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Power BI Blog: New Way to Upload Power BI and Excel Files

9 February 2023

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the Power BI blog series.  This week, we look at a new way to upload Power BI and Excel files.


Microsoft has now introduced a new, streamlined experience for uploading files to the Power BI Service.  In the workspace you want to add files to, you’ll see an Upload option next to the New button.  You’ll be able to use this dropdown to connect to files stored in OneDrive for Business or any SharePoint site you have access to or upload them from your computer through the Browse option.

If you choose to upload a local file, a copy of that file is added to the workspace.  If you use the OneDrive or SharePoint option, Power BI creates a connection to the file, and as you make changes to the file in SharePoint, Power BI can automatically synchronise those changes approximately every hour.

One of the benefits of this new way to upload files, in addition to being centrally located, is that the OneDrive and SharePoint options use the same file picker you’re used to seeing in other Microsoft products.

Instead of having to paste a direct URL to a given SharePoint site, you can now just select one of your sites through the ‘Quick access’ section or the ‘More places’ link.  When uploading an Excel file through this experience, your workbook appears in Power BI just like it would in Excel Online:

For now, if you want to actually import the data from the Excel file into a Power BI dataset, you can continue to use the older ‘Get Data’ flow.  Very shortly (if not already completed by the time this is published), Microsoft will also introduce a new way to create datasets from CSV and Excel files.

The OneDrive for Business and SharePoint options will be greyed out if you don’t have a subscription for these products.  Of course, you’ll still be able to browse for local files on your computer.

It should also be noted that presently Power BI does not have an option to upload files from personal OneDrive accounts.  For now, you may continue using the older ‘Get Data’ flow to access files in your personal account.  However, very shortly, Microsoft does plan on removing the older ‘Get Data’ experience along with the option to upload files from personal OneDrive accounts.  At this point, you’ll still be able to upload local files if you do not have access to a business OneDrive account.

In the meantime, please remember we offer training in Power BI which you can find out more about here.  If you wish to catch up on past articles, you can find all of our past Power BI blogs here.