Skip to main content

Announcing Power BI Admins can upgrade classic workspaces and roadmap update

Headshot of article author Lukasz Pawlowski
June 2021 update: The timelines below for upgrading classic workspaces have changed, please see the new timeline in this blog post:
Updated timeline for upgrading classic workspaces


Earlier this year, we announced a roadmap for classic workspaces upgrade. We’re excited to make several announcements and give a roadmap update.


  • Workspace upgrade has reached general availability.
  • We’ve started to roll-out tools for Power BI admins to upgrade classic workspaces.
  • We’re providing a roadmap update below including dates for removing the ability to create, update, and use content packs in classic workspaces.


Workspace upgrade is now generally available

We’ve seen tens of thousands of successful workspace upgrades since we launched the public preview. Now, we’re ready to declare workspace upgrade is GA. With this change, Workspace Admins will see a banner at the top of their classic workspaces encouraging them to upgrade their workspaces.

Banner displayed to workspace admins of classic workspaces to help them upgrade their workspace.


Power BI Admins can upgrade workspaces

This capability has started to roll-out and will be available in the next 2 weeks in your organization.

Until now, a Workspace Admin needed to upgrade a workspace. This made it challenging for organizations to proactively migrate workspaces to the new workspace experience.

Now, we’ve added a new upgrade option in the Power BI admin portal workspaces list. To use it, select one or more workspaces with type Group and then press the Upgrade button.

The workspaces list in the Power BI Admin Portal with the upgrade option when classic workspaces, those with type set to Group are selected.

Admins can select one or more workspaces to upgrade. The UI allows selecting 100 workspaces at a time giving Admins the ability to do bulk upgrades. The upgrades are queue and will execute asynchronously. The admin can queue as many workspaces for upgrade as they desire. There is no API for this capability.

As we roll-out the capability, we’re limiting the rate of workspace upgrades across all tenants in each cluster. Typically, a Power BI admin-initiated workspace upgrade will take a few minutes to complete. If many workspaces are queued for upgrade, it can take several days to complete the upgrade. To upgrade a workspace right away, contact the workspace admin, who can upgrade the workspace immediately through the workspace settings pane.

Importantly, Power BI admin-initiated workspace upgrade makes permanent changes to the workspace. Notably, content packs will be removed as part of the upgrade. These permanent changes can’t be undone. It’s best to review the impacts of workspace upgrade and educate workspace admins to potential impacts prior to executing a program that upgrades workspaces through the Power BI admin-initiated process. Lastly, after the upgrade completes, it’s important that workspace admins follow the steps to take after upgrade. Learn more

The upgrade pane shown to admins before they start an admin-initiated workspace upgrade.

Above: The upgrade confirmation pane shown before the upgrade starts. Be sure to review the permanent changes list before starting the upgrade.


Admins can track progress of upgrades through the Workspace upgrade status column. The states are provided below:

  • Pending – the upgrade is queued, it can be canceled
  • In Progress – the upgrade is currently in progress
  • Completed – the upgrade completed within the last 30 days
  • Failed – the upgrade failed because of a validation rule

The workspace upgrade status column in the Power BI admin portal workspaces list ui showing an in progress workspace upgrade.

When a workspace upgrade is in Pending status it can be canceled. A Cancel All Upgrades button is available once any workspace has been queue for upgrade. Additionally, the “…” menu gives the option to cancel a specific workspace upgrade.

Once a workspace upgrade reaches In Progress status, it can’t be canceled.

After a workspace upgrade is in Completed status, the workspace admin can go back to a classic workspace for 30 days. After 30 days the option to go back to a classic workspace is no longer available. The details of any permanent changes made to the workspace are visible in the Details page available from the “…” menu of the workspace.

If the upgrade Failed, the detailed reason is available in the Details page. Work with the Workspace Admin to ensure the workspace can pass upgrade validation rules before trying again.

Below is an example of what is shown if a content pack was removed during the upgrade.

The workspace details pane shows a summary of permanent changes or any errors that occurred during the upgrade. The example shows that a content pack was removed during the upgrade.


Workspace admins will receive an email when their workspace was upgraded by the Power BI admin.




Update on the workspace upgrade roadmap

Now, let’s refresh our workspace upgrade roadmap to reflect the progress we’ve made and the latest target dates.

We’re announcing below specific dates related to Content Packs, which mark the final chapter of the content pack deprecation journey. Content packs have been deprecated for several years. Starting in February, 2021, we will begin removing the ability to create or edit content packs in classic workspaces. See the detailed steps below. Customers should migrate to Power BI apps and shared datasets as replacements for content pack ahead of these changes to avoid impact to operations.


Roadmap Item Update Details
Workspace upgrade general availability


Generally Available
Allowing Power BI Admins to block creation of classic workspace Available as of August 2020 Learn more
Allowing Power BI Admins to hide empty classic workspaces Available as of August 2020 To use this capability, enable the block classic workspace creation tenant setting in the Power BI admin portal.


Previously, we stated we’d provide a distinct Power BI Admin portal option to control this behavior. However, we’re no long planning to provide a dedicated option.

Allowing Power BI Admins to upgrade classic workspaces


Available in December 2020 This blog post covers these capabilities.
Deprecation of classic workspace creation


Updated to January 2021 Starting January 1st, 2021, we’ll roll out a change that sets Block classic workspace creation tenant setting to Enabled for all tenants.


Power BI admins will be able to change it back to Disabled to keep making classic workspace.


However, be aware that we plan to remove the ability create classic workspaces entirely in the future.

Tools for bulk upgrade of classic workspace for Power BI Admins


Available in December 2020 This blog post covers these capabilities.


Additionally, in the future we plan to extend these capabilities with the option to upgrade all classic workspaces eliminating the need to pick workspaces to upgrade.


We do not plan to provide an API for workspace upgrade.

Content Pack Deprecation New key dates to be aware of:


February 1st, 2021: Remove ability to create or edit content packs is expected.


April 1st, 2021: Removing all content packs is expected.

In the previous roadmap updates we’ve emphasized the need for organizations to move away from content packs. Power BI apps and shared datasets offer compelling replacement options.


Organizations should now actively migrate any remaining content packs and should stop creating new ones.


Content packs remaining after April 1st, 2021 may be deleted from the Power BI service.

Automatic upgrade of classic workspaces


Continues to be targeted for mid-2021. We expect that in mid-2021 we will start to automatically upgrade all remaining classic workspaces to the new workspace experience. We won’t start the process until we believe the bulk-upgrade experiences provided to Power BI admins are reliable and we can address any feedback we receive from customers.



We’re eager to hear how these capabilities are being used in your organization and to answer any questions you have. Leave a comment on this blog or submit an idea if you have a feature request.



Next steps:

Learn about Power BI admin-initiated workspace upgrade

Learn about workspace upgrade