Microsoft Lists: new list using an existing Excel spreadsheet

I’m very happy to see Microsoft Lists starting to roll-out. The new functionality and a shift to its own dedicated app help to lower technology barriers for citizen developers and better position Microsoft Lists in the Microsoft 365 landscape of apps. In this blog post I am going to walk through creating a new List using an existing Excel spreadsheet.

Start by navigating to Microsoft Lists, click “New list” and then click “From Excel”.

Either upload the spreadsheet from your computer or use an online file from OneDrive / SharePoint. In this example I am using an existing file stored in OneDrive.

My example spreadsheet does not have any tables and cannot be imported until it does. Microsoft Lists provide the opportunity to update or “customize” the spreadsheet during the import process. This is a great time to perform data validation!

We further customize the Excel table to assign List column types to spreadsheet columns. In my example, I set lookup columns to “Choice” and date columns to “Date and time”. Click “Next” to continue.

Provide a name, color, icon and storage location (OneDrive aka “My lists” or SharePoint) and then click “Create”. I am using “My lists” in this example.

Once the import completes, the new Microsoft List is ready for use and a new entry is created in my “Recent lists” for easy access.

Tip for power users: select the star icon to favorite a list.

Using the import from Excel feature in Microsoft Lists is a great way to kick off your digital transformation journeys. More on Microsoft Lists to come.

Thanks for reading.


14 thoughts on “Microsoft Lists: new list using an existing Excel spreadsheet

  1. Hi
    Very interesting post. Question I do have is it possible like MS Excel to have cascading drop down lists in Microsoft lists Issue Tracker? So if an employee selects from the first drop down lists the 2nd and 3rd drop down choices will change based on choice made on first list.

    Or maybe if a team member selects from a choice drop down list the 2nd and 3rd columns will auto populate with a value based on selection from first dropdown.


    1. Hi Amardip,

      You can develop that functionality using PowerApps but not with the existing MS Lists new/edit form.

      Conditional formulas do exist within MS Lists and allow to you show/hide columns based on a formula. More info can be found here:

      Thanks for reading!



  2. Dear Microsoft Lists authors,

    ML is an amazing tool and thanks for creating it. But I cannot understand why it is impossible to enter a list from excel in the already existing list??? For example, I have a list of a hundred people and in a month I have another hundred that I would like to add to the same list – it is extremely inconvenient to enter one by one… It would be amazing if it were designed that new data could be added to the already existing list by using one keyboard or whatever combination… Is it possible to improve the system?



  3. Dear all,
    I’ve follow the steps to import spreedsheets to Lists but the procedure only return 10 lines of 25, what i did wrong?


    1. Hi Joel,

      I suggest reviewing the data in the spreadsheet to confirm that it is compatible with the column type that you specified during import.

      Thanks for reading!



  4. Dear NY,

    I tried to import data from an excel sheet but during the creation of the list appear “The list already exist”, I changed the name of the list (the * was on there), but it was been the same.
    Do you kindly have any suggestion?



    1. Hello Prashant,

      There are no Excel triggers that I am aware of which means you will need to run a scheduled flow that checks for new Excel rows and adds them to the list. What is adding the new row to Excel? Does it have a trigger in Power Automate? If so then consider using that event as the trigger to add the new row to the list.

      I hope that helps and thanks for reading!



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