Apps in Power BI

APPLIES TO: Applies to.Power BI service for business users Does not apply to.Power BI service for designers & developers Does not apply to.Power BI Desktop Applies to.Requires Pro or Premium license

What is a Power BI app?

Power BI designers can create official packaged content, then distribute it to a broad audience as an app. Apps are created in workspaces, where members can collaborate on Power BI content with their colleagues before publishing the finished app to individuals, large groups of people in an organization, or an entire organization. By using an app, it's easier for designers to manage permissions on these collections since the app can have permissions that are different than those set on the workspace.

An app combines related content -- dashboards, spreadsheets, datasets, and reports -- all in one place. An app can have one or more of each content type, all bundled together. There are many different ways a designer can share an app. To learn more, see the Get a new app section, below.

There is a special type of app called a template app. To install, customize, and distribute a template app requires a Power BI Pro or Premium Per User license. Power BI template apps are used by Power BI partners to build and package analytical content into an app. They then deploy that app to other Power BI tenants through any available platform, including AppSource or their own web service.

App designers and app users

Depending on your role, you may be someone who creates apps (designer) for your own use or to share with colleagues. Or, you may be someone who receives and downloads apps (business user) created by others. This article is for business users.

Seeing and opening an app require certain permissions. The recipient must either have a Power BI Pro or Premium Per User (PPU) license or the app must be shared with the recipient in a special type of cloud storage called Premium capacity. To learn more about licenses and Premium capacity, see Licensing for the Power BI service.

Advantages of apps

Apps are an easy way for designers to share different types of content at one time. App designers create the dashboards and reports and bundle them together into an app. The designers then share or publish the app to a location where you, the business user, can access it. Because related dashboards and reports are bundled together, it's easier for you to find and install in both the Power BI service ( and on your mobile device. After you install an app, you don't have to remember the names of a lot of different dashboards or reports because they're all together in one app, in your browser or on your mobile device.

With apps, whenever the app author releases updates, you either get a notification or you automatically see the changes. The author also controls how often the data is scheduled to refresh, so you don't need to worry about keeping it up to date.

Get a new app

There are several different ways to get a new app. You can search, find, and install apps and app designers can share apps with you.

Find and install apps from the Power BI apps marketplace

One way to find apps is to select Get app from the Power BI Apps screen.

Screenshot of Apps screen showing the Get apps icon

Browse through the list of apps in the Power BI apps marketplace until you find one to install. Choose from Organizational apps, which are only available to people in your company, or Template apps, which are published by Microsoft and the community for any Power BI user to install.

Power BI apps marketplace

There are a few other ways to get apps. Some of these ways are listed below. But for detailed step-by-step instructions for getting and exploring an app, see Open and interact with an app.

  • The app designer can install the app automatically in your Power BI account, and the next time you open the Power BI service, you'll see the new app in your Apps content list.
  • The app designer can email you a direct link to an app. Selecting the link opens the app in the Power BI service.
  • In Power BI on your mobile device, you can only install an app from a direct link, and not from the apps marketplace. If the app author installs the app automatically, you'll see it in your list of apps.

Your apps are organized in the Apps content list. Just select Apps to display your apps. Hover over an app to see the last updated date and the owner.

Apps in Power BI

Next steps