Scheduled Refresh FAQ
In this article
What is Scheduled Refresh?
With Scheduled Refresh in Power BI, you can configure a data refresh schedule for your Excel workbooks to automatically in retrieve updated data from an external data source. For more information about Scheduled Refresh, see Schedule data refresh for workbooks in Power BI for Office 365.
What type of files support Scheduled Refresh?
You can configure a data refresh schedule for an Excel 2013 workbook that has a Data Model uploaded to BI Sites. A workbook must have at least one data connection in the Data Model, and not exceed 250MB in size. In addition, a workbook must conform to the list of supported features in the web browser. For more information about the Data Model in Excel, see Create a Data Model in Excel.
What type of data sources does Scheduled Refresh support?
Scheduled Refresh currently supports connections to the following data types:
Cloud data sources
On-premises data connections – For more information, see Enable a connection to your on-premises data source.
SQL Server 2005 and above
Oracle 10g, 11g and 11gR2
Power Query connections to the following data sources:
SQL Server 2005 and above
Oracle 10g, 11g and 11gR2
We are at work to support additional data sources, so check back for updates.
Can I use Scheduled Refresh from SharePoint Online?
Scheduled Refresh can only be activated through your Power BI for Office 365 site. To have a Power BI site, you need a Power BI license.
I’m encountering a problem, and I need help!
Can’t find your answer in the FAQ? We’re here for you. Please post your question on our Power BI support forum. If you’re encountering an error, don’t forget to include your Correlation ID and failure time so that we can investigate the issue.
Settings and History
How do I turn on Scheduled Refresh?
Click the ellipsis (…) at the bottom right corner of a report tile, and then click Schedule Data Refresh.
In the settings tab, set the Refresh schedule to ON.
Configure data refresh settings for your workbook including which data connections to refresh, how often the data should be refreshed, and who should receive failure notifications. Save the settings, and you’re done. Scheduled Refresh will now run periodically according to your settings.
How can I refresh my workbook on demand?
Navigate to the Refresh schedule settings page. For an immediate data refresh, click refresh report now which is located at the bottom of the settings page.
If the settings have been changed, the button will appear as save and refresh report. Click on it to trigger an immediate data refresh.
How often can I refresh my workbook on-demand?
You can refresh your workbook as often as necessary. The only exception is that you cannot schedule another instance of refresh if one is already in progress. Attempting to do so will display an error message.
I want to refresh my workbook once, without setting a schedule.
To refresh your workbook once, click refresh report now and toggle the refresh schedule to OFF in the settings tab and save your settings. The schedule will be disabled.
How do I know if my refresh has finished or not?
You can view a complete refresh status / history in the history tab. The history tab displays your current refresh status of ‘Running’ or ‘Next Refresh’ as well as a list of all completed refresh instances with a status of Success or Failure. If you’ve entered your e-mail into the failure notification list, you’ll also receive an e-mail notification if your refresh failed.
I scheduled my refresh for a certain time, but it hasn’t started yet.
Your refresh may occasionally encounter delays, which generally fall into two categories:
Delays caused by retry attempts.
Delays caused by load.
Delays caused by retry attempts occur when the service cannot complete the refresh for some reason. In this case, the Refresh service attempts to perform the data refresh several times, returning a ‘Failure’ message only after all attempts fail. This can lead to a delayed response.
Delays caused by load occur when a large number of refreshes across the Power BI service are scheduled for the same timeslot. Our fair load distribution algorithms may lead to a delay.
If the refresh is delayed more than 6 hours, it will be canceled.
Why is my refresh schedule disabled?
A refresh schedule may be disabled for two reasons:
The refresh schedule has expired. Since each refresh schedule has an expiration date ends bysetting, if the expiration date has passed, the schedule will be disabled.
The user is not permitted to schedule refresh for this file any more. Cases in which a previously-scheduled refresh will be disabled:
A user had a Power BI license which expired or was canceled. Upon renewing the plan, scheduled refresh for all files will be disabled and will need to be manually turned on.
A user had Write permissions for a file which were then revoked. If the user had set a schedule for this file, it will be disabled.
Who can see e-mail notifications?
Only the e-mail addresses listed on the notification list will receive e-mail notifications. Any valid e-mail address may be added to the notification list. Read more about how to setup e-mail notifications Schedule data refresh for workbooks in Power BI for Office 365.
How can I stop receiving e-mail notifications?
If you are the workbook owner and have configured the refresh settings, your Office 365 e-mail address will be added to the notification list by default. You may remove this e-mail, or replace it by a different one.
If someone else added you to a notification list, you’ll need to ask them to remove it. You can do this using the Ask to be taken off the list link at the bottom of your e-mail notification. Click Ask to be taken off the list to open an e-mail template requesting to be removed from the notification list.
Change Scheduled Refresh settings set by another user
I need to change Scheduled Refresh settings set by another user, but I’m getting a warning message. What does this mean?
Overwriting Scheduled Refresh settings set by another user means that you will also be overwriting the set of credentials Power BI uses to refresh the workbook. This means that refresh actions for all the data connections in the workbook* will be performed using your credentials. Note that if the original user has permissions to access a certain data source, but you do not, then refresh actions on that data source will fail.
You will also be added to the notification list for this workbook.
If you decide not to override the existing refresh settings, we recommend contacting the Refresh owner and requesting that person to make the necessary changes.
* The exception to this rule is a Microsoft Azure SQL Database or SQL Server in Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines connection in which the user name and password are stored in the workbook itself. In this case, overriding the Scheduled Refresh settings will not change the credentials.
What do I do with the Correlation ID displayed when I get an error?
The Correlation ID helps Microsoft figure out exactly what went wrong.
In case of a refresh failure, you can click the + Scheduled refresh failure entry in the history table that will expand the error to display a detailed error description.
If you need help with resolving an error, open a post on the Power BI Forum and copy and paste the entire error, including Correlation ID, error time and detailed error description, into the problem description.
My Microsoft Azure SQL Database connection fails upon refresh
If your workbook needs to refresh from a Microsoft Azure SQL Database or SQL Server in Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines data source, you’ll need to supply user name and password credentials. These may be either:
Locally saved in the workbook.
Saved in a Secure Store Service in SharePoint Online.
Are your credentials saved locally in the workbook?
If your workbook needs to refresh from a Microsoft Azure SQL Database data source, you need to have your username and password data source credentials saved in the workbook. Here’s how to do it:
Create a Power Pivot data connection in the Data Model to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database data source. Enter the username and password. Check the Save my password checkbox, and refresh the connection.
After creating the connection, go to the Data tab in Excel and select Workbook connections. Select your connection and click Properties. Navigate to the Definition tab.
Check the Save Password box below the Connection string field. In the Save password dialog box, click Yes.
Make sure that your username and password are present in the connection string. If not, add them again, refresh your connection, and save the workbook.
To be sure that your credentials have been saved successfully, close the workbook, open it and try to refresh. If you are not prompted for a password and the refresh succeeds, you are done.
Are your credentials correct?
Incorrect or out of date credentials stored in a workbook will lead to data refresh failure. Check that your saved data source credentials are correct. For instance, you can by refresh the data locally in the Excel client. If needed, update your credentials.
Does your Microsoft AzureSQL Databaseserver allow the connection?
If the Microsoft Azure SQL Database server is not configured to allow connections from the cloud, the refresh will fail.
If you are the Microsoft Azure SQL Database server owner, make sure your Microsoft Azure SQL Database server allows the connection. This can be configured in the Microsoft Azure portal. Ensure that Microsoft Azure Services option is turned on in the list of allowed services.
If you are not the Microsoft Azure SQL Database server owner, contact your Microsoft Azure SQL Database server owner.
Are you using Secure Store Service in SharePoint Online?
It’s also possible to authenticate your workbook using Secure Store Service in SharePoint Online. This requires you to perform two steps:
I can’t refresh my workbook from an on-premises SQL Server data source.
For data refresh to work, the on-premises data source must be enabled for cloud access. This is configured by the tenant administrator using the Power BI for Office 365 Admin Center.
I am a tenant administrator.
The tenant administrator must perform the following steps:
Install and configure Data Management Gateway.
Register the on-premises data source with the Power BI Admin Center.
Learn more about how to create a Data Source and Enable Cloud Access.
I’m not a tenant administrator.
Contact your tenant administrator and request permissions to refresh data from an on-premises data source. Provide the administrator with a link to your workbook that contains the connection string to the on-premises data source. Your tenant administrator must ensure the following:
The data source is defined in the cloud.
The data source is enabled for cloud access.
You (the user) are granted permissions to access this data source.
I got a ‘The report is checked out…’ error. What does this mean?
If your workbook has been checked out by another user, the Refresh service cannot update the data. Make sure the workbook is checked in, and try to refresh your workbook again.
I got a ‘We couldn’t save the refreshed report…’ error. What does this mean?
This error means that although the data refresh was successful, the service encountered an error while uploading the refreshed workbook to Power BI. This may be caused, for instance, if another user has edited the workbook during refresh. Try to refresh your workbook again.
I got a ‘We can’t open the workbook in the browser because it uses these unsupported features’ error. What does this mean?
In Office 365, we use Excel Services and Excel Web App to open an Excel workbook in a browser window. However, not all Excel features are currently supported in a browser window.
Since Scheduled Refresh makes use of these same services, it is not possible to configure Scheduled Refresh for a workbook that contains unsupported features.
How do I know which features are unsupported? See Differences between using a workbook in the browser and in Excel .
How can I remove these features? See Edit a workbook that contains features unsupported by Excel Web App for instructions about how to edit a workbook with unsupported features.
My data connection is failing, and I don’t know why.
Here are some considerations to troubleshoot your connection:
Can you refresh your workbook locally from your Excel client? If not, there may be a problem with one or more connections such as network or server issues, or you don’t have permissions to access a certain data source.
To refresh your workbook locally: Download the workbook to your computer. Open it in Excel 2013, and navigate to the Data tab. Click Refresh All to refresh all workbook connections locally.
In the history tab, expand the history row corresponding to your refresh failure to view a detailed description of errors for each data connection. Is there a particular connection that is failing repeatedly?
If you have a Microsoft Azure SQL Database or an on-premises connection, refer to the relevant sections to make sure you have all the necessary prerequisites.
My workbook is connected to unsupported data sources.
If all data connections in your workbook are connected to data source types that we do not support, Scheduled Refresh will not run. In this case, you will see an error message.
If you have at least one supported data source connection, you will be able to refresh it. Once an unsupported data source is detected, it will be disabled in the Scheduled Refresh settings page. Select your supported connections and save the Scheduled Refresh settings.
My workbook doesn’t have a Data Model.
Scheduled Refresh can only refresh workbooks that have a Data Model. If your workbook doesn’t have a Power Pivot Data Model, you will not be able to set Scheduled Refresh on these workbooks. You’ll receive an appropriate error message when attempting to enter the Scheduled Refresh settings page.
To learn more about creating a Data Model in Excel, see Create a Data Model in Excel.
My workbook doesn’t have data connections.
Scheduled Refresh can only refresh workbooks that have at least one Power Pivot data connection. If your workbook doesn’t have at least one Power Pivot data connection, you cannot set Scheduled Refresh on these workbooks. You’ll receive an appropriate error message when attempting to enter the Scheduled Refresh settings page.
My workbook was created with an Excel version prior to Excel 2013.
Scheduled Refresh is supported in Excel 2013 and above. You can set Scheduled Refresh on a workbook created with a version prior to Excel 2013. If you overwrite a workbook having an existing schedule with a workbook created with an old version of Excel, the scheduled settings will be disabled. This is due to the nature of the Power Pivot Data Model implementation in Excel 2013. To learn more about version compatibility between Power Pivot in Excel 2010 and Power Pivot in Excel 2013, see Version compatibility between Power Pivot Data Models in Excel 2010 and Excel 2013.
I can’t see the Scheduled Refresh option for my workbook.
Check to see if you have edit permissions on this workbook. Only users with edit permissions on a workbook are allowed to access the Scheduled Refresh page. If you do not have SharePoint permissions to edit this workbook, you won’t be able to access the Scheduled Refresh page and the Scheduled Refresh option will not appear in the ellipsis (…) next to a workbook.
My scheduler was turned off.
If your workbook has failed repeatedly, we will disable the scheduler after a predetermined amount of failures.
If your workbook is set to a daily schedule, we disable the scheduler after 6 consecutive Scheduled Refresh failures.
If your workbook is set to a weekly schedule, we disable the scheduler after 4 consecutive Scheduled Refresh failures.
If you have specified an e-mail address for notifications, you will receive an e-mail notifying you that Scheduled Refresh has been disable for a workbook.
Refresh on-demand doesn’t count towards those consecutive failures, so you can refresh your workbook on-demand as often as you need.
My workbook is about to expire.
Currently, you can only set Scheduled Refresh to run for a maximum of three months. This date is determined when you configure the Ends By field in the Scheduled Refresh settings page.
When these three months have passed, your schedule will expire and your settings will be turned off – unless the settings date is extended before expiration.
Power BI will send you two notifications to extend your refresh settings expiration date:
One week before your schedule is about to expire.
One day before your schedule is about to expire.
These notifications will be sent to the email address specified in Refresh Settings.
If you don’t extend the refresh settings on time, your refresh schedule will be turned off. You can turn it back on at any time.