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PowerBI Desktop Connection to Excel - Refresh Not Working

I made a PowerBI report that connects to an Excel file on my local computer where I am making the report, but when I select 'Refresh' nothing happens. I get no errors and despite my data in Excel being updated, it won't flow through to my PowerBI report meaning no visuals change. 


For more context, I am connecting to a single tab in Excel that is created using PowerQuery. When I made the report I selected 'Get Data' on the 'Home' tab in PowerBI in order to connect to Excel. Also, I am using the free version of PowerBI. 


I did some digging and saw some mentions of a gateway so I installed that, but given the file is on my local computer it did nothing. 


Any support would be greatly appreciated as I hoped this would be a simple task. 


@poweruser4  Then not all the data is being captured, it's being filtered out, or the source location isn't correct. Those are the only logical explanations. Can you share the .pbix with redacted information?

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Super User
Super User

@poweruser4  So after you update the data in Excel and refresh the Power BI desktop report, you can see the updates reflected in the data view of the Power BI desktop report? Are you using a separate date table within your data model? The only limitation I can think of here with the free version is the maximum number of GB, which is 1 or 2 GB. I don't imagine your report is that large, correct?

@bchager6  No, when I go to the table view I don't see the refreshed data included there. My report is not big at all. No more than 4,000 rows of data. 

@poweruser4  Then not all the data is being captured, it's being filtered out, or the source location isn't correct. Those are the only logical explanations. Can you share the .pbix with redacted information?

@bchager6 I made a redacted version but I do not see an option to upload a file. How do you suggest I share this with you?

@poweruser4  I sent you a PM where you can send it, or you can share a link here to the .pbix on OneDrive etc. Make sure to link to the redacted source data too.

Super User
Super User

@poweruser4  A gateway isn't needed when just using Power BI desktop and a local file. Do you have any filters applied to the query in the query editor that might be filtering out any changes? It'd be helpful if you could share an example of a field you updated in Excel, your sample data in Power BI, and some detail around any data transformation applied in the Query Editor.

@bchager6 The data itself is information on people including first name, last name, home city, grade, etc., each in a respective column. 


The way my data is structured in Excel is as follows:


1. I have a raw data tab for each year where I paste in the data I need

2. From this I created a Query for each year(raw data tab) to add the respective year to each (e.g., raw data for 2023 now has a column where each row of data has 2023)

3. Then I created a "Master Query" where I appended each yearly Query to get all the data in one tab and in sequential order


After that I do not make any changes to my data. I went into PowerBI, went to "Get Data" and then from "Excel" option selected the workbook and then the first option for the "Master Query" tab which had a blue bar across the top and looked like a table (I saw at the bottom there was another option to select what looked like it would be the entire tab for "Master Query" but I tried that once instead and it did not make a difference). Then I selected "Load" and started building charts to my report. 


Example charts include a "Card" showing the number of people which I then add a slicer to break it down by year. 


When I go back to my Excel to test the Refresh I added data in the "Raw Data" tab for the current year and refreshed my Queries and as expected the test data showed up perfectly fine in the "Master Query." However, when I go back to PowerBI and select "Refresh" I do not see the charts refresh at all, but I also get no errors. 


Is it possible that because I have the free version this is not a capability? Ideally, I'd like to not have to rebuild the report/charts everytime I want to see the new data. 

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