Troubleshoot the connection from Excel to Power BI data

There may be times when connecting Excel to Power BI data that you get an unexpected result, or the feature doesn't work as you expected. This page provides solutions for common issues when analyzing Power BI data in Excel.


There are separate articles for different connection types. Those articles are as follows:

If you encounter a scenario that's not listed below, ask for assistance on the Power BI community site, or create a support ticket.

If you need to troubleshoot an issue with Power BI data in Excel, see the following sections:

If you need to troubleshoot an issue in Power BI with Analyze in Excel, see the following sections:

Forbidden error

A user may have more than one Power BI account. When Excel tries to connect to Power BI by using credentials from one of those accounts, it may attempt to use credentials that don't have access to the desired dataset or report.

When this situation occurs, you may receive an error titled Forbidden. This error means you may be signed into Power BI with credentials that don't have permission to access the dataset. After encountering the Forbidden error and when you see the prompt, type the credentials that have permission to access the dataset you're trying to use.

If you still run into errors, log into Power BI with the account that has permission. Then, verify that you can view and access the dataset in Power BI that you're attempting to access in Excel.

Unable to access on-premises Analysis Services

If you're trying to access a dataset that has a live connection to SQL Server Analysis Services or Azure Analysis Services data, you may receive an error message. This error may occur because a user can't connect to Power BI datasets. This situation may happen when you build datasets on live connections to Analysis Services unless the user has read access to the data in Analysis Services in addition to the datasets permissions in Power BI.

Can't drag anything to the PivotTable Values area

Excel connects to Power BI through an external OLAP model. When these applications connect, the PivotTable requires you to define measures in the external model because all calculations are performed on the server. This requirement is different from working with a local data source, such as tables in Excel and working with datasets in Power BI Desktop or the Power BI service). In those cases, the tabular model is available locally, and you can use implicit measures. Implicit measures are generated dynamically, and not stored in the data model. In these cases, the behavior in Excel is different from the behavior in Power BI Desktop or the Power BI service. For instance, there may be columns in the data that can be treated as measures in Power BI, but can't be used as measures, or values, in Excel.

To address this issue, you have a few options:

Once you define your measures in the model in the Power BI service, you can use them in the Values area in Excel PivotTables.

Connection cannot be made

The primary cause for a Connection cannot be made error is that your computer's OLE DB provider client libraries aren't current.

Can't find OLAP cube model

The primary cause for a Can't find OLAP cube model error is that the dataset you're trying to access has no data model, and therefore the dataset can't be analyzed in Excel.

Token expired error

The primary cause for a Token expired error is that you haven't recently used the Analyze in Excel feature on the computer you're using. To resolve this error, reenter your credentials or reopen the file, and the error should go away.

Next steps

Analyze in Excel

Tutorial: Create your own measures in Power BI Desktop

Measures in PowerPivot

Create a Measure in PowerPivot

Add worksheet data to a Data Model using a linked table