Introducing Power Automate

Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated March 15, 2021)

A considerable pain for many users when it comes to using their computers is dealing with repetitive tasks. These repetitious tasks can, at many times, feel like a waste of time. If you're like me, there are times you wish you could code so you could write a program or app that would perform the task for you. These tasks often go on and on, making you feel like a drone. In recent years, a growing number of solutions try to provide a break from repetitive tasks. These services include sites like IFFT and Zapier. However, a significant drawback to most of these services is that they only work in the cloud and not on your desktop.

Fortunately, Microsoft has a solution that they recently released to all Windows 10 users, capable of desktop automation and cloud service integration. Power Automate is the result of Microsoft's acquisition in 2020 of Softomotive. When Microsoft initially released Power Automate, it was only available for specific versions of Windows operating systems. It was also a service for which Microsoft charged a monthly fee. Recently, however, Microsoft has released Power Automate for all versions of Windows 10, and it is now free. Microsoft has implied that Power Automate will be a part of upcoming Windows releases.

Power Automate allows you, according to Microsoft, to "build flows that do the work for you." A "flow" is the term Microsoft uses for the processes you create to do the repetitious tasks for you. These tasks can be just about anything, from capturing or scraping data from emails or websites to managing files. A simple flow could entail opening a folder of over one-thousand purchase orders you created in Microsoft Word. The flow then opens the files and pulls the specified data from the file, and it will then place the content into the appropriate cell in an Excel workbook.

But why stop there? You can then have Power Automator take those Word files, convert them into a PDF, and then save those PDF files in a new folder. Let's say your purchase order folder also includes other files such as PowerPoint and Excel files all mixed in. You can instruct Power Automate to ignore all the files other than Word documents without slowing you down at all.

Hopefully, this illustrates the type of power that Power Automator affords you. To learn more about Power Automate, go to Microsoft's site:

 This tip (13835) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


Opening HEVC and HEIF Files

HEVC and HEIF are two new popular graphics file formats that are gaining support. Getting your Windows 10 computer setup ...

Discover More

Ransomware Defense

Ransomware attacks can cause your system and data to become inaccessible. These dangerous and potentially costly attacks ...

Discover More

Limiting Bandwidth for Updates

Use a new advanced feature in Settings to limit upload bandwidth usage. By setting the absolute bandwidth an update can ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Allowing Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop allows you to access other systems and operate them from your own system. If you want to use this ...

Discover More

Which Version of Windows am I Running?

With Windows it has always been helpful to know what version you are running. With Windows 10 knowing the version isn't ...

Discover More

Changing the Default Desktop Icons

When you first install Windows, it places only a limited number of icons on your desktop. You can, however, tell Windows ...

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips