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WinAutomation to Power Automate Desktop migration

We are using WinAutomation for desktop automation since one year, our initial WinAutomation licences is valid until the end of january 2021. As we wanted to renew our licences, we just discovered that this product has been integrated into MS Power Automate Desktop.
We have a few questions about this evolution :

  • Is it still possible to renew our WinAutomation licences ?
  • Do we have to migrate to Power Automate Desktop ?
  • If we migrate on PAD, can we tranfert and simply reuse our WinAutomation scripts without modifications ?

Thank for your help


Not applicable

We have the same issues (but on a smaller scale). I guess that we have to user Power Automate because:

  1. Future enhancements comes here.
  2. Power Automate Flow uses it.

On Migration I learned that WinAutomation saves on a local disk (C:) while Power Automate Desktop saves in the cloud (Power Automate Flow), so migration might be manuel? Or does Microsoft offer something?

Advocate I
Advocate I

Another legacy user here, who has also using the WinAutomation since year one.  

To try and answer your questions above:

WinAutomation will naturally be replaced by PAD, with MS Support indicating to me that whilst the last version of it will accept a MS RPA unattended license ($40) and function exactly the same, WinAutomation is unlikely to be supported beyond June 2021.  (correct me if I'm wrong)

There is a migration tool (in preview at the time of writing) that seems to work quite well, but as per the release notes towards the footer, there are some Non-migratable actions:

Whilst on the subject of Non-migratable actions:

Having built some complex business critical processes in WinAutomation, I've decided to explore PAD to a greater depth this week.   Generally speaking, I can see the positive overall direction and benefit of PAD with Flows all being managed in the cloud and easily transferable and triggerable across multiple devices.

That said, currently the PAD Editor is extremely slow in comparison to WinAutomation, and perhaps it's just me, but a little over-engineered in terms of the UI.   It is certainly a lot more confusing to read the flow of actions in comparison to WinAutomation - but clearly that maybe just because I've used WinAutomation for about 15 years.  

On the whole, as mentioned, all the core actions have been transferred over, however in the context of my use-case, I'm very worried.

Restful API's underpin an increasing number of RPA Processes/Flows; WinAutomation had such a competitive edge in this regard, so to lose 'simultaneous processing' together with 'lock handles' when working with custom daily json/xml  product feeds, places me a real predicament.  There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to switch to sequential processing, when a single process can run for several hours.   

Currently, WinAutomation fully utilises my server, running up to 15 processes at once (with several queued up) to maximise my RPA efforts and keep all my websites product and CRMs up-to-date. 

Whereas parallel process execution cannot happen with PAD, presumably due to the established Power Automate architecture.   Even if you're not using concurrent processing, anyone simply using WinAutomation's parent-child robot processing, should start explore the new approach of interacting with Power Automate Cloud triggering.  

I don't know about "back to the drawing board" - but if I lose WinAutomation anytime soon I'll be looking for a new job!

If you are in the same/similar position to me, I've found a good article here that provides a bit of hope - but even then, when pinging the same Restful API application across multiple RDS users I'm going to run the risk of API requests and updates clashing - I just can't comprehend MS's lack of vision in this regard. 😞 

Not sure if anyone else is currently using concurrent processing with WinAutomation Lock-hands, but if you are you might want to start exploring your options!  Stressful times. 

Useful sources of my research thus far:

Any expertise or advice would be much welcomed. 

Not applicable

Thanks, just what I needed. I only have a few processes so I want to migrate as quickly as possible.

I would also like to stick with WA while I can, eventhough I'm not in the same situation as you regarding multiple processes and having to renew the license in a few days.. I can't even understand the renewing procedure.


So far I understood an PA attended RPA license is needed, and in order to have PA unattended RPA I also need to purchase the unattended AD-on is that correct?



Super User
Super User

Advocate I
Advocate I

With WinAutomation you used to be able to set multi-line variables within the Set Variable action.  Am I missing something or has that functionality been removed?  Thanks

Super User
Super User

That functionality is not implemented in PAD yet.

Frequent Visitor

Oh thank you sooo much for your post this is soo extremely helpful to me!

@Shane147, I feel the lack of that also. Variables can obviously contain multi-line content (it would be a real show-stopper if they couldn't), so I'm willing to be someone just didn't set the property for the 'Set variable' input field to 'allow multi-line' (or whatever the actual property is) when compiling the app. For people dealing with, say, lots of word processing docs, in use cases where dynamic variables need to hold text passages spanning many lines and paragraphs, that might just be a deal breaker.

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