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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Python Error: XLRDError: Excel xlsx file; not supported


Error: “XLRDError: Excel xlsx file; not supported”


Environment Details

When using a python tool with pandas package, xlrd is unable to read .xlsx files, only .xls.

XLRD Error: Excel xlsx file; not supported
  • Alteryx Designer
  • Python Tool 


xlrd 2.0.0 and above can only read .xls files. Support for .xlsx files was removed from xlrd due to a potential security vulnerability.



Use openpyxl to open .xlsx files instead of xlrd.
  1. Install the openpyxl library on your cluster.
  2. Confirm that you are using pandas version 1.0.1 or above.
import pandas as pd
     3. Specify openpyxl when reading .xlsx files with pandas.
import pandas
df = pandas.read_excel(`<name-of-file>.xlsx`, engine=`openpyxl`)

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