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Power Automate Cloud vs Desktop

Firstly, I am sorry if I am using a wrong label for this post; the 5 labels don't fit my question and I cannot choose a custom label. Maybe add a "general question" label or something @mods.


Anyway, Microsoft is not doing a good job in marketing the two versions properly. They describe them in pretty much the same way, as if they could do the same, but at the same time it seems like the desktop version is actually less powerfull.


See here:

PA Cloud is used for automated flows that can be automatically triggered, while Desktop ... can do that too? Or can it?

I just installed the desktop version and it seems like it doesn't sync with the cloud version, i.e. it doesn't show there-created flows, which is kind of a bummer. I suspect it won't show flows that were created on desktop in the cloud version, either.


So, what's really the point of PA desktop? I pefer desktop to browser apps but if the desktop version seems that limited... why bother?

Helper I
Helper I

I agree it doesn't seem communicated clearly. From my understanding, Power Automate Desktop does not have the functionality (actions) from cloud based apps (One Drive, etc) and flows cannot be triggered automatically. In order to have a desktop flow triggered you need to download a data gateway. My short experience with Power Automate so far has me working with the cloud based platform more than the desktop version.

I think Power Automate Desktop (PAD) is good for doing things on the local PC. For instance, we have a legacy ERP system that does not have an API. Power Automate Desktop handles interaction with this legacy ERP. 

Similarly, PAD is used for automation of workflows that are happening on the local PC (working with files not on the cloud, but on the local PC)

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