Automatic, regular data refreshing for Power BI reports


One of my favorite features of Power BI is the ability to have published reports automatically refresh data on a schedule. This is great for “setting and forgetting” your reports, knowing wherever you publish them they will be showing the most recent data for your clients. I feel like it used to be depending on your license, you could be limited to how frequently you can refresh (max of once per day), but you can refresh nonetheless. And this may have changed, as I couldn’t find (in my brief search) any confirming statement.

Let’s set up that scheduled refresh!

  1. Open your workspace in the Power BI Web App
  2. Click the dropdown arrow next to “My Workspace” to see your dashboards, reports, workbooks and datasets
  3. Find the dataset being used in your report, and click the ellipses next to it
  4. Click schedule refresh
  5. You may have a warning regarding credentials to address (most likely just need to “edit credentials” then select “Windows” or “OAuth2” for your authentication method). If you’re properly signed in to allow Power BI appropriate access to the data source (no warning, as seen below), proceed to the next step.
  6. Click “Scheduled refresh” to have the options dropdown. Toggle the switch to “On”, select a frequency (such as daily or weekly), and your time zone if not already correct.
  7. You can also add specific times, depending on your license, to have it refresh multiple times a day if you select “Add another time”
  8. Once you have your settings as you wish, click “Apply”

Note: your dataset must have activity at least once every two months to prevent scheduled refresh from turning off. The dataset’s owner will be emailed notification if this happens.

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