On Microsoft Excel, it’s now possible to enable an early preview of Copilot, and in this guide, you will learn how. Copilot is the new AI chatbot designed for Office apps and other products from Microsoft. The experience is similar to Bing Chat, but it’s been tailored for spreadsheet tasks to help users be more productive.
The Copilot features will depend on the application. In the case of Excel, you can ask the chatbot to make more sense of the information by allowing you to analyze and explore the data in the spreadsheet. In addition, you can ask virtually anything using natural language. The chatbot is also smart enough to suggest formulas based on your queries, predict “what if” scenarios, and find data correlations. In addition, you will be able to instantly create a SWOT analysis or a PivotTable based on data.
Although it’s unclear when Copilot will roll out to everyone, XenoPanther on Twitter has spotted an early preview of the feature hidden in Microsoft Excel Preview 16.0.16401.20000, which you can enable through the Registry. Copilot can also be enabled for Word and OneNote.
Warning: It’s crucial to note that modifying the Registry can cause serious problems if not used properly. It’s assumed you know what you’re doing and created a full backup of your system before proceeding. Also, since this feature is still under development, the steps below may or may not work for everyone. You have been warned. Furthermore, you have to be running the “16.0.16401.20000” version (or higher) of Excel for the steps to work.
Enable Copilot in Microsoft Excel
To enable the Copilot AI chatbot in Excel, use these steps:
Open Start on Windows 11.
Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry.
Navigate to the following path:
Right-click the Excel key, select the New menu, and select the String Value option.
Name the key Microsoft.Office.Excel.Copilot and press Enter.
Double-click the newly created key and set its value to true to enable Copilot.
Click the OK button.
Restart the computer.
Once you complete the steps, launch or re-open Microsoft Excel, and the Copilot experience should appear on the right side. However, since this is an early preview, the feature may or may not work correctly.
In the case that you want to revert the changes, you can use the same instructions outlined above, but on step 4, right-click and delete the Microsoft.Office.Excel.Copilot string inside the “Excel” key.
If you are not using version 16.0.16401.20000 or higher release of the Excel app, you will have to enroll your Office installation to the Insider program. This process requires a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription.
To enroll in the Microsoft 365 Insider program, open Microsoft Excel and navigate to File> Account, click the “Office Insider” menu, choose the “Join Office Insider” option, select the “Beta Channel” option, and click the “OK” button. After the enrollment, close the Office applications, open Excel, and from the “Account” page, check for updates to make you have the latest preview version.