Signing up for Power BI as an individual

Learn how to sign up for Power BI and begin using it for your personal report and visualization needs.

Power BI can be your personal report and visualization tool, and can also serve as the analytics and decision engine behind group projects, divisions, or entire corporations.

This article will walk you through your options on how to sign up and begin using the Power BI service. For information on the differences between Power BI Free and Pro, see Power BI Free vs Pro.

You have a few options

As an individual you have several options to sign up and begin using Power BI. You can choose to sign up for free or you can purchase a Power BI Pro subscription. If you sign up for a free account, once you are in the service, you can opt into a free 60 day trial of Power BI Pro.

If you are part of an existing organization, that uses Office 365, you can still sign up for a free account. Your IT Admin also has some options to purchase Power BI Pro and assign licenses. For more information about what options are available as an IT Admin, see Purchasing Power BI Pro.

Note

If you are in an organization, individual sign up may be disabled. See Individual Sign up has been turned off for more information if you get an error indicating it has been turned off.

What you need to sign up

In order to sign up for Power BI, you need aa work email address. A personal email address won't work with the Power BI service.

What email address can be used with Power BI?

Power BI requires that you use a work, or school, email address to sign up. Power BI does not support email addresses provided by consumer email services or telecommunication providers. This includes outlook.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com and others.

If you try to sign up with a personal email address, you will get a message indicating to use a work or school email address.

Note

Power BI does not support self-service sign-up for .gov or .mil addresses at this time. Please contact your Office 365 admin.

Which one do you need?

You can determine which one you need by reviewing what comes with each license type. Free users have most of the functionality of the services with the exception of sharing and collaboration features. Power BI Pro users can make use of all features in the service, but is not free. If you don't have a need to share any content, Free may be the route for you. You can learn more on the Power BI Pricing page.

The remainder of this article will look at how to sign up for each option.

Signing up for Power BI (free) as an individual

The quickest way to sign up for Power BI is to sign up for a Power BI (free) account. There is no cost to this account, and it allows you to use many of the features available in the service.

Note

If you receive a message that we already know you, try navigating to https://app.powerbi.com and signing in.

To sign up for Power BI, you can do the following.

  1. Browse to powerbi.com.
  2. Select Start Free or Sign up free.

  3. On the get started page, select Try Free > under Power BI.

  4. Enter the email address you are signing up with, and then select Sign up. Be sure your email address is allowed for sign up. For more information about what email address you can use, see What email address can be used with Power BI.

  5. You will get a message indicating to check your email.

  6. Select the link within the email to verify your email address. This will bring you back into the sign up flow. You may need to supply some additional information about yourself.
  7. You will then be taken to https://app.powerbi.com and you can begin using Power BI as a free user.

What this looks like within the service

When you are in the service, you can verify that you have a free account by going to the gear icon and selecting Manage personal storage.

What if you're already part of an existing organization?

If your account is part of an existing organization, you will get a message asking you to sign in with that account. Select Continue and sign in with your Office 365 login.

You will then see a message asking you to select Start.

In-service Power BI Pro 60-day trial

After you have signed up for your free account, you can optionally choose to try Pro free for 60 days. You will have access to all of the Pro features for the duration of the trial. Power BI Pro has all the features of the free version of Power BI, and additional sharing and collaboration features. For more information, see Power BI Pricing. To try a 60-day free trial of Power BI Pro, sign into Power BI, and try one of these Power BI Pro features:

When you try any of these features, you will be prompted to start your free trial. You can also choose to make use of it by going to the gear icon and selecting Manage personal storage. Then select Try Pro for free on the right.

Then you can select Start trial.

Note

Users taking advantage of this in-product Power BI Pro trial do not appear in the Office 365 admin portal as Power BI Pro Trial users (they appear as Power BI free users). They will, however, show up as Power BI Pro Trial users in the manage storage page in Power BI.

Note

If you are an IT Administrator wishing to acquire and deploy Power BI trial licenses to multiple users in your organization without having individual users accept trial terms individually, you can sign up for a Power BI Pro subscription trial. You will need to be an Office 365 Global or Billing Admin or create a new tenant to sign up for an admin trial. For more information, see Purchasing Power BI Pro.

Note

With the availability of Power BI Premium, and the changes to the Power BI Free offering on June 1, 2017, you may be eligible for an Extended Pro Trial. For more information, see Extended Pro Trial activation.

What this looks like within the service

When you are in the service, you can verify that you have a Pro trial account by going to the gear* icon and selecting **Manage personal storage.

What if you want the full Power BI Pro?

There is not a way to get the Power BI Pro license as an individual. You will need to speak to your IT Admin to purchase and assign the license to your account. For more information, see Purchasing Power BI Pro.

Troubleshooting

In many cases, registering for Power BI can be achieved by following the simple self-service signup process listed above. However, there are several reasons why you may not be able to complete self-service signup. The table below summarizes some of the most common reasons you may not be able to complete signup and ways you can workaround these issues.

Symptom / Error Message Cause and Workaround
Personal email addresses (e.g. nancy@gmail.com) You receive a message like the following during signup:

You entered a personal email address: Please enter your work email address so we can securely store your company's data.

or

That looks like a personal email address. Enter your work address so we can connect you with others in your company. And don’t worry. We won’t share your address with anyone.
Power BI does not support email addresses provided by consumer email services or telecommunications providers.

To complete signup, try again using an email address assigned by your work or school.

If you still can't sign up and are willing to complete a more advanced setup process, you can register for a new Office 365 trial subscription and use that email address to sign up.
Self-service signup disabled You receive a message like the following during signup:

We can't finish signing you up. Your IT department has turned off signup for Microsoft Power BI. Contact them to complete signup.

or

That looks like a personal email address. Enter your work address so we can connect you with others in your company. And don’t worry. We won’t share your address with anyone.
Your organization’s IT administrator has disabled self-service signup for Power BI.

To complete signup, contact your IT administrator and ask them to follow the instructions on the page below to allow existing users to sign up for Power BI and to allow new users to join your existing tenant.

You may also experience this problem if you signed up for Office 365 through a partner. Learn more

Power BI in Your Organization
Email address is not an Office 365 ID You receive a message like the following during signup:

We can't find you at contoso.com. Do you use a different ID at work or school?

Try signing in with that, and if it doesn't work, contact your IT department.
Your organization uses IDs to sign in to Office 365 and other Microsoft services that are different than your email address. For example, your email address might be Nancy.Smith@contoso.com but your ID is nancys@contoso.com.

To complete signup, use the ID that your organization has assigned to for signing in to Office 365 or other Microsoft services. If you don't know what this is, contact your IT administrator.

If you still can't sign up and are able to complete a more advanced setup process, you can register for a new Office 365 trial subscription and use that email address to sign up.

Next steps

Power BI (free) in your organization
Purchasing Power BI Pro
Power BI Service agreement for individual users
Power BI Premium - what is it?
Power BI Premium whitepaper

More questions? Try asking the Power BI Community