Convert XLS to XLSX using Power Automate

In this guide you’ll learn how to convert a XLS file to a XLSX file using a Power Automate. We support converting a large number of different file formats through Power Automate (see file formats we support).

Steps to convert your XLS to XLSX using Power Automate:

  1. Create a flow in Power Automate
  2. Define your action (Convert to XLSX)
  3. Create File (define were your file will be created)
  4. Publish your workflow

It’s also important to note that in this example we are using Power Automate to convert a XLS file to a XLSX file in SharePoint. You can easily save your XLSX file to another destination like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any platform supported by Power Automate. You can also extend our example by adding additional automation like sending the converted file as email.


Before we start building the workflow, ensure all prerequisites are in place:

  1. Muhimbi PDF Converter for Power Automate full or trial subscription.
  2. Appropriate privileges to create Power Automate(Flow).

Using PowerAutomate to Convert to XLSX

This example takes you through converting a MS Excel (XLS) document to XLSX format. Our Flow actions also support the conversion of MS SharePoint Online pages. From a high-level perspective, the steps to create are as follows:

Create a new Flow and use the SharePoint Online trigger ‘When a file is created or modified (properties only)’. Fill out the Site Address, Library Name, and Folder. Insert Muhimbi's ‘Convert Excel document’ action and fill it out as per the screenshot displayed below. Naturally, you will need to substitute the Source file name and Source file content with suitable values. Insert a ‘Create File’ action to write the converted file back to SharePoint Online (or Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive, or send the XLSX via email). Publish the workflow and create or update an MS Excel (XLS) file to the specified document library. After a few seconds, the Flow will trigger and an XLSX file will be generated.

xls to xlsx

Troubleshooting / Caveats

HTML is not the best format for print or PDF Conversion purposes. Depending on your exact needs and source material, you may need to experiment with various available settings. If you have any questions or require assistance please feel free to contact us.

Please consider the following when using Power Automate:

Modern Views: In SharePoint Online it is possible to display Lists and Libraries in Modern or Classic mode. Modern View is undergoing constant change (by Microsoft), as a result, we currently only support the conversion of pages displayed in Classic View. Some Modern View pages will convert fine while others don't.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): An increasing number of SharePoint Online / Office 365 environments are secured using MFA. Although this is a positive development, it gets in the way of automated systems such as our HTML converter. If your environment uses MFA then please create an App password for HTML conversions, or disable MFA on your HTML Conversion account.

HTML Conversion option not displayed: The option to convert the current page to PDF is only available on Classic SharePoint pages. Modern pages currently do not provide a facility for extending the personal actions menu. We will make sure it is added as soon as Microsoft makes this functionality available.

PDF Layout does not match: By default, the page being converted is optimized for print / PDF output. If you prefer the PDF to look exactly like what is displayed on the screen, including user interface elements, then set the Media Type to Screen in the HTML Conversion configuration screen.

User-modified content is not converted: The converter does not have knowledge about the information currently displayed in the user's browser (e.g. size of the browser window, or custom data entered, but not yet submitted to the server). The converter always requests a fresh copy of the URL and converts that information to PDF.

User-specific information is missing: HTML Conversion is carried out in the context of the configured user account, though the system is not aware of the user carrying out the HTML conversion. Don't specify accounts that display more information than what the users need to have access to.

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