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Underlying error message: We cannot convert the value "[Binary]" to type Binary


Hi, everyone,


I have a two data sources one by a gateway and a several Excel files (with the same structure) from SharePoint. All the excel files are coming in i Power BI as one tabel. The repport wich was made in power bi desktop runs well and i can refresh the datasource without an error.


The repport is published on power bi service and I receive the following refresh error:

Can someone suggest a solution? Someone how had the same problem?


PowerBI error.jpg


@AnonymousI created the the table in Excel (Power Query) and saved it in SharePoint.

View solution in original post

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Thank you! You are amazing! I had the same issue in Power BI online only; it worked in Power BI desktop. I even tried to use the exact same queries in a dataflow online and received the same errors. So simple! Microsoft should really consider making this error more apparent in the error text.


I'm adding the different errors I received to this post so this post will hopefully come to the top when those errors are searched in Bing/Google.

  • Expression.Error: We cannot convert the value "[Binary]" to type Binary
  • Expression.Error: We cannot convert the value "[Record]" to type List
Not applicable

For anyone who is still having this issue, I found the reason for the error to be the "Privacy level" setting in Power BI service. You need to make sure that all your connections where you are appending or merging data have the same privacy level. 


This also explain why it would work in Power BI Desktop and not in Power BI Service as they can have different settings.


Every time I have this error, I check the privacy level of all the credentails and I find that in one of the setting have either changed or not set to begin with


Hope this helps others

This wooked for me

I will second it, that this above is the fix and should be marked as the answer.

This is the real solution and should be marked as such.

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Thanks for this tip. It really works, that was my problem !

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this also had happen to us when we upgraded to premium and there were SP excel Files both from old sp and sp online. your solution worked, thanks!

(just updated the data source settings/reloggined) 

Thanks, you really saved my day and lots of hours debugging 🙂

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Thanks - fail to comprehend why PBI changes authentication specially in the service. Most confusing as we have 20+ Sharepoint files and folders all using the same authentication and the failure occured with different files/folders.

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I believe this is because the credentails expire after certain time (my guess is 3 months). In your case, the credentials to the connection of your files might have been created at different point, suggesting the failure in connection of these at different times. Not sure how true this is though, it's just a guess

Thank you. I solved my issue by applying this method!

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We have the same problem with refresh error on Power BI service, but working well on desktop:

Error message : "We cannot convert the value "[Binary]" to type Binary"

Bests regards,

Frequent Visitor

I have the exact same problem too!

I load excel files from 2 different SharePoint folders. I then do reference this to a new query, which is not a solution to me apparently... I combined the binaries using the Excel.Workbook() formula to get the Excel files' contents. It works great in PBI Desktop but not by schedule refresh in the service. Annoying!!

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I have the same problem, there issue is not actually resolved. 😞



Update: i came across this issue, that is almost the same as mine. ---


and there, Mat provided a link to this blog with a solution that actually worked!

Ken Puls article --


i hope this will help you too.

More than a year later struggling with the same problem and riri-s suggested link helped with workaround, thanks!

Frequent Visitor



I have exactly the same issue.

I didn't find the way to get through this issue.


I have 2 type of Data source : Excel File on 365 and Sharepoint Folder.

I have 2 Sources "Sharepoint Folder" to have 2 different tables and I Combine these 2 tables at the end.

My solution was to create a Power Query report combining the files, upload to Power BI Service, schedule the refresh, and use it as the data source for Power BI report.

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Hi @sukajalan2 


I am digging up this subject because I have the same issue and your solution interests me a lot but I don't know how to load an excel power query report on my power bi service

could you help & explain ? 


thx !

@Anonymous  I save the .xlsx file in SharePoint and use it as the data source for Power BI report. I hope this helps.

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Yes, thanks for your quick answer !


but did you schedule the query refresh of the excel file or is it still a manual action ? 


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