testing, and create a new sheet before saving and closing: This is so when you next open the workbook, Tableau will not begin performing actions and this logging until you are ready
  2. Close all open workbooks, to ensure nothing is being logged
  3. Head on over to the logs directory, and delete all the log files, and the crashdumps folder.


    We now have a clean setup, where the logs that shall appear in the folder, will be created by the workbook we are investigating

  4. Now open the workbook to be investigated, Tableau will create as a minimum a: Log.txt, Hyperd.txt and a tabprotosrv_yyyy_mm_dd_hh_mm_ss.txt
    1. Remember, if connecting to a database, when you begin working, Tableau will create a second tabprotosrv file; this is where your queries shall be written to, identified with a later time-stamp encoded to the file name
  5. Open all three files in your text editor
  6. Now move onto the viz or dashboard that is causing the investigation. If connecting to a database, this is when the second tabprotosrv log will be created, go ahead and open this file as well in your text/source code editor, refreshing the other three open logs as you go.
  7. Work through your workbook until you have completed, you can keep refreshing and investigating the logs as you go, or wait until you have completed your work actions, though once complete, move the logs out of the Logs directory to preserve for further analysis.

Video Walkthrough (15:43)

Ok, so this video was actually created to analyse the performance differences between using Custom SQL vs Tableau's relational model, however in order to carry-out this analysis, all of the above steps needed to be undertaken.
Though you will likely benefit from watching the complete video as many of the techniques I demonstrate here are those that you would need to follow to optimise your workbooks and data sources.