How to Create Approval Workflow in Excel (with Easy Steps)

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Imagine you are in a team but the situation does not go in favor of you and your team members that you hardly communicate with them. So how will you share your teamwork, progress, and all? Though you can do that in many ways, availing approval workflow is one of them. In this article, we will talk about how to create an approval workflow in Excel.

What Is the Approval Workflow?

An approval workflow is a series of actions by which a team member can share his data with others via email and stakeholders can approve or reject the data based on their specific criteria. As you understand, automated workflow approval speeds up the working process, thus reducing the work time delay it increases productivity at work.

Excel Approval Workflow: 4 Easy Steps to Create

Let’s assume we have a dataset, namely “Running Project of DPR Construction”. You can use any dataset suitable for you.

How to Create Approval Workflow in Excel

Here, we have used the Microsoft Excel 365 version; you may use any other version according to your convenience.

Step 1: Open Dataset from OneDrive Using Desktop App

Before delving into our steps, first, let’s understand what we are going to do today. As our title suggests, we will create an approval workflow in Excel, therefore we need to upload our given dataset in OneDrive first. After that, we will create an Approval WorkFlow through and send an approval request via Microsoft Teams. So don’t forget to log in to those relevant sites before starting your process as we did here.

  • To begin with, go to your dataset uploaded in OneDrive and open the file by selecting the Open in Desktop App option.

Open the OneDrive Uploaded Dataset in Desktop App

  • Now see if there is any Flow feature available in the Data tab as shown below, follow the next step to bring this feature as we need it to complete our task later on.

Open the OneDrive Uploaded Dataset in Desktop App

Step 2: Add the Microsoft Power Automate Feature

As we already mentioned, you have to have a Flow icon in your Excel Ribbon. Basically, we will plug in our Approval flow with Microsoft Teams through the Flow icon to get the response of our stakeholders so that they can approve or reject based on our response.

  • To add this feature, Select Insert > Get Add-ins command.

Add the Microsoft Power Automate Feature

  • Type Microsoft Power Automated for Excel and press the Add button.

  • Click on Continue to proceed to the next step.

Add the Microsoft Power Automate Feature

  • Thus, you will get the feature under the Data tab. See the image attached below.

Step 3: Create an Approval Flow

In this step, we will create an approval flow by going through this website. Though the process seems a bit rigorous, don’t worry, just follow the process as described below. You will get a satisfactory output by the end of the process.

  • First, click on the Create option.

Create an Approval Flow

  • Then select the Automated cloud flow as shown below.

Create an Approval Flow

  • Subsequently, some triggers will appear. Don’t bother to think about those, just click on the Skip button.

Create an Approval Flow excel approval workflow

  • A search box will appear afterward. Type Excel online for business and select the icon as depicted below.

  • Subsequently, Select the For a selected row as your Trigger. You might wonder what the Trigger means. It basically selects a row to send it to the stakeholder, just like a negotiator.

  • Now, you need to input some information into your Trigger The first option is for specifying your dataset location. We kept our data in the OneDrive, and thus clicked on the OneDrive for Bussiness after selecting the Downward icon.

  • As for the Documented Library, select the OneDrive option.

  • Select File Icon to fetch the Excel file of our dataset into it.

  • Select Dataset as your Table name.

  • Next, press on Add an Input option to add an Email box so that you can input the recipient’s email id into it.

  • Click on the Email option to bring the desired box as we told you earlier. You can also use the other option to decorate your flow but those are optional.

  • See we have an Email Box as shown below.

excel approval workflow

  • Now click on the Next Step to proceed further as we have plenty of work still need to do.

excel approval workflow

  • Type and select the Compose option from the Choose an operation.

  • Thus an Inputs box will appear.

  • Select all of your dataset Header as below. It is to be mentioned that those options will be generated automatically from your dataset.

  • See the output as given below. Click on New Step to proceed further.

  • Now, type and select the Approvals option as the prompt says below. Click on Start and wait for an approval as your actions.

  • Select Approve/Reject – Everyone must approve as your Approval type.

  • Select all of your dataset headers in the Title box as you did earlier.

  • In the Assigned to box select the Email option.

excel approval workflow

  • See the output below.
  • Subsequently, move on to the New Step.

excel approval workflow

  • Select Excel Online option as your connector.

excel approval workflow

  • Then select Update a row from the Actions Bar.

excel approval workflow

  • In step 1 as depicted below, input all the required data and subsequently fill in the Key Column, Key-Value, and Status to get the output decision from the approver. Don’t forget to Save your approval flow before going to the next step.

Step 4: Run the Approval Workflow

So far so good! Now we will run and test our Approval Flow by using the Microsoft Power Automated Feature.

  • Open your dataset from the Excel Desktop and select a Project ID, 100244 for instance.

Run the Approval Workflow

  • Then select Data > Flow from the Menu bar.
  • Subsequently, Run your Approval Flow.

Run the Approval Workflow

  • Select the Continue button to proceed further.

Run the Approval Workflow excel approval workflow

  • In the Email box, type your recipient’s Email ID.
  • Select the Run Flow afterward.

Run the Approval Workflow excel approval workflow

  • Now, wait for 10 or 15 seconds to get a notification, and then open your Microsoft Team app to see the result from a Recipient’s perspective.
  • As you can see the entire row of the cell containing 100244 Project ID is listed on the appeared box.
  • Leave a comment if you have any.
  • Then, select the Reject or Approve button to let them know your decision. However, we choose to proceed with the Approve option for demonstrating to you.

excel approval workflow

  • Now, see the Recipient’s response is listed in your Excel file as described below.

excel approval workflow

Things to Remember

  • It is worth mentioning that you have to be specific to select your data and column header in the appeared boxes.
  • Before running your flow, select the appropriate row for which you would like to let the recipient know. The cell has to be in the specified range. You will not get any output otherwise.

Practice Section

We have provided a Practice section on the dataset so that you can practice yourself. Please make sure to do it yourself.

Do it yourself

Download Practice Workbook

You can download and practice the dataset that we have used to prepare this article.


In this article, we have discussed how to create an approval workflow in Excel. As you have already understood, this is a tiresome process. But you will be okay once you get through the entire process. Further, If you have any queries, feel free to comment below and we will get back to you soon.

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Mohammad Shah Miran
Mohammad Shah Miran

Miran is a highly motivated individual with a strong educational background in engineering. He is interested in technology and passionate about creating engaging and informative content. After graduation, Miran decided to pursue a career in content development and has been working in the field for some time. He is eager to continue learning and growing as a professional.

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