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Partial discharges are a clear ageing agent on insulating materials used in high voltage electrical machines. For this reason, there is increasing interest in measuring this phenomenon in an effort to forecast unexpected failures in electrical equipment. Despite the fact that normalized tests have been carried out for years, the effect of leakage magnetic fluxes in transformers and rotating machines stator windings has not yet been considered. The authors show that common stray fluxes in typical high voltage machines modify partial discharge activity, so the interaction between ionization processes and magnetic fields is analysed. This might have a clear effect on the results extracted from on-line and off-line partial discharge measurements.