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Power BI Publisher for Excel not working

Hi all,


I have been using PBI Publisher for Excel for a while to connect to a Power BI model in the cloud. Everything was fine until this morning when I updated to the new version 2.37.3272.33601, with this version all my connections to data have been closed and I can no longer update my reports.


Anyone experiencing the same issue? All my users are in an older version (2.37.3272.28541) and things are working fine for them.



Status: Needs Info



I cannot repro the same issue on my side as following screenshot. What is your Excel version? What is the result if you try to connect to data in a new excel file?


Power BI Publisher for Excel not working_1.jpg


Best Regards,

Impactful Individual
Status changed to: Needs Info
Advocate II

Hi - having the same issue on 2 separate system: 


  1. System 1 Windows 10 (1703), Excel 2016 16.0.8431.2046) 32 Bit (HP Elitebook) - Publisher was an upgrade from 28541 to 33601 - on a domain
  2. System 2 Windows 10 (1709), Excel 2016 16.0.8625.2121) 32 Bit (Surface Book 2) - Publisher was fresh install to v 33601 - NOT on a domain


ALL Systems still running Power BI Publisher version 28541 are working fine. 


Existing files: any attempt to use the file previously created results in error. 


New file Flow: Power BI Tab > Connect to Data > Pop up: Connect to data in Power BI (Workspace and Content Drop downs work properly) > Button: Connect > Pop-up Windows Azure Authentication (both old and new sign-in experience) > Error:


Power BI Publisher can't access dataset.png


  • Tried different log-ins etc. same flow each time.
  • Power BI working find in IE on devices.
  • Power BI Windows 10 App Works fine. 


Version details: 

Excel 2016 Version.pngPower BI Publisher 28541.pngPower BI Publisher 33601.png

Advocate II

Missed a point: when interacting with a file created previously, the following pop-up appears: 


Power BI Publisher System Error.png


Even though it does not work....

Regular Visitor



My Excel version is: 16.0.4549.1000 32-bit


I haven´t tried to connect to data in a new Excel file, I was in a hurry so simply unistalled the add-in and moved back to the older version. I will try again tomorrow and let you know what happened.


Thanks for your help.

Regular Visitor



I have installed the new add-in (2.37.3272.33601) today to run the tests.


Here are the results:

1.- If I create a new Excel spreadsheet and connect to the data source. Everything runs fine. Not an issue. It connects and let me play with data.


2.- If I open an existing Excel spreadsheet where the connection to the data source has already been created with the previous version of the add-in (2.37.3272.28541). Still the same error message: "Initialization of the data source failed. Check the database server or contact your database administrator..."




Maybe some sort of incompatibility between versions??? If I go back to the old version, both scenarios 1) and 2) work fine.





Regular Visitor

Have been facing the same issue with 100s of users across the organization. Can anyone help on this issue. None of the users who have upgraded to 2.37.3272.33601 are able to access any of the dataset.



Advocate IV

Same issues here (can't refresh, can't connect)... anyone knows where to find the older versions?

Advocate II

@Renaud - were you abel to track down a previous version? 


I tried again today (2018-01-31) and the version available for download from ( is still 33601 which does not work. 

Advocate IV

@ascendbi nope i haven't found any previous version installer