Using Power BI Desktop on Your Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Power BI isn't supported on Mac devices so here are some workarounds you can follow to access it.

While Power BI is primarily designed for Windows, you can still run it on your Mac and unlock its data visualization capabilities. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to get Power BI Desktop up and running smoothly on your Mac.

There is also a web based version of Power BI you can use however they have different functionalities, find out more here:


Option 1: Virtual Machine

One effective method to use Power BI Desktop on your Mac is by setting up a Windows Virtual Machine (VM). Here's how to do it:

  1. Choose a Virtual Machine Software: Select a Virtual Machine software that suits your needs. Popular options include Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox.

  2. Install Windows: Within your chosen Virtual Machine software, create a new Virtual Machine and install a Windows operating system. You can use a Windows 10 image for this purpose.

  3. Power BI Installation: Once Windows is set up, open your virtual Windows environment and navigate to the official Microsoft website to download Power BI Desktop.

  4. Install Power BI: Follow the installation prompts to install Power BI Desktop within your Windows Virtual Machine.

  5. Launch Power BI: After installation, launch Power BI Desktop from within the virtual Windows environment, and you're ready to start building your reports and visualizations.

NOTE: If applicable be sure to check your company policy on virtual machines to ensure it is a viable option for you!


Option 2: Remote Desktop

Another approach is to use Remote Desktop software to connect to a Windows PC running Power BI Desktop. Here's how:

  1. Acquire a Windows PC: Ensure you have access to a Windows PC where Power BI Desktop is installed. This PC can be owned by you or a colleague.

  2. Install Remote Desktop Software: On your Mac, install a Remote Desktop software such as Microsoft Remote Desktop, TeamViewer, or AnyDesk.

  3. Connect to the Windows PC: Open the Remote Desktop software on your Mac and connect to the Windows PC where Power BI Desktop is installed. You'll be able to control and use Power BI as if you were sitting in front of the Windows PC.


Option 3: Dual Boot with Boot Camp

If you prefer a more integrated approach, you can set up your Mac to dual boot with Windows using Boot Camp. Here's how:

  1. Boot Camp Installation: Launch Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac (it's pre-installed on macOS). Follow the prompts to create a Windows partition on your hard drive and install Windows.

  2. Install Power BI: After successfully installing Windows through Boot Camp, open the Windows operating system, visit the Microsoft website, and download Power BI Desktop.

  3. Power BI Usage: Launch Power BI Desktop from within Windows on your Mac whenever you need to work on reports and visualizations.



While Power BI Desktop is primarily designed for Windows, Mac users can still leverage its powerful features by using Virtual Machines, Remote Desktop software, or dual booting with Boot Camp. Choose the method that best suits your preferences and start creating insightful data visualizations and reports on your Mac. Power BI's capabilities are within your reach, regardless of your choice of operating system.