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In Power BI Desktop, in the Power Query Editor you can configure the setting "Include in report refresh" for each query.

In Desktop this will then just contain the information from the fist time when this was accessed. And never try to reach for the source file to refresh it.

If this report ist uploaded to Power BI Service you would think that it acts in the same way.

But Power BI Service, when you start refreshing the query, it will first check if it has access to all the query source file in the report.
-> If it has not, you will get a error accordingly (even if "Include in report refresh" is disabled).
-> If it has, it will refresh all the query's where "Include in report refresh" is enabled.

In my opinion, Power BI should not check if it can reach the query source file if "Include in report refresh" is disabled.

This issue is long known and also many other Power BI users consider it as a Bug:
- https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Issues/quot-Include-in-report-refresh-quot-disabling-doesn-t-work-in/idi-p/331982
- https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Desktop/Disabling-quot-Include-in-report-refresh-quot-not-working/m-p/432771

And there are many more posts about it in the forum. You will always get suggestion to work around this poor design but unfortunately until now I have not found any real will to change or improve the behavior from Microsoft side.

I created a Support Ticket and was told that this is unfortunately as designed. So we need this votes on this Idea to have this behavior changed.

To sum it up:
In my opinion Power BI Service should ignore query's with "Include in report refresh" disabled completely. Also not check for this query source file. So that this settings can be used intentionally to be able to refresh reports with some files not available for refresh.
STATUS DETAILS
Merged
Idea Merged with: Exclude a table from refresh in Power BI Service