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Convert XLS files to XLSX files using UI flows

Automate the repetitive task if you want to convert all the legacy XLS files in one of your SharePoint document libraries to XLSX files. First, create a flow that automatically goes through every file in the library. Next, add UI flows to your primary flow that replays the steps you usually take to convert a single file. Finally, run the flow to convert every file in your library automatically.

UI flows Steps:

  1. Apply filter to fetch only xls file from the SharePoint document library
  2. Add a UI flows connector to the flow
  3. Provide input as a formatted file name (refer the exact file name)


  4. Click on Launch Recorder
  5. Click Record from the recorder menu docked on top of your screen
  6. Open Excel, click on Open, click Browse, and in the File name field, use the field name input from the UI flow recorder by selecting it from the recorder menu and clicking back in the File name to populate the File name.
  7. Click on Open
  8. Once the file is open
  9. Click File > Save As
  10. Choose “Excel Workbook (*.xlsx)” from drop-down
  11. Click Save
  12. Close the Excel file
  13. Stop Recording
  14. Recorder generates the script
  15. You can test the steps recorded by clicking the “Test now” button by removing the previously generated XLSX file.

Thanks for reading!


Excellent process! Can you add larger images? Clicking on the images doesn't provided a zoomed image, just the same image size in a big window with a black frame. I cannot read what is in the dialog boxes shown.

Do you know if the UI flows run when your computer is turned off?


I can't use UI flows since we don't have install rights on our computers.


Is possible te post the code for the 'expression' for the file name under of UI flow?



as I understand a lot has changed since this information was published, but I really do not understand where to find this substring from ui flow...



does this still working as of this year? i'm trying to convert also xls to xlsx using the UI Flows but it seems it is not existing anymore. thanks!

Hi Microsoft,

are you serious? The official solution to automate conversion from XLS to XLSX in 2022 is UI Flows?

This would maybe acceptable for a third party automatization solution, but Powe automate from Microsoft, the owner of Excel source code and file format definitions, should be able to provide some cloud based routine that does the Job that excel does in the moment we click on "Save as XLSX".


UI automatization for this task is a "poor" solution and in my eyes does not throw a good light at the power automate plattform.


Edit: For all the other Users that may have the same needs as I have, I have found this solution outside the microsoft forum:
It's still a Power Automate Desktop Routine, but at least it does not use UI Clicking, so its a little more elegant, but still not the Cloud based routine I would like to have.

About the Author
  • Experienced Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Office 365, Azure, SharePoint Online, PowerShell, Nintex, K2, SharePoint Designer workflow automation, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, PowerShell, Active Directory, Operating Systems, Networking, and JavaScript. Strong consulting professional with a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) focused in Information Technology from Mumbai University.
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