Power BI isn’t available for Mac. Here’s how to fix that!

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.

Power BI is a great business intelligence and analytics solution.

With it, you can connect to a lot of data sources, find insights, make visualizations, share them with others, and even transform and model data.

However, it’s desktop version — Power BI Desktop — isn’t available on Mac.

And if you or your business needs data modeling and transformation, this could be a big deal.

In this article, we’ll show you 3 ways to fix that so you can use Power BI Desktop on your Mac.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Let’s go! 💻

*This tutorial is for Power BI Online (also called "Power BI Service"). If you have Power BI Desktop, then click here and go to the online version.

Introduction to Power BI Products

Power BI’s main products include:

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Service
  • Power BI Mobile

Here are all Power BI products you can download:

All Power BI products you can download

Of the main products, Power BI Desktop has to be downloaded on your computer.

Compared to Power BI Service, Power BI Desktop is the one capable of transforming data and creating models of it.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Looking at its system requirements, you can see that it’s not available for Mac.

System Requirements of Power BI Desktop

This is a problem if you want to use the desktop version and you only have a Mac device.

Here you’ll find 3 possible solutions to that starting from the cheapest to the most expensive:

  • Paperspace
  • Parallels
  • Turbo

Paperspace

Paperspace is a cloud virtual machine with GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) support.

Paperspace is popular for its cloud gaming. However, you can also use Paperspace other than gaming like designing, and programming needs.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

And the best news about Paperspace? It’s totally free to start!

Pricing for Paperspace

Paperspace is free for hobbyists, explorers, and adventurous learners.

If you would like to enhance your experience, the paid plan for individuals starts at $8/month while for teams, it’s $12/user/month.

Features

Pros: Free to start, low prices in general, easy to use and deploy
Cons: Customer service needs improvement, some lag on the interface
Pricing: Has a free plan, paid service starts at $8/month
Link: Paperspace

Parallels Desktop

The home page of Parallels

Parallels Desktop is one of the most popular and friendliest ways to run Windows apps like Power BI on a Mac.

Parallels is a virtualization software that supports all Windows versions since Windows 2000, and most operating systems in the world. Parallels Desktop, one of their products, is only for Mac.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
Pricing plans for Parallels

Getting a new license for home use is cheaper at $79.99.

But more firepower will require you to pay more at $99.99/year. Still cheaper than most virtual machine services.

Parallels is a popular provider so it’s almost assured that you would get your money’s worth.

Features

Pros: Fast performance, effortless installation, could easily open Mac files in Windows apps
Cons: Some of the Mac-integration features are impractical
Pricing: $79.99 for home use, $99.99/year for the Pro and Business editions
Link: Parallels Desktop

Turbo

The home page of Turbo

Turbo is a rather unique software as it provides a virtualization experience through containerization.

That means you don’t have to install any virtual machine as the apps run in the cloud.

This is great since you can use the apps like Power BI without the slowdowns and memory consumption linked with the traditional virtual machine technology.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
The pricing plans of Turbo

Out of the 3, Turbo is the less hassle. But it comes with a heavy price.

The basic plan starts at $99/month if billed annually. It jumps to $119/month if you would pay monthly.

Upgrading it would cost twice — $199/month!

If convenience is your priority, then this is the most ideal. But watch out for the price.

Features

Pros: Doesn’t bog down your Mac, fast and reliable
Cons: Expensive
Pricing: $99/month for the basic plan, $199/month for advance data and development applications
Link: Turbo

Running Power BI Desktop on Mac

Even if there’s no Power BI Desktop for Mac, you can still run it using virtual machines. The downside is, you may need to cash out.

For basic use, Paperspace is the best choice. However, you get what you pay for. So if you’re a regular Power BI Desktop user, you might opt for the paid services. Or better yet, get a Windows unit capable of running Power BI Desktop. 😊

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto