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How to Update Power BI Desktop: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Feb 15

Power BI Desktop is an essential tool for data analysts and professionals who need to create interactive reports and visualizations. Microsoft frequently releases updates for Power BI Desktop, which include new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. To take advantage of these improvements, it's important to keep your Power BI Desktop up to date. Here is a walk-through of how to update your Power BI Desktop, while ensuring you have access to the latest features and improvements.


update-power-bi-desktop

1. Check Your Current Version

Before updating, check the version of the Power BI Desktop that you're currently using. To do this, open Power BI Desktop and go to the 'Help' tab on the top menu. Click on 'About' to see your current version number and release date. Remember that Power BI is updated monthly.


2. Enable Automatic Updates

Power BI Desktop allows you to enable automatic updates, ensuring you always have the latest version. To enable this feature, follow these steps:


  • Open Power BI Desktop and navigate to the 'File' menu.

  • Click on 'Options and settings' and then select 'Options.'

  • In the 'Options' window, go to the 'Updates' section.

  • Check the box for 'Automatically check for updates,' and select the update frequency (e.g., daily, weekly, or monthly).

  • Click 'OK' to save your settings.


With automatic updates enabled, Power BI Desktop will notify you when a new version is available and guide you through the update process. While in the options menu, you can check out what preview features can be enabled. The preview features might be buggy so be prepared for that if you use them.


3. Manually Update Power BI Desktop

If you prefer to update Power BI Desktop manually or if you've missed an automatic update, you can follow these steps:


  • Visit the official Power BI website: Head to the Microsoft Power BI website (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/) and click on 'Download.'

  • Download the latest version: Click on 'Power BI Desktop' to download the latest version of the software. You'll be prompted to save the installation file to your computer.

  • Close Power BI Desktop: Before installing the update, make sure to close any running instances of Power BI Desktop.

  • Install the update: Run the downloaded installation file and follow the on-screen instructions to update your Power BI Desktop. The installer will automatically replace your existing version with the latest one.

  • Verify the update: After the installation is complete, open Power BI Desktop and check the version number under the 'Help' tab to ensure it has been updated successfully.


Example of a Power BI Dashboard
Example of a Power BI Dashboard


4. Consider Using Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store

An alternative way to keep Power BI Desktop up to date is by downloading it from the Microsoft Store. With this method, updates are automatically installed without any manual intervention. To switch to the Microsoft Store version, follow these steps:


  • Uninstall your current Power BI Desktop: Go to 'Control Panel' > 'Programs and Features,' locate Power BI Desktop, and uninstall it.

  • Install Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store: Visit the Microsoft Store and search for Power BI Desktop click on 'Get' to download and install Power BI Desktop.

  • Enjoy automatic updates: With the Microsoft Store version, Power BI Desktop updates will be installed automatically, ensuring you always have access to the latest features.


Ready to Update Power BI?

Keeping Power BI Desktop up to date is crucial for taking advantage of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. By enabling automatic updates or manually updating as needed, you can ensure your Power BI Desktop remains current and optimized for your data analysis needs.


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For help getting started with Power BI, check out JourneyTEAM University where we offer Power BI intro classes and workshops.