Refreshing Power BI – What can be refreshed?

Refreshing Power BI: In Power BI, you’ll typically use Get Data to import data from a file on a local drive, OneDrive or SharePoint Online, publish a report from Power BI Desktop, or connect directly to a database in the cloud in your own organization. Just about any data in Power BI can be refreshed, but whether or not you need to depends on how your dataset was created from and the data sources it connects to. Let’s look at how each of these refresh data.

Before we go further, here are some important definitions to understand:

Automatic refresh  – This means no user configuration is necessary in order for the dataset to be refreshed on a regular basis. Data refresh settings are configured for you by Power BI. For online service providers, refresh usually occurs once-a-day. For files loaded from OneDrive, automatic refresh occurs about every hour for data that does not come from an external data source. While you can configure different schedule refresh settings and manually refresh, you probably don’t need to.

User configured manual or scheduled refresh – This means you can manually refresh a dataset by using Refresh Now or setup a refresh schedule by using Schedule Refresh in a dataset’s settings. This type of refresh is required for Power BI Desktop files and Excel workbooks that connect to external online and on-premises data sources.

Note: When you configure a time for scheduled refresh, there can be a delay of up to one hour before it begins.

Live/DirectQuery – This means there is a live connection between Power BI and the data source. For on-premises data sources, Admins will need to have a data source configured within an enterprise gateway, but user interaction may not be needed.

For more details on Power BI and Data refresh in Power BI see the complete article at:

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