Working WITHOUT Excel Application, visible option unchecked

hello, i am trying to understand working with Excel files WITHOUT having Excel application installed locally.

from what I understand, i can use xlsx file without having Excel installed as per,
“Through this app integration approach you are able to read/write Excel documents. If the document is newer than 2007, with .xlsx extension, you can work directly with the file. Otherwise, if it has .xls extension, Microsoft Office is a must. This is the default behaviour for all Excel activities but you can opt to work with the Excel Application.”

also unchecking “visible” option in Excel App activity, is supposed to allow to work with excel files with Excel installed,
"Visible - When selected, the Excel file is opened in the foreground while performing actions on it. When it is cleared, all operations are done in the background, and you can run a workflow without having MS Office Excel installed on the machine"

it doesnt work for me… any insight? thanks

hi, here is another example. I have an .xlsx file, the visible option is unchecked and i get the “must install Excel” error message. from the help section, UIPath is supposed to work under these conditions…

Follow below link once

i guess you didnt read my post. I DONT HAVE EXCEL INSTALLED. UI PATH is supposed to work withOUT having Excel installed. re-read my posting…thanks

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I guess that’s an error in documentation. Reading from

  1. This activity can only be used if the Microsoft Excel application is installed on your machine.
  2. …and you can run a workflow without having MS Office Excel installed on the machine.

Both should not be able to be true at the same time :wink:

If you want to work with Excel files without Excel installed, you could use Workbook activities instead. (


Hi Antti,

The documentation was updated. The link you provided is an old version.
Please check this:


Hei @Antti

Not sure where you got that link from, but that’s an outdated version of that activity. I recommend always using the search portal at for the updated version of the guides. - here’s the correct page for that activity.


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Hi @ovi / @Tech_Scribe

Thanks, didn’t see that the link was outdated, just used the same link that was on the first post :slight_smile:

Yes, we’re investigating so that it is redirected to the right page. Thanks for pointing it out anyways!

all information I found regarding Excel App activity and details and based on public searches.

1 link that connects UI activities with help via F1 key while in UI seems to be updated since I posted. The other link done by a search is still outdated,

thanks for clarifying. to finalize, Excel MUST BE INSTALLED, the “Visible” option only pertains if you want Excel to open itself and be visible to user, or unchecked to work in background unopened.


Hey Man,

I am running through a similar issue.
So you are saying we must have excel application isntalled is it? I don;t have the excel application installed in server, would that be an issue?

Aloha UIPath
My customer has MS Excel MS Office 2016 install with no active licence. What I would like to do is use XLSX file integration without Excel. I am not sure that un-checking visible will do this. What is needed here is to bring back the deprecated Use Excel checkbox that was on the old Open Workbook activity.


You need to update the training video as well. It still mentions that if ‘visible’ check box is unchecked then the user does not require Excel application to be installed on the machine. And UIPath should still be able to work with excel files.



Hi @Ravi_Yadav

Could you point to the exact training and exact timestamp in the video?

Edit: I found it, we will fix it :slight_smile:

Hi @JR1

use Start Application activity

Ashwin S

@loginerror hey its not fixed I found a question in that section Which ask Which type of file can be opened without Excel Application. The answer is supposedly .xlsx

Hi @absam

Could you let us know which training was it?

@loginerror It was on the RPA Developer Course. It said that if we use the Read Range from Workbook then we could read .xlsx files without MS -excel installed.

The activities grouped under the System can be executed even if Microsoft Excel is not installed on the machine,

Take a look here: :slight_smile: