Get Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop lets you build advanced queries, models, and reports that visualize data. With Power BI Desktop, you can build data models, create reports, and share your work by publishing to the Power BI service. Power BI Desktop is a free download.

You can get Power BI Desktop in two ways, each of which is described in the following sections:

  • Download directly (an MSI package you download and install on your computer)
  • Install as an app from the Windows Store

Either approach will get the latest version of Power BI Desktop onto your computer, but there are a few differences worth noting, which are described in the following sections.

Download Power BI Desktop

To download the most recent version of Power BI Desktop, you can select the download icon from the upper right corner of the Power BI service, and select Power BI Desktop.

You can also download the latest version of Power BI Desktop from the following download page:

Regardless of which way you choose to download, once Power BI Desktop is downloaded you're prompted to run the installation file:

Power BI Desktop is installed as an application, and runs on your desktop.

Note

Installing the downloaded (MSI) version, and the Windows Store version of Power BI Desktop on the same computer (sometimes referred to as a side-by-side installation) is not supported.

Install as an app from the Windows Store

You can also get Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store, using the following link:

There are a few advantages to getting Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store:

  • Automatic updates - Windows downloads the latest version automatically in the background as soon as it's available, so your version will always be up to date.
  • Smaller downloads - The Windows Store ensures only components that have changed in each update are downloaded to your machine, resulting in smaller downloads for each update.
  • Admin priviledge is not required - when you download the MSI directly and install, you must be an administrator for the installation to complete successfully. When you get Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store, admin priviledge is not required.
  • IT roll-out enabled - the Windows Store version can more easily be deployed, or rolled-out, to everyone in your organization, and can make Power BI Desktop available through the Microsoft Store for Business.
  • Language detection - the Windows Store version includes all supported languages, and checks which languages is being used on the computer each time it is launched. This also affects the localization of models created in Power BI Desktop; for example, built-in date hierarchies will match the language that Power BI Desktop was using when the .pbix file was created.

There are a few consideration and limitations for installing Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store, which include the following:

  • If you use the SAP connector, you may need to move your SAP driver files to the Windows\System32 folder.

Note

Installing the downloaded (MSI) version, and the Windows Store version of Power BI Desktop on the same computer (sometimes referred to as a side-by-side installation) is not supported.

Note

The Power BI Report Server version of Power BI Desktop is a separate and different installation from the versions discussed in this article. For information about the Report Server version of Power BI Desktop, see the Quickstart: Create a Power BI report for Power BI Report Server article.

Using Power BI Desktop

When you launch Power BI Desktop, a Welcome screen is displayed.

If this is your first time using Power BI Desktop (if the installation is not an upgrade), you'll be prompted to fill out a form and answer a few questions, or sign in to the Power BI service before you'll be able to proceed.

From there, you can begin creating data models or reports, then share them with others on the Power BI service. Check out the More information links at the end of this article for links to guides that can help you get started using Power BI Desktop.

Minimum requirements

The following list provides the minimum requirements to run Power BI Desktop:

  • Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2, or later
  • .NET 4.5
  • Internet Explorer 9 or later
  • Memory (RAM): At least 1 GB available, 1.5 GB or more recommended.
  • Display: At least 1440x900 or 1600x900 (16:9) recommended. Lower resolutions such as 1024x768 or 1280x800 are not recommended, as certain controls (such as closing the startup screen) display beyond those resolutions.
  • Windows Display settings: If your display settings are set to change the size of text, apps, and other items to more than 100%, you may not be able to see certain dialogs that must be closed or responded to in order to proceed using Power BI Desktop. If you encounter this issue, check your Display settings by going to Settings > System > Display in Windows, and use the slider to return display settings to 100%.
  • CPU: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster x86- or x64-bit processor recommended.

Next steps

Once you get Power BI Desktop installed, the following content can help you get up and running quickly: