Quick way to export SharePoint list to Excel file using Power Automate
Posted On January 20, 2021
“I’m trying to automate export of SharePoint list into an Excel file, but Power Automate takes ages to finish. How can I make it faster?”
Exporting SharePoint list items into an Excel file can be very time consuming. You must loop through all items and add each of them as a new row into the Excel file. Especially if you have big lists with thousands of items it can take hours. So, is there a faster way?
Create .csv file instead
You can create .csv file instead of an Excel file. CSV file has simpler format than an Excel file, but it can be opened in the Excel application in the same way. And due to its simple format the list can be exported much faster than into an Excel file. Power Automate has even a dedicated action to create a .csv file from an array. It’s called ‘Create CSV table’ and the input must be an array. Then you can select if you want to export all columns (Automatic) or only some of them (Custom).
The example below will process all items returned by the ‘Get items’ action and create a .csv file with only 3 columns.
The output from the ‘Create CSV table’ action can be then used as a content for a new .csv file.
You should ask yourself if you really need an Excel file. It’s much easier, and faster, to create a .csv (comma-separated values) file in Power Automate. Instead of adding rows one by one into an Excel table, you can process the whole array with all items at once.
But if .csv is not an option and you need an Excel file, then there’s no solution to make the export faster. Power Automate can add the rows only one by one and that operation takes some time.