Excel Online Refresh Fails to Project Online when using ‘TimeByDay (Month)’ PivotTable Field.

There is an issue when refreshing Project Online Data in Excel Online when using the TimeByDay (Month) Pivot Table Field.  I will dive into why this is occurring and how to resolve it, but first I will explain the issue.

This issue happens when you perform an Data > Refresh All > Refresh All Connections in Excel Online.


The primary error will be:


This is caused by the TimByDay (Month) Pivot Table Field.


If you were to untick this, there would be no issue refreshing Excel Online.  However, your workbook may not look the way you want it to look.  To fix this, you need to do several things.

  1. In the Excel Rich Client, tick "Disable automatic grouping of Date/Time columns in PivotTables" under File > Options > Data.


2. You will then need to remove existing "TimeByDay" columns in Power Pivot.  In Excel click the Power Pivot tab > Manage.  On the Home tab you will see 2 columns called TimeByDay (Month Index) & TimByDay (Month)You will need to right click and choose Delete Columns.

3. Since we removed the auto-generated Time Columns, we need to click Add Column. Name it Month and add the Formula: =FORMAT([TimeByDay],"MMM YYYY")


4. Click Add Column again and name it MonthNumber and add the Formula: =FORMAT([TimeByDay],"YYYY MM")


5. The next step is to Sort the Month column by the MonthNumber. To do this, click on the Month column and choose Sort by Column...


6. On the Month Column, choose Sort A to Z. This will sort the months in proper chronological order -vs. alphabetical order.


7. Go back to your Pivot Table, click on one of the TimeByDay column cells and choose Group.


8. Choose Months > OK


Voila! There it is, you now have the look an feel


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