Using Power BI on Mac

If you are already aware that Power BI, a tool designed for Windows, can be used on a Mac through various alternatives, your next question is likely how to implement this in practice. The key here lies in understanding that, while most solutions for running Power BI on Mac require some form of Windows environment or layer, not all of them necessitate directly installing Windows and acquiring a license.

There are options that emulate a Windows environment or already include it preinstalled and ready to operate, thus simplifying the process of using Power BI on a Mac. These solutions vary in terms of functionality, performance, and ease of use, each presenting its own advantages and limitations. In this section, we will focus on exploring these alternatives in detail, providing you with the necessary information to determine which one is most suitable for your specific needs on Mac.

install power bi mac


  • Power BI Desktop is constantly updated each month, integrating both user feedback and new features. It is important to note that only the latest version of Power BI Desktop receives technical support. Therefore, if as users we require technical assistance, we will be asked to update to the most recent version of the software.
  • Power BI Desktop is no longer supported on Windows 7. To ensure an optimal experience and access to the latest updates, Power BI Desktop requires Windows 8 or a more recent version of the operating system, and this applies only to the most updated version of Power BI Desktop.

Virtual Machines

A virtual machine (VM) creates a complete environment that simulates a computer, allowing you to install operating systems like Windows on your Mac. It works at the hardware level, emulating the components of a PC. You can install Windows on the virtual machine and then install Power BI Desktop on that Windows. This gives you an experience almost identical to using Power BI on a real PC. Basically, it allows us to take full advantage of Power BI’s capabilities as if it were another of our macOS applications.

Generally, virtual machines offer good performance, but require a significant amount of system resources (RAM, CPU) from your Mac. Choose a VM that meets these requirements and you can run Power BI without problems:

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  1. Operating System: Make sure the VM has an operating system compatible with Power BI, such as Windows.
  2. Resources: Check that the VM has enough CPU, RAM, and storage to run Power BI smoothly. Recommended: 4 CPU cores and 16 GB of RAM. It is always advisable to consult Microsoft’s official documentation for the most up-to-date requirements.
  3. Network Configuration: The VM must have internet access to download updates and connect to data services.
  4. Virtualization: Verify that virtualization is enabled in your host computer’s settings for optimal performance.
  5. Security: Keep the VM updated with security patches and set up a firewall to protect it.

Most Recognized Virtual Machine Solutions

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Power BI for Mac with Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop is a leading virtual machine solution that offers an easy-to-use interface for setting up virtual machines on Mac. It allows Mac users to install and run Power BI Desktop alongside their macOS applications without the need for a separate Windows machine. Parallels Desktop provides a comfortable and accessible solution, even for non-technical users.

How to Run Power BI with Parallels Desktop?
Running Power BI with VMware Fusion

Power BI for Mac with VMware Fusion

Another popular virtualization solution for Mac is VMware Fusion. Another popular virtualization solution for Mac is VMware Fusion. VMware Fusion offers advanced features and seamless integration with macOS, making it a reliable choice for running Power BI Desktop.

How to Run Power BI with VMware Fusion?
Running Power BI with Oracle VM VirtualBox

Power BI for Mac with Oracle VM VirtualBox

Oracle VM VirtualBox is a good option for Mac users who want to use Power BI. It’s a free and open-source solution where you can create a virtual machine that runs Windows. Once Power BI is installed on the virtual machine, you can use it as if you were running it on a Windows computer. You can create reports, dashboards, and even data-connected applications with Power BI.

How to Run Power BI with Oracle VM VirtualBox?
Running Power BI with Hyper V

Power BI for Mac with Hyper-V

Hyper-V: Hyper-V is a virtualization technology developed by Microsoft and primarily used on Windows systems. However, with the help of third-party tools such as Vagrant or Docker, you can install and run Hyper-V virtual machines on a Mac. This option may require some additional configuration steps, but it can provide a Windows environment for running Power BI Desktop. Guide to Hyper-V.

How to Run Power BI with Hyper-V?

Resolving Performance Issues in Virtual Machines

How to Speed Up Virtual Machines”


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An emulator is a tool that simulates the functioning of a specific software or operating system within another system. Unlike virtual machines (VM), which replicate the entire hardware of a computer, emulators focus on imitating only certain functionalities or applications. This means that, with an emulator, you can run Windows applications directly on macOS, without the need to install the Windows operating system, saving you from acquiring a Windows license.

However, although emulators offer this advantage, their capacity to run complex applications like Power BI Desktop may be limited. You can try using Power BI Desktop through an emulator on your Mac, but you are likely to encounter compatibility issues, and not all features may be available or work correctly.

While emulators can be practical in certain situations, I have found that for resource-intensive applications like Power BI Desktop, they are not a viable and recommended solution for professional use.

Most Recognized Emulator

Running Power BI with CrossOver

Power BI for Mac with CrossOver

CrossOver is a tool that allows Mac users to run Windows applications through emulation. It simulates the behavior of the Windows operating system on a Mac, providing a convenient solution without the complexity of setting up a virtual machine.

Although some users recommend this solution, I currently do not consider it viable for intensive use of Power BI. In my experience, it has been unstable, presenting multiple errors from the moment of installation. However, I continue to closely follow the evolution of CrossOver trusting that in the future I can recommend it as a valid option for working with Power BI Desktop on our Macs.

Why Can’t You Run Power BI on Mac with CrossOver?

Cloud Solutions

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Power BI Desktop Capabilities from Your Browser

Running Power BI Desktop in the cloud through a third-party service offers several advantages, such as accessibility, scalability, automatic updating, cost, performance, and compatibility. However, it also presents some drawbacks, such as security risks, the need for a good internet connection, and the potential loss of control over data.

Overall, this option can be a good choice for organizations that want to offer their users access to Power BI Desktop from any device and do not want to worry about maintaining infrastructure. However, it is important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons before making a decision. By following these tips, you can efficiently run Power BI Desktop in the cloud on your Mac device.

Minimum and Recommended Requirements to Run Power BI Desktop in the Cloud

SpecificationMinimum RequirementsRecommended Requirements
ProcessorIntel Core i5 or higherIntel Core i7 or higher
Memory8 GB or higher16 GB or higher
Storage100 GB or higher256 GB or higher
Operating SystemmacOS 10.15 or highermacOS 12 or higher
Internet ConnectionAt least 100 Mbps

Most Recognized Cloud Solutions

When choosing a cloud service provider, it is important to consider cost, availability of the virtual machine, geographical location, and quality of customer service.

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Power BI Service

The Power BI service offers a web-based interface that allows users to create, view, and share reports and dashboards entirely in the cloud. This approach eliminates the need for local installations and enables real-time collaboration with other users.

Guide to Power BI Service
Running Power BI with Azure

Power BI for Mac with Azure VM

Azure Virtual Machines, a cloud-based solution offered by Microsoft Azure, enables Mac users to access Power BI by deploying a Windows virtual machine in the Azure cloud. This provides seamless access to all the capabilities of Power BI without the need to install any software directly on the Mac. Azure Virtual Machines offer a flexible and scalable solution for running Power BI on a Mac through cloud-based infrastructure.

How to Run Power BI with Azure Virtual Machines?
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Power BI for Mac with Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of services, from basic infrastructure to enterprise applications. It provides a number of services that can be used to run Power BI, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which offers virtual server instances that can be used to run Power BI Desktop.

How to Run Power BI with AWS?

Remote Desktop Solutions

Running Power BI Remotely from Your Mac

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For Mac users who have access to a Windows machine, setting up remote desktop solutions provides a simple way to run Power BI. These allow users to remotely connect to a Windows machine from their Mac, giving them full control over the Windows environment and enabling them to run Power BI Desktop as if they were using a Windows machine directly. In recent years, these solutions have significantly improved, making them a more attractive option for running Windows applications on Mac, including Power BI.

Running Power BI with Microsoft Remote Desktop

Power BI for Mac with Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop is a notable remote desktop solution that allows Mac users to connect to a Windows machine and run Power BI Desktop seamlessly. This provides users with the full power of Power BI Desktop while working on their Mac.

How to Run Power BI with Microsoft Remote Desktop?

Dual Boot Solution to Run Power BI

Running Power BI with BootCamp

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For Mac users with an Intel chip, using Boot Camp is a good option to enjoy optimal performance and all the features of Power BI on their device. The latest version of Bootcamp is compatible with the following Mac models:

  • MacBook Pro de 2015 or higher
  • iMac de 2015 or higher
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro from late 2013 or later
Power BI BootCamp

Power BI for Mac with BootCamp

You can install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp. This will allow you to run Power BI smoothly on your Mac, but it will require you to partition your hard drive and reboot your Mac each time you want to switch between Windows and macOS.

How to Run Power BI with BootCamp?