Many people have Excel workbooks stored on their OneDrive for Business drive that would be great for use with Power BI Desktop. With Power BI Desktop, you can use online links for Excel files stored in OneDrive for Business to create reports and visuals. You can use a OneDrive for Business group account, or your individual OneDrive for Business account.

Getting an online link from OneDrive for Business does require a few specific steps. The following sections explain those steps, which let you share the file link among groups, across different machines, and with your coworkers.

Get a link from Excel, starting in the browser

  1. Navigate to your OneDrive for Business location using a browser. Right-click the file you want to use, and select Open in Excel. >Note: Your browser interface might not look exactly like the following image. There are many ways to select Open in Excel for files in your OneDrive for Business browser interface. You can use any option that allows you to open the file in Excel.

  2. In Excel, select File > Info and select the link above the Protect Workbook button. Select Copy link to clipboard.

Use the link in Power BI Desktop

In Power BI Desktop, you can use the link you just copied to the clipboard. Take the following steps:

  1. In Power BI Desktop, select Get Data > Web.

  2. Paste the link into the From Web dialog (do not select OK yet).

  3. Notice the ?web=1 string at the end of the link - you must remove that portion of the Web URL string before selecting OK, in order for Power BI Desktop to properly navigate to your file.

  4. If Power BI Desktop prompts you for credentials, choose either Windows (for on-premises SharePoint sites) or Organizational Account (for Office 365 or OneDrive for Business sites).

A Navigator window appears, allowing you to select from the list of tables, sheets, and ranges found in the Excel workbook. From there, you can use the OneDrive for Business file just like any other Excel file, and create reports and use it in datasets like you would with any other data source.

NOTE: To use OneDrive for Business file as a data source in the Power BI service, with Service Refresh enabled for that file, make sure you select OAuth2 as the Authentication method when configuring your refresh settings. Otherwise you may encounter an error (such as Failed to update data source credentials) when you attempt to connect or to refresh. Selecting OAuth2 as the authentication method remedies that credentials error.