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Trigger dataset refresh by user without license

Hello friends,

I have an employee that is working on an Excel file in OneDrive for Business.

She doesn't have a PowerBI account and there's no need for that.

The file she is responsible for is a source for PowerBI dataset that is published to the service.

I would like to achieve the following:

Once the file is saved - this will trigger the dataset refresh.

That's it.

This employee doesn't have to open PowerBI account and click "Refresh Now".

And I also don't want to schedule the refresh - only to trigger when necessary (file updated).

How do I do this?

Thank you,


Regular Visitor

I am interested in a similar situation.  Found the following link about how to trigger a dataset refresh through the Power BI APIs:


My desire would be to put a little custom console app behind an icon on the user's desktop so that when they double-click the icon, it triggers the refresh in Power BI web.


I have successfully created a console app after following the above link and others to which it referred, but alas, my console app only works when I am logged into the box from which I run this newly created app.


It is relying on Azure Active Directory for the authentication piece. If your company is using AAD as well, seems to me that you could set up this user to access the dataset in Power BI, and while she would never have to open Power BI and run it, if you user her AAD account to create the required "client Id" (as explained in the above article), then the console app behind an icon would work for your situation.  As for me, I have multiple users and do not want to create a "client Id" for all of them, so I am looking at something called a "Service Principal" to fill that roll but don't yet know enough about whether it will work.


Good luck.

Community Support
Community Support

Hi @Anonymous,


As guavaq said, current power bi not contains trigger feature, you can try to use scheduled refresh to instead.

In addition, you can also share this requirement to ideas or try to use power app flow.

Trigger a Microsoft Flow from your own app



Xiaoxin Sheng

Community Support Team _ Xiaoxin
If this post helps, please consider accept as solution to help other members find it more quickly.
Super User II
Super User II

Hi there,

As far as I know the only way to do this is once the file has been updated, someone would have to log into the Power BI Service and then click on the ellipses under the dataset and click "Refresh Now"

I currently do not know of any other way besides doing a scheduled refresh. Which you can configure to happen 8 times a day which should enable the file to be refreshed fairly soon after it has been updated?

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