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Alteryx Designer Desktop Discussions

Find answers, ask questions, and share expertise about Alteryx Designer Desktop and Intelligence Suite.

Output Error: Unable to create backup of ****.xlsx to ****xlsx.bak: Access is denied. (5)

5 - Atom

I have a workflow that outputs to 5 different ranges within the same .xlsx file.


I get an error that says "Unable to create backup of ****.xlsx to ****xlsx.bak: Access is denied. (5)" only when running the workflow on the Alteryx scheduler. When I run the workflow manually, it runs successfully without any errors. 


I have tried several things in attempt to solve this issue but none of the following have seemed to work:

  • Wrote a script that runs before the workflow starts, that deletes the .xlsx.bak file 
  • Added Block Until Done tools, so that all outputs will not output at once
  • Added Wait A Second, so that all outputs will not output at once
  • Broke the workflow into 5 different workflows; one for each output
  • Changed the Runtime configuration, so now "Use AMP Engine" is enabled
  • Created a new .xlsx file and file name for the output. This resolves the issue for one scheduled run, but I continue to get the error for subsequent scheduled runs

Any thoughts as to what may be causing this error or what could resolve the issue?

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Hi @rshenoy ,


this sounds like a permissions error. Is the user that is being used on the scheduler the same as the user that is logging into the machine, or are you using a service account?

If the user on the Scheduler is different, then it looks like that user does not have write permission to that folder. For example, if you are using "My Documents" then only your username will be able to write to that folder.

To check this, change the user running the scheduler to your username and try that, or change the folder to which you are writing to a common shared folder.




15 - Aurora

If you don't have security permission errors.... you may be running into a write-contention error, where Alteryx is trying to write to the same Excel file at the same time.  I had a workflow that ran OK when I was writing to an Excel file on my desktop, but generated errors like "cannot create backup" when writing to a network folder (likely because of a slower write speed) .


It's very frustrating, and solid solutions are rare.


In this post I uploaded a macro and sample workflow I use to avoid errors when writing to one Excel file.  I *still* get occasional errors with this approach, but they are rare.



And in this post I explain how to configure multiple calls to the macro:



And if you'd care to add a Like to my related Idea, where I'm asking Alteryx to help make it easier to write to one Excel file without write-contention errors:  https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Enhance-options-for-Excel-output/idi-p/84326...




Please see the following as well: https://knowledge.alteryx.com/index/s/article/Error-writing-Excel-file-to-Shared-Drive

Ed Phelps