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Power BI Desktop Installer Changes & WebView2

Headshot of article author Jeroen ter Heerdt

As mentioned in the June and July feature summaries, we are switching a vital component of Power BI from CefSharp to WebView2. We’re making this switch to better optimize our development and release process (which means we’ll be able to spend more time developing new features!). It also means that you’ll automatically get the latest security patches as the WebView2 team ships them instead of waiting for us to update Power BI Desktop.

Get started using WebView2 button


WebView2 will be required soon

We will start requiring WebView2 in the January release of Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server and in the February release of Power BI Desktop. To avoid interruptions, we recommend installing WebView2 now and turning on the preview feature as discussed in the July feature summary in Power BI Desktop. Starting with the next release of Power BI Desktop you will also see a prompt inside the application to remind you about this.


Verifying WebView2 is installed

You already have WebView2 installed if this App is on your machine: ‘Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime’. If you do, no further action is required.


Installing WebView2

To use WebView2, you will need to install it. Depending on the configuration on your machine there are a couple of scenarios.

  1. First, check if WebView2 is already installed on your machine (see above). If so, no further action is required.
  2. If you use have the Microsoft 365 applications installed on your machine and are getting monthly updates, you should already have WebView2. If you receive semi-annual updates, you will receive WebView2 soon. No further action is necessary.
  3. If you use Windows 11, WebView2 is installed by default, so unless it was removed there is no action required.
  4. If you install Power BI Desktop using the .exe installer, we will install WebView2 on your machine.
  5. If you are using the Microsoft Store version, and your configuration does not fall in any of the above categories, we will show a notification in Power BI Desktop to install it if you have Administrator privileges. If you do not have Administrator privileges, stay tuned, an update is coming so users without Administrator privileges can install WebView2.
    You don’t have to wait until you see the notification. To get started, install WebView2 by downloading and running the installer on your machine.  


Enabling WebView2

After you installed WebView2, if you’d like to start using Power BI Desktop with WebView2 instead of CefSharp right away, you can enable it through the Power BI Desktop infrastructure update preview feature. The option will only be visible if you have WebView2 installed and is currently (November 2021) only available for Power BI Desktop installed using the .exe installer, not for the Microsoft Store version.  If you are using the Microsoft Store version, please install WebView2 following the steps above. Towards the end of the year we expect an update to the Microsoft Store version of Power BI Desktop that will enable you to turn on the infrastructure update.

Once you’ve turned it on and restarted Power BI Desktop, we’ll automatically start using WebView2. You shouldn’t notice any changes between the two experiences, but of course, please let us know if you do have any issues.

The "Power BI Desktop infrastructure update" preview feature checked within the Options dialog.


What to do if you cannot install WebView2

Stay tuned, we expect to release an updated version of the WebView2 installer, before the end of November. Please try to install WebView2 early December following the steps above. If you still cannot install WebView2, please notify them of this upcoming requirement so they can make the necessary preparations. If you are an administrator, please read more about deploying the WebView2 runtime in your organization.