Power Automate for desktop – February 2022 update

We are happy to announce that the February 2022 update of Power Automate for desktop (version 2.17) has been released! You can download the latest release here. New features and updates have been added, as described below.

Monitoring notification window for console attended desktop flow runs

The console now comes with a new dropdown menu for notifications, which allows for one of the following options:

Notification options

The built-in flow monitoring notification window is able to:

  • Stop or pause the flow
  • Display the current status and duration of the running flow
  • Show the name of the running flow, name of the current subflow, current action number and name of current action
  • Minimize or move around the screen

Monitoring notification window

Performance improvements in flow designer

There are several performance fixes coming in this release, on top of the ones made in January’s release, some of which improve the speed of:

  1. Adding/deleting/editing/moving an action inside Main or any other subflow.
  2. Navigating from one subflow to another.
  3. Saving (Saving delay might also be caused from DLP or a slow network).
  4. Enabling/disabling actions.

New ‘Display custom form’ action (Preview)

‘Display custom form’ is a new action in preview, with which users will be able to create their own dialog (based on the Adaptive Cards technology). They will be able to combine the controls and elements of their choice into a single dialog window, via which they can display information or request input data that can be used in their automations.

Custom form

The custom form action comes with an intuitive designer for the users to configure their dialog according to their needs.

Custom form designer

New actions to convert a file to base64 and vice versa

Two new actions are introduced to Power Automate for desktop:

  • Convert file to Base64
  • Convert Base64 to file

Convert file to Base64

A file is sent over the internet (typically via an API) as a Base64 encoded string representation. By allowing the users to easily convert a file to Base64 string and vice versa, file transfer over the internet is facilitated.

New ‘Extract tables from PDF’ action

With this new action, users will be able to automatically identify and extract all structured data tables from a PDF document, making it fast and easy to prepare and use tabular data from PDF files in their flow.

Extract tables from PDF

New property for datatable variables

In every datatable variable, there is now a new property of datarow type, called ‘ColumnHeadersRow’, which holds the column names of the said table. This will enable writing these column headers in a row (for example, in Excel) in an easy and straightforward way, rather than relying on the existing ‘Columns’ property, which returns the column headers in the form of a list.

Renaming variables to existing names is now permitted

Users will now be able to rename flow variables or create a new input/output variable using an existing flow variable name, merging them via the respective confirmation dialog.

Rename variable

New ability to copy a subflow and paste in other flows

Users can now easily copy a subflow from one desktop flow, and paste it in the same or different desktop flows.

Copy subflow

Auto clean up of local actions log file

In this release, we will be deleting the actions log file, found in the user’s local app data folder, after the completion of a flow run. For users that may want to keep those files, there will be the option of setting a registry key that will disable their cleanup.


Hoping that you will find the above updates useful, please feel free to provide your questions and feedback in the Power Automate Community. If you want to learn more about Power Automate Desktop, get started with the below resources: