What is difference between PBIX and PBIT files in Power BI

PBIX and PBIT files in Power BI: In the dynamic world of data analytics, Microsoft Power BI stands tall as a powerhouse, offering an array of tools to transform raw data into actionable insights. Among the many components of Power BI, understanding the distinction between PBIX and PBIT files is crucial for effective data management and collaboration. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between PBIX and PBIT files, shedding light on their unique characteristics and use cases within the Power BI ecosystem.

PBIX File: The Power BI Report File

Key Features of PBIX:

  1. Comprehensive Report Package: PBIX files serve as complete report packages, encapsulating everything from data models and queries to visualizations and customizations.
  2. Data Inclusion: These files contain the actual dataset, making them self-contained and suitable for sharing finalized reports with embedded data.
  3. Collaborative Analysis: PBIX files are ideal for collaborative analysis, allowing users to share detailed reports with colleagues, stakeholders, or clients.

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PBIT File: The Power BI Template File

Key Features of PBIT:

  1. Template Structure: PBIT files preserve the structure of a report, including visuals, queries, and customizations, but intentionally exclude the actual data.
  2. Data Separation: PBIT files allow users to share report designs without disclosing sensitive or proprietary data, making them suitable for collaborative report design without revealing specific data details.
  3. Collaboration and Privacy: PBIT files facilitate collaborative report design while maintaining data privacy, making them useful for sharing templates or samples.

Differences Between PBIX and PBIT Files:

1. Inclusion of Data:

  • PBIX: Contains the complete dataset and is suitable for sharing comprehensive reports with embedded data.
  • PBIT: Excludes the data, serving as a template for report design without revealing sensitive or proprietary information.

2. Use Cases:

  • PBIX: Ideal for sharing finalized reports where the recipient needs access to the full dataset and report structure.
  • PBIT: Suited for sharing report designs, templates, or samples without revealing specific data details.

3. Collaboration and Privacy:

  • PBIX: Facilitates collaborative analysis with shared datasets but may include sensitive information.
  • PBIT: Supports collaborative report design without disclosing the actual data, ensuring data privacy.

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Comparison table  of PBIX and PBIT files in Power BI:

Feature PBIX File PBIT File
File Type Power BI Report File Power BI Template File
Complete Report Package Yes, includes data models, queries, visuals No data, contains report structure only
Data Inclusion Yes, includes the actual dataset No data, excludes the actual dataset
Use Cases Sharing finalized reports Sharing report designs, templates, or samples
Collaboration and Privacy Facilitates collaborative analysis with shared datasets Supports collaborative report design without disclosing actual data
Opening in Power BI Service Yes, displays complete reports Yes, displays report structure, requires connection to dataset for data

External Link and FAQs:

  1. Microsoft Power BI Documentation


Q1: Can I convert a PBIX file to a PBIT file and vice versa?

A1: No, direct conversion between PBIX and PBIT files is not supported. Each format serves a specific purpose—PBIX for sharing complete reports and PBIT for sharing report designs without data.

Q2: How does version compatibility work between PBIX and PBIT files?

A2: In general, PBIX and PBIT files created in a higher version of Power BI Desktop can be opened in lower versions, but some features may not be supported. Ensure collaborators use the same or compatible Power BI Desktop versions.

Q3: Can PBIT files be used to refresh data in Power BI?

A3: No, PBIT files do not contain the actual data, so they cannot be used to refresh data in Power BI. PBIX files, which include the data model, are required for data refresh.

Q4: Are there any size limitations for PBIX and PBIT files?

A4: While there are no strict size limitations for PBIX files, PBIT files are generally smaller as they exclude the data. Both file types may be subject to constraints based on the Power BI service or user environment.

Q5: Can PBIX and PBIT files be opened in Power BI Service, or are they limited to Power BI Desktop?

A5: Both PBIX and PBIT files can be opened in Power BI Service. However, it’s important to note that PBIT files won’t display any data until connected to an appropriate dataset in Power BI Service.

Q6: Are there any differences in the process of sharing PBIX and PBIT files with external users or clients?

A6: While the process of sharing is similar, sharing PBIX files may involve considerations for data privacy. When sharing PBIT files, collaborators can design reports without exposing specific data, enhancing confidentiality.

Q7: Can PBIX and PBIT files coexist in a collaborative environment, allowing users to share both detailed reports and report templates?

A7: Absolutely. In a collaborative setting, users can leverage both file types based on the specific use case. PBIX files for detailed reports and PBIT files for sharing report designs without data.

Q8: How does data security work when sharing PBIX files externally?

A8: When sharing PBIX files externally, it’s important to consider the security implications of embedded data. Ensure that recipients have the necessary permissions and use secure sharing methods, such as sharing through Power BI Service with access controls.

Q9: Can PBIT files be used as a starting point for report creation by importing new data in Power BI Desktop?

A9: Yes, PBIT files can serve as templates for creating new reports in Power BI Desktop. Users can import new data, modify queries, and build on the existing structure provided by the template.

Q10: What considerations should be taken into account when migrating reports between environments using PBIX or PBIT files?

A10: When migrating reports, ensure that the destination environment supports the features and configurations used in the original file. Pay attention to data source connections, custom visuals, and other dependencies that might vary between environments.


Navigating the Power BI landscape becomes more intuitive when armed with the knowledge of the differences between PBIX and PBIT files. Whether you’re sharing comprehensive reports or collaborating on report designs, understanding the unique strengths of each file type ensures a seamless and efficient data analytics workflow within Microsoft Power BI.