Engine Works

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Starting in 2024.1, Alteryx Designer will gradually phase out support for .xls files. Keep reading to learn how you can stay up to date and avoid message alerts and errors in the future.




XLS is the Excel Binary File Format Structure, which is the binary file format used by Microsoft Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, and Excel 2003. In 2007, Microsoft introduced the .xlsx format with extended capabilities to replace the .xls file format. Microsoft still allows the .xls file format but discourages customers from using it.


Support Phase Out


In the coming releases, Alteryx Designer will gradually phase out support for .xls files. Users should start switching .xls files to a newer format now and updating their workflows to avoid errors in the future. See this Microsoft post on how to save .xls files as .xlsx or .xlsm files.

As part of this process, Alteryx Designer will also phase out support for the “Microsoft Excel Legacy” file format. Alteryx Designer Tools using this file format should be switched to the “Microsoft Excel” format. This should not require changes to the file itself.


What to Expect for the Deprecation Process


  1. Introduction of a message alerting users that they are using an old file format and should update their files to a newer format.
    The message will read: “This file format will be phased out. Go to 24.1 release notes for more information.”
  2. Removal of .xls as an option from the user interface. New workflows reading from or writing to .xls cannot be created anymore. Existing workflows will continue to run.
  3. End of life: complete removal from Alteryx Designer in the second half of 2025.


Now’s the time—switch your .xls and “Microsoft Excel Legacy” files to a newer format and update your workflows.