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Resolver I
Resolver I

Clarity over Requirements for Refreshing Local Files

Hi all, 


Looking for some answers on connecting to local or network files from Power BI Service.  Two part question really:

  1. Is there a difference in setting up local files (ie. to desktop or basic folder on my device) vs. setting up to a network location?  I noticed I can access my company's network files via a weblink in File Explorer so was wondering if there is a way to set up the refresh so that the device does not have to be 'on'.
  2. If the answer to the above is that the local file connection and network file connection are the same, what are the specific conditions required for refresh to succeed?  For example:
    1. The computer has to be on?
    2. The computer has to be on but not in sleep?
    3. The computer has to be on, not in sleep but the screen can be locked?
    4. The computer has to be on, not in sleep and the screen not locked?

I noticed that my refresh failed this morning despite my computer being on, but it was probably in sleep mode.


Thanks in advance!



Hi @KCinMelbourne,


There existing something different when configuring scheduled refresh for network files, please see this thread.


From this document, we can know that 

  • If data gateway is installed on a laptop, and your laptop is turned off, not connected to the internet, or asleep the gateway won’t work.

Best regards,

Yuliana Gu

Community Support Team _ Yuliana Gu
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
Not applicable

Generally when the term "local" is used, its often to mean that the file is on the device that created the report.  If you are simply using the report within Power BI Desktop, this is probably ok.


When you want to publish this out to the Power BI Service, you never want this on your local device as it makes it quite hard to get to the file.  If the device is off, no one is getting to your file.  If the device is asleep, its likely the file will be inaccessable also because the computer isn't in a respondable state.


A network folder is a good option because it will be on a server, which should be on 24/7 and is designed for this exact purpose.

Thanks @Anonymous, that makes perfect sense.  


Your advice on network files and the 24/7 is what I was expecting.  The part I'm confused about with the gateways though is if it is on a network with a web address much like sharepoint, do you still need a gateway?  If so, wouldn't that still present the same issue - the gateway will still be connected to a device (ie. my computer) which if switched off will cause it to fail eventhough the network drive is available.


Or is the gateway something I'd need to get my IT department to set up on their end?


Thanks in advance,

Not applicable

When you publish your report, its going to live in Office 365.  This will be outside your network.  For that reason it will have no access to the network drive.  This is the job of the gateway, to provide that secure access without creating a security hole.

Thanks @Anonymous,, but I was more trying to understand how I can set this up appropriately to skip the requirement of needing my computer on. 

I'm working with my IT department tomorrow to test putting a gateway on a server which is active 24/7 so hopefully that will do the trick. 

Not applicable

Whereever the source data lives will need to be on a machine that is online at the time of the refresh.  Computers that are off are unable to provide data access.


Simpliest solution is to make sure the data lives on a server rather than a workstation.

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