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It is asking now for power bi pro [shared dashboard to a free user]

I do have a dashboard in a workspace

It consumes a report that it is refreshed once a day

The data is imported and consumed from an azure database [No on premises, no direct query]

I've shared the dashboard with a Power BI Free user long time agon.


From today, it is asking for pro licence 

And if I want to share the dashboard, it says that contains pro licence content.


Any idea why???





Advocate I
Advocate I

We're having the same problem here. We know have to evaluate non-Microsoft solutions as a result.


- Service only

- Data synced from Excel via Sharepoint

- Our team's reports use Pro (for Groups)

- Our users are all regular

- MS had me install a Personal Gateway (as opposed to the On-Premise Gateway) to refresh the data (and to avoid the Pro constraint). 


Smash cut to a year later, and they now say our Personal Gateway config in a Power BI Pro feature. Now all my users are without.

Has anyone posted a resolution to this issue.  I'm hitting it on a new report when I added role based security.  It would be helpful to know why a pro license is required for just sharing the visualization to internal users.





Super User
Super User

Hmm, it doesn't sound like you are using Pro features as listed here:


Unless you are using a Group Workspace versus "My Workspace" then you need Pro for that.



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thanks to all

The dashboard was in a group workspace


I've found out that this week changes [ Microsoft says "fixes" ] have been made.


But to be clear

The dashboard was in a group workspace, but the free user was not member nor admin of the group space, in other words the dashboard was shared to a free user [out of that workspace]. The members of the workspace were pro.

So the user out of the workspace can access dashboard and report; but members of the workspace can access dashboard, report and datasets.


We've been piloting few users during last months in this way, and since yesterday they have this issue.


There is not consitency, because using a mobile app [iPhone] or even the windows app [on Surface Pro] it does not prompt the pro license issue. Only from portal browser in power bi [0365] since yesterday.


in the post [above link] they mentioned "fixes" but it seems more a shortcut to include as pro this option.

I have same issue. We've been trying PowerBI some months until we decided using it as main tool for data analytics. We are several developers that need to update dashboards, so we created the workgroup. We understand developers need a PRO account so we have it. We share these dashboards to individual people, not part of the workgroup, and they see these dashboards in their "My workspace" individually. They were free users. Now since this month they are requested to also have PRO accounts. This is a big change in the licensing model. I understand users using workgroup features must have PRO accounts. But there users receiving individually the dashboards, in their individual accounts, in ther own workstpaces, they do not see anything related to workgroups.. I do not understand why now they need PRO accounts. 

We were very happy with Power BI. Now with this change we will need to evaluate changing again the platform... It is not feasible for us to have all users with PRO accounts just to have read access only to our dashboards.

Hi Nuria_Carol,


I hope this helps you, we implemented a workaround, and it is working so far from Thursday.

-We created a "service account" [e.g. sa_powerbi_dashboards]

-That account has power bi pro and exchange only [to get emails from refresh warnings, etc]

-We publish the content [reports] to the group workspace [as normal for pro users], but we also publish, with power bi desktop logged as that service account [instead of the a personal account], to the service account workspace [aka "My workspace" of that account].

-From that personal account, we share the dashboards to free users


Yes, it is a double effort; as dashboard work done in relation to the group workspace, needs to be done on the service account "my workspace"; as dashboards cannot be published across; and the refresh of the datasets are in the group workspace and the servcice account workspace.


Agree, this change a change [more than a fix] to the licensing.


I've raised this issue and concern to our Microsoft partner, and what is the strategy going forward [Power bi embedded? power apps?]


We are not happy at all with this change.

Thanks Ganduglia. I also thought about this. However, my company does not allow me to create a "service account" so easy.. I've asked it, but I'm waiting for a response. I do not think it will be easy. Anyway, I'm waiting from an answer from our company's contact with PowerBI, to understand the options we have. If we could update our dashboards in a "service account", we would not use workgroups at all. We only use a workgroup so several of us can update the dashboards. If there were any other way to do it, we would not use workgroups.

I do not like this solution either.. I think requiring PRO accounts for read-only users that do not take advantage of any workgroup feature is not a good licensing model... I was hoping someone in Microsoft would realize that it has no sense..

Anyway, we are also evaluating other platforms to create and share our dashboards in an easier way. 

Hey @Ganduglia,


I ran into a similiar problem when setting up the daily scheduled refresh on a dataset for free users. I know it says that daily scheduled refresh is not a Pro feature, but when I removed the scheduled refresh from my dataset, I stopped getting asked about PBI Pro features.

I would try removing the scheduled refresh and resharing the dashboard with a free user.


Hope this helps,



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