Why is Excel 2016 different from Excel 2016 - Powerpivot Add-in

I have recently sought support regarding an Add-In that I require that does not seem to be working (Power pivot in Excel 2016)




Following the instructions on the website I tried to enable the add-in but there is no Add-In to enable. I contacted the support chat and bounced between several departments. Eventually I have now been told that the add-in is not provided in the version of Excel 2016 that is part of Home 365 (via some forum where other users have made complaints, NOT from the sales site) and is only available in Excel 2016 (?)




In fact the only place that I, or Microsoft support staff, can find where such an issue is detailed is in this forum where other customers are trying to get the feature enabled; Presumably because they also needed to use the feature right now, not waste hours talking to support. I was directed to this link by your own staff as irrefutable ‘proof’ that my request is wholly unreasonable! Really?


Nowhere on the 365 website does it clearly explain that the Excel version is not fully featured. In fact the 365 “lease” model is actually promoted as somewhat superior to the Office 2016 suite in that “Office as a one-time purchase does not include any of the services included in Office 365”. Please note It doesn’t mention anywhere that Office 365 does not include any of the service offered in the Office 2016 suite





Microsoft then goes further to actively discourage purchase of the Office Suite as per below. Still there is no mention of loss of functionality which is exactly why I was drawn into the purchase 3 years ago





Nothing mentioned in the comparison page either, which I assume would be the logical place for Microsoft to come clean:





Kindly advise exactly what I am supposed to do in this situation. I feel that I have been conned and I am very angry. This is something that I expect when dealing with a disreputable company, not one like Microsoft


I do not seem to have any option other than pay for an Office Suite version of Excel 2016. There, yet again, is nothing on the “Standalone” Excel 2016 website to indicate that this will indeed solve my issue. In fact the power pivot feature is criticised heavily which is the only reason I would consider this purchase




Kindly advise what the solution to this issue is. I do not want to spend hours on the phone to the “Professional” support desk to get to the same conclusion and dead end

Short answer ...


It is cynical, but in the end it is to the point.

There are a couple of separate threads of thought that come together in the end.

First, some genius in marketing decided that in 2016 PowerPivot would be part of the "Business Intelligence", "BI", set of features.

Second, from your question you probably have a "consumer" license like 365 Home / Personal / University.  That is consumer NOT business, so you don't "need" "business intelligence" features ... (not my idea ...).  But, unfortunately the same big brain decided only "big business" needed business intelligence (not at all an intelligent business decision on MS's part, but there you go!)

Third, for some mysterious reason they decided to include the BI in the standalone version of Excel.

Fourth, the MS documentation about this limitation of BI is EXTREMELY vague and hard to find!  This link is the only place I've seen it explicitly stated, but it is buried in the diagrams and very hard to find:


Finally, yes, if you have one of the bundles that does not include BI you have to buy and install the Standalone Excel over your 365 subscription to get the feature. Like I said, it doesn't make business sense to me, but lately MS seems to be going out of it's way to shoot itself in the foot every chance it gets.

Here is my collection of BI/Power Pivot in 2016 related links:

Install Standalone Excel alongside 365 to get Power Pivot


The problem here was my perception that I had to see two shortcuts one for the Office 365 version and one for the Excel 2016 standalone version. 

What happens is that when the Excel 2016 standalone version is installed (where Office 365 is already installed) the additional features are loaded into what appears to be the existing Excel 2016 from Office 365.  Hence, giving the appearance that it hadn't installed when in fact it had.  Checking the addins I could see the option to install Power Pivot and Power View etc.


Power BI – Blog page


You can download “Power BI” from this site

What is Power BI? Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Monitor your business and get answers quickly with rich dashboards available on every device.

Apparently does not apply to 365, but I have not tested myself (let me know if you try, either way)


2015 12 03- Power BI Users Can Now Verbally Ask Cortana for Big Data Insights



Powermap, Powerpivot, and Power View is missing in Excel

If you don’t see Powermap, Powerpivot, or Power View options in Excel, you may need to enable them in the Options dialog box. To do this:

  1. 1.    Click File > Options.
  2. 2.    Click the Advanced tab and scroll down to Data.
  3. 3.    Check the Enable Data Analysis add-ins: Powerpivot, Power View, and Powermap box.

Note   Powermap is not available in all SKUs at the current time and should be included in the next update.

Note   If you are using a SKU other than Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2016 Pro,  Office 2016 Professional Plus, the Manage Data Model button on the Data tab will do nothing. PowerPivot is also in E3 and E5, NOT E1


2015 09 18- BI - Powerpivot Powerquery Powermap - New ways to get the Excel business analytics features you need




We have integrated the Power Query add-in to be out-of-the-box for all Excel 2016 users. This feature, which used to be reserved for premium plans only, is now available in all Excel 2016 plans, on the Data ribbon under the Get & Transform section.


  • 3D Maps (formerly Powermap)
  • PivotTables and Slicers
  • Import data from private files, DB’s and websites
  • Shape and Combine data with Get & Transform
  • Basic data model support


  • All basic business analytics
  • Import data from corporate, big-data, cloud-data sources

Advanced data model with PowerPivot (relationship diagram, data view, KPI)

  • Search corporate data and share Get & Transform queries across company using Corporate Data Catalog
  • Power View



2015 08 26- Helping business analysts take full advantage of Excel 2016 and the new Power BI



2015 08 27- What’s new for business analytics in Excel 2016



“Normal” 2016 (aka non-business) Users, check out Tableau as a replacement for PowerPivot



Tableau for Excel users – Part 2 - Calculated fields - The Information Lab - [...] This is the second part of a series of posts, see part 1 here. [...]


Tableau for Excel users – Part 3 – Data Blending - The Information Lab - [...] you are looking for earlier posts in this series: Tableau for Excel users – Part 1 – Recreating the… 


Business users - Check out PowerBI online and Desktop

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/ - PowerBI Online, requires business email


https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45331 PowerBI Desktop download (formerly Power BI Designer)


https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/tedmalone/2015/07/26/using-power-bi-desktop-to-create-data-visualizations-and-explore-data/ General Info


Power BI - Overview and Learning


Note: many of the links from this page are still 2013 specific





Subsite with Links to many other learning BI pages 

Major sub headdings on the site:

Power BI Service (home page): 

Get started


Connect to services


Ask questions of your data

Share your work



Data from files

Data from databases

Data refresh




On bottom of these pages there is a link to subscribe to a PowerBi newsletter from MS.

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Question Info

Last updated January 4, 2020 Views 1,566 Applies to: