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Refresh from PBIX file fails - free account

I'm very new to PowerBI and currently have a free account, but I want to showcase what it can do with a view to getting Pro accounts for several users. 


I have created a dashboard in PowerBI Desktop, getting the data for it from a single Excel file. I can change the data held in that Excel file and Refresh in PBI Desktop without a problem. 


On, I chose "Get Data" and selected the PBIX file that I'd created. This worked fine. However, I can't refresh the data on (So I'm changing what's held in Excel file, refreshing it in PBI Desktop and saving over the PBIX, then trying to update the web version looking to the same PBIX - this is after trial and error of a few different approaches.) When I try, it says my Personal Gateway is offline. 


I tried to install Personal Gateway, but it won't work and I gather that this is because I do not have a Pro account. 


Is there simply no way to create a PowerBI report and update it with new data without a Pro account..? I'm thrown by the pricing list that seems to indicate that refresh on a daily basis is free... But I could be reading that wrongly.


Without refresh ability, I could still update the PBIX file but upload it as if it was a brand new thing altogether and then delete the old one (so my 1GB allocation isn't used up too much), and then share that with everyone again (but all this seems to defeat the objectives a bit..)

Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

@L33 Can you tell us more about your excel file? currently schedule refresh from a excel is only supported if your using Power Query to connect to another data source.  If your excel file is not connected to any other data source than in order to refresh this file it will have to be stored in one drive. Once stored in one drive it will automatically refresh every 15 mins. Note: Please make sure that the data in your excel file if local is stored in a excel table. 


Refresh Excel Link

Business Intelligence Architect / Consultant

Thanks for replies both.


@Seth_C_Bauer When I try to install the Power BI Personal Gateway, I'm presented with a message that states "The Power BI Personal Gateway Installer failed to download." which is odd, because I've already downloaded it and running the executable file. I've even tried downloading it a few times. This error message doesn't appear on the Help page that I'm offered to look at.


@PowerBIGuy My Excel workbook contains three "standard" worksheets, but obviously I could switch those to tables. When you say that I need to use Power Query to connect to another data source, you presumably mean from within Excel rather than the "Get Data" in PowerBI (right?).  Originally, the data came from SQL Server - I've just done some transformations in Excel and completely broke the links to SQL Server. (I could use PowerBI "Get Data" to go straight to SQL Server in future and do my transformations there, but I bet that's the bit that I'd need "Pro" account for.)


Re One Drive - I'm not sure if my organisation has a "One Drive" in place (we probably do, seeing as we've got access to PowerBI, but I wouldn't know how to access it and save a file to it). But does any of this matter if I can't get the Gateway that Eno1978 mentions working anyway..?


Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

@L33 Since your Excel file has no connections than scheduled refresh is not supported. You'll need to sign up for a one drive account and store your files there. Just make sure to convert your data to excel tables. There is no need for the personal gateway under this scenario. 




Business Intelligence Architect / Consultant

@L33 Have you checked out the troubleshooting page?


Personal Gateway fails to install - Personal Gateway can install can fail if the user is in the computer’s local Administrator group, but group policy does not allow that username to log on as a service.  At the moment, ensure the group policy allows a user to log on as a service. We’re working on a fix for this issue. 

Looking for more Power BI tips, tricks & tools? Check out the site I co-own with Mike Carlo. Also, if you are near SE WI? Join our PUG Milwaukee Brew City PUG

@L33 You should not need a Pro license to download and use the Gatway. You "do" need a gateway to do any refreshing. Here is a link to the support site, explore this a bit, and if you are still having issues downloading the gateway respond back and I'm sure you can be assisted by someone.

Looking for more Power BI tips, tricks & tools? Check out the site I co-own with Mike Carlo. Also, if you are near SE WI? Join our PUG Milwaukee Brew City PUG

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