Do You Use the Power BI Quick Access Toolbar?

Do You Use the Power BI Quick Access Toolbar?
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In Power BI Desktop and in many other Microsoft products, the Quick Access toolbar lets you save shortcuts to different application functions. While this functionality in the “Ribbon” is nothing new, I want to stress how convenient it can be. This is particularly true for Power BI users who flip between tabs in the main program and in the Power Query Editor window.

If you have never used it, the Quick Access toolbar is the selection of icons at the top. I primarily use the this toolbar for my most common tasks so that I do not need to hunt for them on different tabs. It also allows me to minimize the ribbon completely so that I have more screen space for report development. Here is my current setup for the Quick Access toolbar.

Personal Power BI Quick Access Setup - DataVeld

  • Defaults – Save, Undo, Redo
  • Get Data – Obtain data from a new source
  • Edit Queries – Launch the Power Query Editor to edit existing queries
  • Edit Interactions – I commonly forget if this is on the Format (yes) or Modeling (no) tab. It no longer matters…
  • Bookmarks Pane – Toggle on or off
  • Selection Pane – Toggle on or off
  • Phone Layout – I’m appreciating the Phone layout more and more as I’ve started using the iOS app more often
  • New Measure – There are about 100 places in Power BI to add a new measure. This gives me one more.
  • Ask a Question – Like Phone layout, I’m coming to appreciate the Ask a Question / Q&A feature more and more


If you are not using this or have seen but ignored it for years in MS Office or other products, it’s easy to setup. Simply right-click on a ribbon icon and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.


Does anyone else use Quick Access heavily? If so, what are some of your “go to” shortcuts that I do not use in my personal setup? Feel free to leave comments below.

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  1. I have never used this before, now I wonder how I have managed without it or this long, I just wish there was a way of retaining the configuration of Quick Access toolbar across different Power BI files. Thanks for sharing this tip. Love it.

  2. Honestly – thank you! I’ve been struggling with the Quick Access in Power BI since I started using it. Because I’ve been used to accessing it by right-clicking on the Quick Access itself – as in other MS products. I’ve seen screenshots of other users setups and desperately wondered how on earth they’d managed to add items. Never occurred to me to try right-clicking on icons themselves. You’ve saved my mouse finger a thousand clicks 🙂

  3. Wow! I didn’t even know it had a customizable QAT. If you click on the QAT dropdown or right-click on it, there are no options.

    Didn’t occur to me that right-clicking on ribbon buttons could be added to the toolbar.

    The downside though is you cannot export/import the QAT like you can in Office apps, so not sure I’ll be adding much to it with no way to save it and put on multiple machines.

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