Power Automate for desktop – October 2021 update

We are happy to announce that the October 2021 update of Power Automate for desktop (version 2.14) has been released! You can download the latest release here. New features and updates have been added, as described below.

Sensitive variables in Power Automate for desktop

With this feature, users are now able to mark any variable as sensitive. The values of sensitive variables will not be visible in the flow designer during debugging, while they will also not be logged in the desktop flow logs, for runs triggered by the portal or the console.

Sensitive variables in Power Automate for desktop

This way, users will be able to mask any sensitive data handled by their automation, as well as avoid persisting sensitive values in the logs.

Data loss prevention (DLP) policies are now applicable to Power Automate for desktop (Preview)

Administrators will be able to apply data loss prevention policies to desktop flows, in order to secure their organization’s data.

Note: this capability is currently in preview for free. When this feature becomes generally available in 2022, it will be available for environments with premium accounts only.

DLP policies in Power Automate for desktop

Through these policies, action groups can be:

  • Blocked, to determine which actions can’t be used at all – this can also apply to individual actions.
  • Divided between business and non-business, to allow or block actions from different groups to be combined within the same flow.

To further facilitate the above, the actions in Power Automate for desktop have been slightly reordered and arranged within the proper groups.

Support older versions of Internet Explorer

Power Automate for desktop will be able to support web automation with Internet Explorer v5 to v8, apart from v9 and above which were already supported so far.

New capability to save an Excel workbook as XML Data

Users will now be able to save their Excel workbook as XML data (.xml), either through the ‘Save Excel’ or the ‘Close Excel’ action, via defining an XML map within the Excel file.

Save Excel as XML Data

Breaking forward compatibility of older versions of Power Automate for desktop

This is a note that new desktop flows that will be created (or past flows that will be saved) in the new release, will not be able to be run or opened by older installations of Power Automate for desktop.

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: