Power BI – The new EXE installer command lines

imageAs announced few weeks back (see https://t.co/Xe4cA1yQaw), the Power BI Desktop MSI package has been removed and replaced by an single EXE file available at https://aka.ms/PBISingleInstaller.

If you are managing application deployment (by using SCCM [or any other software deployment solution] or Intune), this move is quite annoying.

Well, I got you covered Smile – well only for the most used/common/obvious parameters

Here are the command lines to install, uninstall or repair the Power BI Desktop installation when using the EXE file:

  • Silent install: –q or –quiet or –s or –silent
  • Passive install (or display a progress bar only): –passive NOTE based on my testing I would not recommend this one for the moment as it shows up as if the application was unresponsive and does not really display a proper progress bar
  • Restart management (if needed): –norestart or –forcerestart or –promptrestart (this is the default behaviour)
  • Uninstall: –uninstall
  • Repair: –repair

And there are the tricky ones –as you need to provide the variable name and the value (either 0, aka disabled or 1, aka enabled) – as the previous ones (especially in silent mode) are not sufficient – the below ones are mandatory:

  • LANGUAGE – by default is should use the OS language but during my testing when this was missing it continuously failed to install

And the additional parameters you can use with the EXE file:

  • INSTALLLOCATION – this one you define the installation location between quote

This gives the below examples (for the purpose of this blog I will call the EXE file pbi.exe):

Silent install using the English US language

pbi.exe -s ACCEPT_EULA=1 LANGUAGE en-us

Silent install with no desktop shortcut using the French language


Passive uninstall

pbi.exe –passive –uninstall


pbi.exe –repair

The detection method I’m using is the registry key, then up to you to choose which value to use but I would recommend the DisplayVersion (type String) as you got the installed version here (at least this is the ones as of October 29, 2019 for the Power BI Desktop version 2.74.5619.862):

NOTE if you use SCCM, you have to set the User Experience to Install for user, otherwise the installation will continuously fail


32 bits version


64 bits version


And of course, it can upgrade from a previous/existing Power BI Desktop deployment using the MSI package; it is recommended to uninstall the previously MSI method installation or you will get 2 Power BI Desktop client showing up in the Add/Remove Program in Control Panel


Last tips, you can get the MSI package from the EXE installation by looking up the ProgramData\Package Cache.

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