Power BI Quick Tip: Use Windows Shortcuts to Open Power BI with a Default File

Power BI Quick Tip: Use Windows Shortcuts to Open Power BI with a Default File
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Many organizations deploying Power BI rely on one or more standardized template (.PBIT) files. Especially when paired with a custom theme, templates help create consistency for branding or other reasons.

Perhaps you want to open the same PBIT (or PBIX) every time you open Power BI and don’t want to rely on finding and opening the file directly. Or, perhaps your organization deploys software using a tool such as Microsoft Configuration Manager, and you want to ensure that report authors start with a consistent experience working from the same template.

This setup is simple with the use of Windows shortcuts that can be conveniently placed wherever you find them useful.

The following small shortcut modification works easily for the manual installation (non-Store version) of Microsoft Power BI by copying an existing shortcut. It may be a bit trickier to for the Microsoft Store version, but you could try browsing to C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftPowerBIDesktop[random] to create a shortcut for the PBIDesktop.exe you’ll find there for the Store version.

  1. Create a copy of an existing Power BI Desktop shortcut like the one you might find on the Windows desktop or taskbar.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.
  3. Append the path of a PBIT or PBIX file to the end of the Target.
  4. Click OK to save the shortcut, and put it to use!

In the following screenshot, you can see the sample file path after the primary PBIDesktop.exe location (which you should not change). The screenshot shows double quotation marks because there is a space in my file name, but these would not be required if your file path does not contain spaces.

This post was inspired by a recent question by Tom Martens, co-author of the awesome new book Pro DAX with Power BI.

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