Frequently asked questions about Power BI

What is Microsoft Power BI?

Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that enables anyone to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding. It connects users to a broad range of data through easy-to-use dashboards, interactive reports, and compelling visualizations that bring data to life. Read more about What is Power BI.

What’s the difference between Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium?

Power BI Pro is an individual license that allows access to all content and capabilities in the Power BI service, including the ability to share content and collaborate with other Pro users. Only Pro users can publish to and consume content from app workspaces, share dashboards, and subscribe to dashboards and reports.

Premium provides dedicated capacity to deliver more consistent performance and support larger data volumes in Power BI. For individual users, Premium also enables widespread distribution of content by Pro users without requiring per-user licenses for recipients viewing the content.

How much does Power BI cost?

Power BI Desktop is free. There is a 60-day free trial available for Power BI Pro. Read about pricing at Power BI pricing.

What if I have questions about Power BI Premium?

For questions related to Power BI Premium, see Power BI Premium FAQ.

How do I find out who in my organization has a Power BI account?

You can view the Azure Active Directory Integrated Applications report for Power BI to see the active users within your organization. The Azure AD report does not indicate what type of license each user has. It only reports which users have signed in to Power BI and when they logged in. For more information, see Find Power BI users that have signed in.

What is Power BI Desktop?

Power BI Desktop is a free desktop application you can install right on your own computer. Power BI Desktop works cohesively with the Power BI service by providing advanced data exploration, shaping, modeling, and report creation with highly interactive visualizations. You can save your work to a file, and publish your data and reports right to your Power BI site to share with others. Read more about What is Power BI Desktop.

What do I need to use Power BI?

Just a Web browser and work email address. You can sign up with a .gov and .mil email address. See Enroll your US Government organization in the Power BI service for more information

Why do I have to sign up with my work email?

Power BI does not support email addresses provided by consumer email services or telecommunications providers. Learn more about the Power BI self-service sign-up process.

Is government, academic and nonprofit pricing available for Power BI?

Yes, nonprofit pricing is available when purchasing directly from Microsoft. You can learn more and sign up through the Microsoft Nonprofits site. Government and academic pricing is offered through the MOSP/Direct, EA, and Open licensing programs. Government pricing is also available in syndication.

Is Power BI available on-premises?

The Power BI service https://powerbi.com isn't available as a private, internal cloud service. However, you have three other options for viewing and working with data on premises.

On-premises data gateway

With Power BI and Power BI Desktop, you can securely connect to your own on-premises data sources. With the On-premises data gateway, you can connect live to your on-premises SQL Server Analysis Services server, and other data sources. You can also set scheduled refresh with a centralized gateway. If a gateway is not available, you can refresh data from on-premises data sources using the Power BI Gateway - Personal.

Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server is a solution that you deploy on your own premises for creating, publishing, and managing reports, then delivering them to different users in different ways: in a web browser, on their mobile device, or as an email in their in-box. Read more about Power BI Report Server.

Power BI mobile apps

You can also view on-premises Power BI reports, Reporting Services mobile reports, and KPIs with the Power BI mobile apps.

Does Power BI support mobile devices?

Yes. Power BI has native apps for Android phones and tablets, iOS devices, and Windows 10 devices. Download one of the Power BI mobile apps from its respective store:

What data sources can I connect to?

The list of data sources for Power BI is extensive, but it can be grouped into the following:

Read more about getting data in Power BI.

What are content packs?

Content packs for services are pre-built solutions for popular services as part of the Power BI experience. A subscriber to a supported service can quickly connect to their account from Power BI and see their data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built for them. We’ve released content packs for popular services such as Salesforce.com, Marketo, and Adobe Analytics. Read more about connecting to services with content packs.

Organizational content packs provide users, BI professionals, and system integrators the tools to build their own content packs to share purpose-built dashboards, reports, and datasets within their organization.

What do I need to install in order to use Power BI?

To use the Power BI service for free, you just need a Web browser and email.

To explore data and create reports in Power BI Desktop, download Power BI Desktop for free.

You can download the Power BI mobile apps from their respective stores, also for free:

Am I limited to one copy of Power BI Desktop for my entire company?

Power BI Desktop’s Software License Terms say "You may install and use one copy of the software on your premises." This does not limit you to one copy of Power BI Desktop for the entire company. Each individual user at the company may install and use one copy on their premises.

Where do I get started with Power BI?

The following resources are available to help get your started:

What browsers does Power BI support?

Here's a complete list of supported browsers for Power BI.

What regions and languages does Power BI support?

Here's a complete list of regions and languages supported by Power BI.

How can I buy Power BI Pro in my country?

You can purchase Power BI Pro licenses directly or chat with a representative at www.powerbi.com.

You can also find a Microsoft Partner to help you with your Power BI implementation.

What happens if my Power BI Pro license expires?

There is a 30-day grace period after a Power BI Pro license expires.

Power BI Pro has the same subscription lifecycle as Office 365. For more information, see What happens to my data and access when my Office 365 for business subscription ends?

Does Power BI meet national, regional, and industry-specific compliance requirements?

Learn more about Power BI compliance, at the Microsoft Trust Center.

Where can I learn more about security?

Learn more about Power BI security, privacy and compliance in this Power BI Security whitepaper and our Power BI security support article.

What has happened to the Power BI for Office 365 experience?

The Power BI for Office 365 experience has been deprecated.

How do I undo in Power BI?

Like many other Microsoft services and software, Power BI provides an easy way to undo your last command.

  • To undo your last action, or last few actions, press CTRL+Z.

Next steps