Power BI Visualization Tip: Hide or Lock the Filter for Users

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Hide or lock Power BI filters

I have previously explained that we have three scopes of filtering in the Power BI visualization. The filter created in the filter pane can be often changed or viewed by the user. However, there is a simple way to hide or lock it from the user. In this article and video, I explain how that works.

Video

Read-Only User

Before I start explaining how this functionality works, it is important to know about the read-only user type in the Power BI environment. Because the features I am about to explain only impacts the read-only user, not the developer. Anywhere in the rest of this article that I mention user I mean the read-only user.

A read-only user is someone who has read-only (but not edit) access to the report. There are many ways to share the report in a read-only way with the users. Methods such as basic sharing, sharing through apps, sharing through workspace but with read-only access, embedding Power BI report in a read-only mode, and many other ways. To learn more about other methods of sharing in Power BI and their differences, read this article.

Everything that I am about to explain in this article will be only valid for the read-only user. If a user has edit rights on the report, then the user can unlock or unhide any filters. To share the report in read-only mode, you have to share it through the Power BI service or embedded, but not using the Power BI Desktop.

Filter pane’s default behavior for users

By default the configurations of the filter pane in a report is visible for users, and they can apply changes there.

Filter pane’s setting is visible and editable for the read-only user by default

The screenshot below shows a view of the read-only user of the report. As you can see the user can see all the filters, and can even change them. However, the change, would not be for other users, it would be for the user himself or herself only.

User can also see the filters on each visual using the filter icon on the top right corner of the visual;

viewing filters applied on the visual

To learn more about the scope of filtering, read my article here.

Lock filter

If you don’t want the user to make any changes in a particular filter, you can lock it. There is a lock icon beside each filter in the filter’s pane.

Locking Power BI filters

When the filter is locked, then it can be still visible for the user (dependent on the visibility setting), but is not editable anymore.

The locked filter cannot be edited by the read-only user

Hide filter

If you like to hide a filter, so that the user don’t even know that a filter like that is applied, you can use the visibility icon of the filter to hide it.

Hiding filters in Power BI

When the filter is hidden, the user cannot see it in the filter’s pane;

Hidden filter cannot be seen in the Filter’s pane for the read-only user

And even if the user clicks on the filter icon of the visual, won’t see that.

hidden filter cannot be seen on the visual

In the example above, the filter on the WorldWide lifetime field is totally hidden from the user’s view.

Summary

The filters applied on visuals, pages, or the report in Power BI, can be viewed and edited by the read-only user by default. However, you can change this behavior by locking or hiding the filter. Remember that these changes are only affecting read-only users, because the user with Edit access can edit the PBIX file (either in the Desktop or the Service) and unlock or unhide the filter. This feature is useful to apply some behind the scene filter settings.

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Reza Rad
Trainer, Consultant, Mentor
Reza Rad is a Microsoft Regional Director, an Author, Trainer, Speaker and Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 20 years’ experience in data analysis, BI, databases, programming, and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP for nine continuous years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. Reza is an active blogger and co-founder of RADACAD. Reza is also co-founder and co-organizer of Difinity conference in New Zealand.
His articles on different aspects of technologies, especially on MS BI, can be found on his blog: https://radacad.com/blog.
He wrote some books on MS SQL BI and also is writing some others, He was also an active member on online technical forums such as MSDN and Experts-Exchange, and was a moderator of MSDN SQL Server forums, and is an MCP, MCSE, and MCITP of BI. He is the leader of the New Zealand Business Intelligence users group. He is also the author of very popular book Power BI from Rookie to Rock Star, which is free with more than 1700 pages of content and the Power BI Pro Architecture published by Apress.
He is an International Speaker in Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Data Insight Summit, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday and SQL user groups. And He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
Reza’s passion is to help you find the best data solution, he is Data enthusiast.

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