Reduce the size of an Excel workbook to view it in Power BI

You can upload any Excel workbook smaller than 1 GB to Power BI. An Excel workbook can have two parts: a Data Model, and the rest of the report—the core worksheet contents. If the report meets the following size limits, you can save it to OneDrive for Business, connect to it from Power BI, and view it in Excel Online:

  • The workbook as a whole can be up to 1 GB.
  • The core worksheet contents can be up to 30 MB.

What makes core worksheet contents larger than 30 MB

Here are some elements that can make the core worksheet contents larger than 30 MB:

Consider removing these elements, if possible.

If the report has a Data Model, you have some other options:

  • Remove data from Excel worksheets, and store it in the Data Model instead. See “Remove data from worksheets” below for details.
  • Create a memory-efficient Data Model to reduce the overall size of the report.

To make any of these changes, you need to edit the workbook in Excel.

Read more about file size limits for Excel workbooks in SharePoint Online.

Remove data from worksheets

If you import data into Excel from the Power Query tab or the Excel Data tab, the workbook might have the same data in an Excel table and in the Data Model. Large tables in Excel worksheets may make the core worksheet contents more than 30 MB. Removing the table in Excel and keeping the data in the Data Model can greatly reduce the core worksheet contents of the report.

When you import data into Excel, follow these tips:

  • In Power Query: Clear the Load to worksheet box.

    The data is imported only into the Data Model, with no data in Excel worksheets.

  • From the Excel Data tab, if you previously checked Table in the import wizard: Go to Existing Connections > click the connection > Only create connection. Delete the original table or tables created during the initial import.

  • From the Excel Data tab: don’t check Table in the Import Data box.

Workbook Size Optimizer

If your workbook contains a data model, you can run the workbook size optimizer to reduce the size of your workbook. Download Workbook Size Optimizer.

Create a memory-efficient Data Model

Use OneDrive for Business links in Power BI Desktop