Microsoft Excel Help & Support

How to Get Started with Microsoft Excel

About the Excel Integration

  • Admin/owner permissions: Sufficient permission is needed to view information from a spreadsheet or make changes to it.
  • Paid/versioned account: Only OneDrive for Business is supported and able to integrate with Zapier. Federated accounts, consumer accounts, Outlook accounts are not.

Connect with Excel

To get started with Microsoft Excel on Zapier, first you will need to click to connect your Microsoft Excel account to use with your Zap

Click to connect Microsoft Excel

You’ll now be asked to log into your Microsoft Excel account (unless you are already logged in)

Microsoft Excel Login Page

Finally, you will be asked to give Zapier permission to access your account. Click "Yes” to continue.

Microsoft Excel Permissions

If all steps were successful your Microsoft Excel account will now be successfully connected.

Microsoft Excel connection successfull

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How to Setup Your Microsoft Excel sheet to Work With Zapier

To use Microsoft Excel with Zapier you need to set up your spreadsheet in a very specific way. If you don't set up your spreadsheet this way, you're likely going to have problems. Pay close attention.

These are the things you'll need from your Microsoft Excel to optimize it for use with a Zap:

  • The first row must have titles for any column headers you want to be able to see in your Zap.
  • The second row must have content for any columns you want to be able to see in your Zap.

  • There can be no completely blank rows before the end of your spreadsheet.

Other Microsoft Excel Zap Tips

  • Zaps can only add rows to the end of the spreadsheet and not any other row.

  • Do not add or delete rows to your spreadsheet, especially in the middle of data your Zap has already recognized. This can cause errors with your Zap.

  • If you are using the Updated Spreadsheet Row trigger, your Zap will trigger even if you update a column that you are not using in the action side of your Zap. Do Not Add New Columns.

  • Editing your spreadsheet while a Zap is already live is a bit like trying to fix a leaky faucet with the water turned on. Needless to say, you're going to get wet. So if you plan on editing your spreadsheet, then Turn your Zap Off first!

Working With Microsoft Excel Fields when editing a Template

For triggers, each column should be represented by a field you can select in your Zap

Trigger fields

For actions, you should have a different action field available for each column

Action fields

Finding/Updating Rows in Microsoft Excel

If you’re looking to update a row in Microsoft Excel, you will need to first insert a search action to find the row ID. Updating a row will not work without adding this step first unless you plan on updating the exact same row every time the trigger fires. Let's walk through how to do this.

Finding Rows

The first step here is to create a Zap and select your trigger app. For this example, let’s create a Zap that uses MailChimp as the trigger that will update a sheet when a new subscriber is added. This way, we can keep an up to date sheet of contact information in an Excel Spreadsheet.

After setting up the trigger step, you’ll want to add a new step for Excel and choose the "Find or Create Row,” action.

The “Lookup Value” field tells the Zap which data we are going to use from the trigger step to perform the search. For this example, we'll pick “Email" because we want to conduct a search using the email address of the subscriber who was added/updated on your MailChimp list.

In the “Lookup Column" section, you’ll need to choose which column you want to search by in the drop-down menu. In this case, we'll want to pick the “Email Address” column because we want to check if the email addresses of the MailChimp subscribers match any of the email addresses in the “Email Address" column of our Excel Spreadsheet.


The idea here is that we want to use a value to scan through the spreadsheet with to see if any rows have a matching a matching value. If there is a match, the step will be successful and the Zap will move onto the next action step, with the ability to use data from the row that was found.

Note: If there are multiple matches, the Zap will return the first row it finds.

You'll finish up Step 2 by testing it to find a matching row. If the row likely won’t exist yet, you can check the "Create Excel Row if it doesn't exist yet?” box and then tell the Zap how the row should be created.


Updating Rows

Now that the Zap has found your row, you’ll want to use the row ID that was returned to dynamically update records. You’ll want to click on the “Add a step” button to create another step in your Zap.


For this next step, you’ll want to again, choose Excel as your app, but this time, choose "Update Row" as the action. In this step, you’ll want to choose the same Folder, Spreadsheet, and Worksheet as your previous step.


When you get to the “Row ID” field, you will want to choose the row number or ID from the list of options returned from your “Find or Create Row” step. This will allow you to dynamically update rows in your spreadsheet because of the previously added search step.


Under that field, you will want to be sure to fill out any and all fields you wanted to update in your spreadsheet, using the data from your trigger step. The last steps here then are to test your Zap, make sure the row was updated in your spreadsheet, and turn on your Zap.

Common Problems with Microsoft Excel

Excel keeps timing out/I see 504 Gateway Timeout errors

You might see this happen with sheets with a large amount of rows. Try using a smaller sheet for the workflow. Tasks that hit this error can still often be replayed with success at a later time. We are currently waiting on changes that will make this error happen less frequently; if you want to be notified of when this is ready or are continuing to hit problems, let us know on our contact form.

I'm not able to connect my Microsoft Excel account?

We only support OneDrive for business right now - as the Excel API comes out of beta status we expect to support any version of Excel online. Personal Outlook accounts do not work unfortunately!

Can I connect to MicrosoftExcel on my Desktop computer?

Unfortunately no - we only work with Microsoft Excel online (accessible from browsers) right now - and only OneDrive for Business accounts as well.

My Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet isn't available in the dropdown

Make sure your file has an .xlsx extension. Files with the .xls extension will not work.

I have multiple folders in my OneDrive account but when I go to set up my trigger/action I don't see any of them in the "Folder" dropdown.

If you have a bunch of files in your root folder, the Zaps tend to get those first in the response data when we're trying to populate this dropdown, with subfolders coming later.

To surface those folders, click the Check & Reload button until it says there are no more results. After a click or two, the folders should start showing up:

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