Filter a report using query string parameters in the URL

When you open a report in Power BI service, each page of the report has its own unique URL. To filter that report page, you could use the Filters pane on the report canvas. Or you could add query string parameters to the URL to prefilter the report. Perhaps you have a report you'd like to show colleagues and you want to prefilter it for them. One way to filter it is to start with the default URL for the report, add the filter parameters to the URL, and then email them the entire new URL.

This article uses the Retail Analysis Sample report. If you want to follow along, you can download the sample report.

Screenshot of Power BI report in the service.

Uses for query string parameters

Say you're working in Power BI Desktop. You want to create a report that has links to other Power BI reports, but you want to show only some of the information in the other reports. First, filter the reports using query string parameters and save the URLs. Next, create a table in Desktop with these new report URLs. Then publish and share the report.

Another use for query string parameters is for someone creating an advanced Power BI solution. In DAX, they create a report that generates a filtered report URL dynamically based on the selection their customer makes in the current report. When customers select the URL, they see only the intended information.

Query string parameter syntax for filtering

With parameters, you can filter the report for one or more values, even if those values contain spaces or special characters. The basic syntax is fairly straightforward; start with the report URL, add a question mark, and then add your filter syntax.

URL?filter=Table/Field eq 'value'

Screenshot of U R L with filter.

  • Table and Field names are case-sensitive; value isn't.
  • Fields that are hidden from report view can still be filtered.

Field types

Field type can be a number, datetime, or string and the type used must match the type set in the semantic model. For example, specifying a table column of type "string" doesn't work if you're looking for a datetime or numeric value in a semantic model column set as a date, such as Table/StringColumn eq 1.

  • Strings must be enclosed with single quotes, as in 'manager name'.
  • Numbers require no special formatting. See Numeric data types in this article for details.
  • Dates and times See Date data types in this article.

If it's still confusing, continue reading and we'll break it down.

Filter on a field

Let’s assume that the URL to our report is the following.

Screenshot of starting URL.

And we see in our previous map visualization that we have stores in North Carolina. NC is the value that represents North Carolina in the Territory field of the Store table. So to filter the report to show data only for stores in "NC", we append this string to the URL:

?filter=Store/Territory eq 'NC'

Screenshot of U R L with filter for North Carolina.

Our report is now filtered for North Carolina; all the visualizations in the report show data for only North Carolina.

Screenshot of Report filtered for North Carolina.

Filter on more than one value in a field

To filter on more than one value in a single field, you use the in operator instead of the and operator. The syntax is:

URL?filter=Table/Field in ('value1', 'value2')

Using the same example, to filter the report to show data only for stores in "NC" (North Carolina) or "TN" (Tennessee), append the URL with the following;

?filter=Store/Territory in ('NC', 'TN')

See the Operators table later in the article for a list of other useful operators.

Filter on multiple fields

You can also filter on multiple fields by adding more parameters to your URL. Let's go back to our original filter parameter.

?filter=Store/Territory eq 'NC'

To filter on more fields, add an 'and' and another field in the same format as the previous example. Here is an example.

?filter=Store/Territory eq 'NC' and Store/Chain eq 'Fashions Direct'

Operators

Power BI supports many operators in addition to 'and'. The following table lists those operators along with the content type they support.

Operator Definition String Number Date Example
and and yes yes yes product/price le 200 and price gt 3.5
eq equals yes yes yes Address/City eq 'Redmond'
ne not equal yes yes yes Address/City ne 'London'
ge greater than or equal no yes yes product/price ge 10
gt greater than no yes yes product/price gt 20
le less than or equal no yes yes product/price le 100
lt less than no yes yes product/price lt 20
in* including yes yes yes Student/Age in (27, 29)

* When you use in, the values to the right of in can be a comma-separated list enclosed in parentheses, or a single expression that returns a collection. See the IN Operator article for examples.

Numeric data types

A Power BI URL filter can include numbers in the following formats.

Number type Example
integer 5
long 5 L or 5 l
double 5.5 or 55e-1 or 0.55e+1 or 5D or 5d or 0.5e1D or 0.5e1d or 5.5D or 5.5d or 55e-1D or 55e-1d
decimal 5 M or 5 m or 5.5 M or 5.5 m
float 5 F or 5 f or 0.5e1 F or 0.5e-1 d

Date data types

Power BI supports both OData V3 and V4 for Date and DateTimeOffset data types. For OData V3, you need to enclose dates in single quotes and precede them with the word datetime. You don't need single quotes and the word datetime in OData V4.

Dates are represented using the EDM format (2019-02-12T00:00:00): When you specify a date as 'YYYY-MM-DD', Power BI interprets it as 'YYYY-MM-DDT00:00:00'. Make sure month and day are two digits, MM and DD.

Why does this distinction matter? Let's say you create a query string parameter Table/Date gt '2018-08-03'. Will the results include August 3, 2018 or start with August 4, 2018? Power BI translates your query to Table/Date gt '2018-08-03T00:00:00'. So, your results include any dates that have a non-zero time part, because those dates would be greater than '2018-08-03T00:00:00'.

There are other differences between V3 and V4. OData V3 does not support Dates, only DateTime. So if you use the V3 format, you must qualify it with the full date time. Date literals like "datetime'2019-05-20'" aren't supported in V3 notation. But you can just write it as "2019-05-20" in V4 notation. Here are two equivalent filter queries in V3 and V4:

  • OData V4 format: filter=Table/Date gt 2019-05-20
  • OData V3 format: filter=Table/Date gt datetime'2019-05-20T00:00:00'

Special characters in URL filters

Special characters in table and column names

Special characters and spaces in table and column names require more formatting. When your query contains spaces, dashes, or other non-ASCII characters, prefix those special characters with an escape code starting with an underscore and an X (_x), then the four-digit Unicode, then another underscore. If the Unicode is fewer than four characters, you need to pad it with zeroes. Here are some examples.

Identifier Unicode Coding for Power BI
Table Name Space is 00x20 Table_x0020_Name
Column@Number @ is 00x40 Column_x0040_Number
[Column] [ is 0x005B ] is 0x005D x005B_Column_x005D
Column+Plus + is 0x2B Column_x002B_Plus

Table_x0020_Name/Column_x002B_Plus eq 3 Screenshot of table visual rendering special characters for Unicode.

Table_x0020_Special/x005B_Column_x0020_Brackets_x005D eq '[C]' Screenshot of table visual rendering special characters for coding for Power B I.

Special characters in values

URL filters support most special characters in field values, but some also require escape codes. For example, to search for a single quote character, use two single quotes ('').

  • ?filter=Table/Name eq 'O''Brien' becomes:

    Name is O'Brien

  • ?filter=Table/Name eq 'Lee''s Summit' becomes:

    Lee's Summit

  • The in operator supports this escaping as well: ?filter=Table/Name in ('Lee''s Summit', 'O''Brien') becomes:

    Lee's Summit or O'Brien

Here's a list of some special characters that require escape codes in field values.

Character Escape code
(a space) %20
' ''
% %25
+ %2B
/ %2F
? %3F
# %23
& %26

Standard URL escape characters

When you use a URL with spaces and other special characters in it, browsers may automatically replace them with standard escape characters. Say you create this URL query string:

https://app.powerbi.com/groups/me/reports/b7dea1d4-d9f0-47aa-a88d-xxxxxxxxxxxx/ReportSection2?filter=Executives/Executive eq 'Andrew Ma'

It opens the Customer Profitability Sample, filtered to Andrew Ma. But if you look at the URL, it may now look like this:

https://app.powerbi.com/groups/me/reports/b7dea1d4-d9f0-47aa-a88d-xxxxxxxxxxxx/ReportSection2?filter=Executives%2FExecutive%20eq%20%27Andrew%20Ma%27

The browser has replaced the space between Andrew and Ma with %20, likewise the other spaces. It replaced the forward slash between the table name Executives and the field name Executive with %2F, and replaced the single quote ' with %27.

This version of a URL may be useful. For example, you can paste it in chat in Microsoft Teams, and it returns the desired filtered results.

Use DAX to filter on multiple values

Another way to filter on multiple fields is by creating a calculated column that concatenates two fields to a single value. Then you can filter on that value.

For example, we have two fields: Territory and Chain. In Power BI Desktop, create a new Calculated column (Field) called TerritoryChain. Remember that the Field name can't have any spaces. Here is the DAX formula for that column.

TerritoryChain = [Territory] & " - " & [Chain]

Publish the report to the Power BI service and then use the URL query string to filter and display data for only Lindseys stores in NC.

https://app.powerbi.com/groups/me/reports/8d6e300b-696f-498e-b611-41ae03366851/ReportSection3?filter=Store/TerritoryChain eq 'NC – Lindseys'

Pin a tile from a filtered report

Once you've filtered the report using query string parameters, you can pin visualizations from that report to your dashboard. The tile on the dashboard displays the filtered data and selecting that dashboard tile opens the report that was used to create it. However, the filtering you did using the URL isn't saved with the report. When you select the dashboard tile, the report opens in its unfiltered state. Thus, the data displayed in the dashboard tile doesn't match the data displayed in the report visualization.

This discrepancy is helpful when you want to see different results; filtered on the dashboard and unfiltered in the report.

Considerations and troubleshooting

There are a couple of things to be aware of when using the query string parameters.

  • When you use the in operator, the values to the right of in must be a comma-separated list enclosed in parentheses.

  • Power BI Report Server also supports the ability to specify more than one filter using the "filter" URL parameter. Here's an example of what the URL might look like in Power BI Report Server: https://reportserver/reports/powerbi/Store Sales?rs:Embed=true&filter= Store/Territory eq 'NC' and Store/Chain eq 'Fashions Direct'

  • Report URL filters have a 10-expression limit (10 filters connected by AND).

  • The long data type is (2^53-1) due to JavaScript limitations.

  • URL query strings are limited to 2000 characters. This limit includes escape codes for special characters (e.g., a space, %, +).

  • You can't filter on table or column names that start with the capital letters INF, including, for example, a table name starting with "INFORMATION". Upper-case INF is a special value in OData. If you want to start a table or column name with "INF", make it lower-case "inf" instead.

  • Table and field names can contain Chinese characters expressed in Unicode form. For example, say you want to apply a filter that 表/人 eq '张力' (this means Table/Person eq '张力'). The filter is converted to _x8868_/_x4eba_ eq '张力'.

    Screenshot of Chinese characters converted to Unicode format in a search string.

Embedding scenarios

URL filters are supported in some embedding scenarios and not in others.

More questions? Try asking the Power BI Community