• Brunner_BI

How to disable the automatic refresh of a dataset after upload to the Power BI Service

Updated: 5 days ago

I am sure a lot of you have experienced a refresh being triggered automatically by the Power BI Service after you uploaded your dataset.

There has been quite some discussion about this lately so we did some tests to come up with a definitive answer on what is causing this.

An additional downside of this happening is that you cannot really stop a refresh of a dataset once it has started. For larger datasets especially this is quite annoying.

Other members of the community have suggested it might have to do with a scheduled refresh being set, so here is what we have tested (in a Power BI Premium P1 capacity):

Without a scheduled refresh set, the following actions have not triggered a refresh:

-removing a table in the model

-adding/removing relationships

-adding a calculated column

-cosmetic changes to the report

With a scheduled refresh set, the following actions have triggered a refresh:

-removing a table in the model

-adding/removing relationships

-adding a calculated column

-cosmetic changes to the report

-no changes to the report at all - simple re-uploading

This leads us to the conclusion that when a scheduled refresh is configured for a dataset, an "on demand" refresh is triggered automatically once we upload this dataset to the Power BI Service.

Be advised that the refresh might not be triggered instantaneously but could happen a few minutes later depending on the resources currently available in your Premium capacity.

As you can see below it always triggered this "on demand" refresh when I simply re-uploaded the file without doing any changes to the dataset (scheduled refresh was on)

After having turned off the scheduled refresh we uploaded the dataset multiple times and no refresh was triggered.

Later, when turning on the scheduled refresh again every upload triggered a refresh in the Service.

This means that when we want to avoid a refresh happening in the Service (e.g. when we have a large dataset and we have already refreshed it in Power BI Desktop) we can turn off the scheduled refresh quickly, upload the dataset and then turn it back on.

For documentation purposes: here are all the times I published the dataset to the service

the highlighted ones are when the scheduled refresh was off (this is the OneDrive tab, no actual refresh was triggered, it just means that we uploaded the dataset)

In the Scheduled tab, we can see that the uploads at 09:15:35 AM and 09:18:42 AM did not trigger a refresh (this was the time when scheduled refresh was off) and thus these uploads do not show up here.

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