How to run Power BI Desktop for Mac Using Azure Virtual Machines easily

Virtual Machine Mac
Azure Virtual Machines

Mac users can leverage Azure Virtual Machines (AVM) to run Power BI Desktop, even though the software is not natively supported on the Mac operating system. By creating a virtual machine through Azure, you can run Windows and install Power BI Desktop to access all its features. Azure Virtual Machines is a Microsoft product specifically designed for this purpose.

Price: The price varies according to the configuration and usage. The price list ranges from $10 to $300 dollars per month. You can start with Azure free and, after you spend the first $200 credit availables, only pays for your use. Want to dive deeper into how to use Power BI on Mac with Azure Virtual Machines?

  • Pros: Allows users to use Power BI Desktop without installing an additional Windows operating system on their Mac, in addition Azure is providing flexibility and scalability.
  • Cons: For some users, this can be an expensive option, and it requires advanced technical knowledge to set up and manages the virtual machine.

microsoft azure mac

Common problems that Mac users encounter when using PBI Desktop through AVM:

  1. Connectivity issues: Mac users may experience problems connecting to the virtual machine due to network or firewall issues.
  2. Performance issues: The performance of Power BI Desktop may be affected due to the limitations of the Azure virtual machine and the resources allocated to it.
  3. Compatibility issues: Power BI Desktop may not be fully compatible with the Azure virtual machine, resulting in errors or unexpected behavior.
  4. Licensing issues: Mac users may encounter problems with licensing and activation of Power BI Desktop, especially if they are using a trial version or a non-standard edition.
  5. Access issues: Mac users may not have the necessary permissions to access the Azure virtual machine or to perform certain actions within Power BI Desktop.
  6. User interface issues: The user interface of Power BI Desktop may not be optimized for use on a Mac, which can result in a suboptimal user experience.
  7. Data source issues: Mac users may encounter problems connecting to or accessing data sources, especially if they are not familiar with the configuration and setup of the azure virtual machine.
  8. Security issues: Mac users may need to take additional security precautions when using Power BI Desktop through an Azure virtual machine, such as securing the network and ensuring that all data is encrypted.

To make the installation process easier, follow the instructions provided

Azure Virtual Machine - Icon

Step 1: To get started, go to the Azure portal home page.

If you have an account, log in and skip to the next step.

If you don’t have an account, create one and sign up for a free Azure account that provides 30 days of access and $200 credit. Go to the Azure portal homepage, and if you already have an account, sign in. Otherwise, create a free Azure account that provides 30 days of access and $200 credit. Once you click on the “Start free” button, you will see a sign-up page where you can create an account. You will need to provide your email ID and password and credit card details for authentication.

Step 2: Give your virtual machine a name and select the location.

Once you have created an account, create a virtual machine by navigating to “Virtual Machines” in the Azure portal. Click “Create” to create a new virtual machine. You will see a window where you can fill in your subscription and resource group. Resource group is a way to manage all the resources you create, so create a new one for Power BI.

Fill out the necessary information such as the Resource Group, which manages all resources, and give a name to the virtual machine. Select the region, security type, availability option, and operating system. Choose the appropriate RAM size and the disk type. Keep the inbound port as RDP and HTTPS. You can keep Port 80 open, too. Ensure that you review the details before creating the virtual machine. After reviewing and creating your virtual machine, you will see a validation window.

Step 3: Keep in mind that you should use the price calculator before creating the Azure virtual machine

Check the Price before hosting the machine, use the price calculator to check the price of the virtual machine. You can find the price calculator in the Azure portal homepage. Any resource you host on Azure can be checked for pricing from the price calculator.

Step 4: Now you can start using your Azure virtual machine by connecting to it from your Mac.

Connect to the Virtual Machine To use Power BI Desktop, you need to connect to the Azure virtual machine. Download and install the Remote Desktop application on your Mac. Open the application and provide the username and password of the virtual machine you created and install Power BI Desktop on the virtual machine. After successfully logging in, you can use Power BI Desktop for Mac as if you were using a Windows computer as if you were running it locally.

Video: Running Power BI Desktop on Mac using Azure Virtual Machine (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

You can watch the previous steps in the following video. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of the DataStudy YouTube channel for providing us with this valuable tutorial. So, let’s get started and learn how to run Power BI Desktop on your Mac!



Finally, Mac users may experience difficulties with the installation process when using AVM. Make sure your AVM is up to date and contains all of the latest updates. Doing so ensures that Power BI Desktop will run smoothly on your machine.

In summary, using Azure Virtual Machine, you can use Power BI Desktop on your Mac without any issues. With Azure’s free trial account, you can experiment with Power BI Desktop for 30 days without incurring any costs.

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