Excel Online – This workbook contains external data connections or BI features that are not supported.

If you are seeing the below error when uploading an Excel workbook containing a data model, you need to toggle a SharePoint Online Feature.

"Excel Online - This workbook contains external data connections or BI features that are not supported."

The feature you need to toggle is the Preview Features.

“The preview feature is an IT control feature for SharePoint Online to globally shut off access to all services where data could leave the SharePoint Online compliance boundary. This includes data that would go to Power BI. This is an IT override. When preview features are disabled Power BI is disabled as are features in Excel Online that depend on Power BI technology to deliver the feature.

If an organization wants to have strict adherence to the SharePoint Online compliance boundary they can set Preview features to disabled. If they make this choice certain features are disabled including Power BI and Excel Online features that depend on Power BI.”

Go to Admin



Preview Features > Enable preview features

Comments (4)
  1. Anonymous says:

    So this is not enabled by default? If not I think it should be!

  2. Tim Rodman says:

    According to this link, I should be able to refresh OData connections as long as I’m using Excel Online:

    It mentions nothing about needing to enable "Preview Features". I bought "Office 365 Small Business" expecting it to work, but I get the error on the top of this page. I even turned on "SharePoint Server Enterprise Site features" but I still get the error.

  3. Tim Rodman says:

    Do I need the "Self-service Business Intelligence" feature listed here in order for this to work?

    If so, then it looks like Office 365 ProPlus would be the most basic version needed.

  4. Dale Howard says:

    We have that option enabled, and yet I still see the same error dialog in Excel Online reports. How might this happen if the option is enabled?

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