This is a short story of how I ruined one of my Power BI Desktop files. Luckily I stored it on SharePoint where I have versioning enabled, so I could restore a working version.

In that Power BI report I used an Excel file as a source and decided to turn it into a parameter for other queries – Binary parameter.

BTW, I faced that issue using Power BI Desktop June 2019 version from MS Store.


When you create a parameter in Power BI Desktop, you can choose type Binary, but cannot set a value – fields are greyed out

In my case, I wanted to link a parameter to another query. There is no such option in the UI.

So, I created a parameter and opened it in the Advanced Editor to change type to Binary and replace value with a reference to another query #”SourceFile” .

My Mistake

I wrongly entered parameter’s Type, used “binary” instead of “Binary”. I don’t usually use this type, so didn’t remember the correct spelling, I though it should be in lowcase as other frequently used types “text” or “number”.

And got an error message

I reported an issue and clicked Cancel.

Then by mistake clicked on the Close button which closed window with parameter’s code with no questions

For some reason I decided to “Close and Apply” at certain point.

I didn’t know this will be the end of story for my report.

Soon, I tried to get back to the queries but couldn’t. Yes, I couldn’t open Power Query Editor window anymore – lost access to this area of Power BI Desktop file.

Every time I’m trying to open it I see this error window


Those who watched Chernobyl by HBO, probably remember old good Russian proverb “Trust but verify” (Доверяй, но проверяй) said by the head of KGB in one of the episodes. This applies to your files and the way you work as well. “Trust” that everything will be OK with your files, but “verify” by storing them in the locations with versioning enabled such as OneDrive or SharePoint and don’t forget to save frequently during active development phase.

Leave a Reply