Power BI Templates

What are Power BI Templates?

Power BI templates are pre-built files that contain a set of predefined configurations, data models, queries, and visualizations. These templates can be used to streamline the process of creating reports and dashboards in Power BI Desktop based on existing templates.

Templates help ensure consistency in report design and can save time by providing a starting point for new projects, report layouts, designing data models, and building queries. You can standardize your report easily through these templates.

Key Takeaways
  • Power BI templates streamline report creation by providing predefined layouts, data models, queries, and visualizations.
  • Templates promote consistency, save time, and help standardize report development within an organization.
  • Care should be taken to consider data source compatibility, version issues, and security when using or sharing templates.
  • Ensure that the Power BI Desktop version used to create the template is compatible with the version being used to open it.


The key features of Power BI Templates are highlighted below:

  • Predefined Layouts: Templates often include predefined layouts and designs for reports, dashboards, and report pages, ensuring a consistent and professional look.
  • Data Models: Templates can include predefined data models, which are relationships and structures for organizing and analyzing data, data model definitions (e.g., schema, measures, and other definitions capturing data model information)
  • Queries: Templates may contain predefined queries that fetch and transform data from various sources and query definitions (e.g., query parameters and other query elements)
  • Visualizations: Templates often include pre-configured charts, graphs, and other visualizations to help users quickly create informative reports.
  • Themes: Templates may include predefined color schemes and themes to maintain a consistent visual style.

It’s worth noting that Power BI Templates do not contain the report’s data. The Power BI Templates are stored with the .PBIT file extension.

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How to Create templates in Power BI Desktop?

There are multiple ways to create templates in Power BI Desktop. These include:

  • Create a new Power BI Template.
  • Create a Template using the existing Power BI Template.

#1 – Creating a new Power BI Template in Power BI Desktop

To create a template in Power BI Desktop, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Open Power BI Desktop in your system, navigate to Home 🡪 Get data 🡪 Excel workbook.

Power BI Templates - Step 1

Step 2: Choose the dataset you want to load to the Power BI and then click on the Load button.

Power BI Templates - Step 2

Once the dataset is loaded, you will be able to view the data fields in the Fields pane.

Power BI Templates - Step 2 - Data

Step 3: Navigate to the Visualizations pane, select the Clustered column chart Visual icon, and drag and drop the fields to the appropriate X-axis and Y-axis as per requirements.

Power BI Templates - Step 3

Step 4: Apply formatting to the visual by navigating to the Format visual 🡪 Visual tab. Turn on the Data labels slider.

Power BI Templates - Step 4

Step 5: Navigate to the Visualizations pane, select the Pie chart Visual icon, and drag and drop the fields to appropriate Legend and Values as per requirements.

Power BI Templates - Step 5

Step 6: Apply formatting to the visual by navigating to the Format visual 🡪 Visual tab. Turn on the Detail labels slider.

Power BI Templates - Step 6

Step 7: Add the slicers to the Report canvas by selecting the Slicer visual icon. Apply formatting to the slicers by navigating to Formal visual – Visual – Slicer settings.

Power BI Templates - Step 7

Similarly, for the date slicer, choose Style as Between and turn the Slider on.

Power BI Templates - Step 7 - visuals

Step 8: Once the changes are applied, you will be able to view the Report in the Report canvas in Power BI Desktop.

Power BI Templates - Step 8

Step 9: Navigate to the File tab and select Export option in Power BI Desktop.

Power BI Templates - Step 9

Step 10: Select the Power BI template on the Export window.

Power BI Templates - Step 10

Step 11: Provide a template description in the text box and click on OK.

Power BI Templates - Step 11

Step 12: Select the filename in your directory where the file is stored and then click on Save. It will create a template with .PBIT extension.

Power BI Templates - Step 12

#2 – Create a Power BI Template using the existing Power BI Template

To create a Power BI Template using an existing template, follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Launch Power BI Desktop on your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to File – Import in Power BI Desktop.

Existing - Step 2

Step 3: Select the Power BI template option on the Import window.

existing - Step 3

Step 4: Select the template source file location where you have saved the file through Windows Explorer and click on Save.

existing - Step 4

Step 5: Once imported, the template will be applied to the current report.

Power BI Templates free download:

There are multiple ways or avenues where you can download Power BI Templates for free. These include:

  • Microsoft Appsource 
existing - Step 5
  • Power BI Community where users can share these templates.
  • External websites providing templates free download.
  • GitHub repositories provide a templates gallery that you can choose from

You can find different Power BI templates examples highlighting different themes and visualizations that you can use in your reports. 

Power BI templates dashboard:

Power BI templates can be very useful for creating dashboards for your reporting requirements. These templates come with pre-built designs and visual elements that can be used to build standardized reports and dashboards.


  • Consistency: Power BI templates enable you to create consistent and standardized reports across your organization. By defining a template with pre-built visualizations, data connections, and formatting, you ensure that everyone is using the same design and structure for their reports.
  • Time-Saving: Templates save time by providing a starting point for creating new reports. Instead of starting from scratch each time, users can begin with a pre-configured template and then customize it based on their specific needs.
  • Ease of Use: Power BI templates make it easier for users to create professional-looking reports without requiring advanced technical skills. Templates can include predefined measures, calculated columns, and relationships, reducing the complexity of building reports from scratch.
  • Reusability: Once a template is created, it can be reused across different projects, departments, or teams. It ensures that best practices, standardized visualizations, and data models are consistently applied throughout the organization.
  • Version Control: Templates support version control, allowing you to manage changes and updates more effectively. It is crucial when multiple users are collaborating on the same report or when there are regular updates to data sources or business requirements.
  • Promotes Data Governance: These templates can be designed to adhere to data governance policies and standards. It helps organizations maintain control over data access, security, and quality by enforcing predefined rules and guidelines.
  • Adherence to Branding Guidelines: Power BI templates enable users to incorporate consistent branding elements, such as colors, logos, and fonts, ensuring a cohesive look and feel across reports.
  • Training and Onboarding: Such templates can serve as training and onboarding tools. New users can be introduced to report development using templates as examples, making it easier for them to understand how to structure and design effective reports.

Important Things to Note

  • Templates may need to be adjusted for different data sources, and connections may need to be reconfigured.
  • Be cautious about including sensitive data or credentials in templates, especially if they are intended for sharing outside the organization.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use a Power BI template in the Power BI service (cloud)?

Power BI templates (.pbit files) are primarily designed to be used in the Power BI Desktop application. Users create reports and dashboards in Power BI Desktop, save them as templates, and then share them with others. However, there are limitations when it comes to directly using these templates in the Power BI service (cloud). The Power BI service usually works with Power BI reports (.pbix files) rather than templates. Templates are a starting point for creating reports in Power BI Desktop.

2. Are Power BI templates backward compatible?

Power BI templates (.pbit files) are generally backward compatible. However,

If the template uses features that are not available in the older version of Power BI Desktop, you may encounter issues. 
Templates can include connections to specific data sources. If the data source requires a newer version of a connector or has undergone changes, there may be compatibility issues when opening the template in an older version.
Changes in report design or visualization options that are not supported in the older version may lead to unexpected behavior.

3. What is the difference between a Power BI template and a Power BI app?


4. How do I share a Power BI template with others?

Power BI templates can be shared with others by providing them with the .pbit file. They can then open the template in Power BI Desktop to view or modify the report.
If you want to share a complete solution, including dashboards, reports, and datasets, consider creating a Power BI app.

This has been a guide to Power BI Templates. Here we learn how to create template from new and existing power bi template with examples, and its benefits. You can learn more from the following articles –

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