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iandavies
Regular Visitor

Deleting PDF files from a SharePoint library

I need to delete multiple PDF files with unique names from a folder in a SharePoint library.

 

I thought I could do this with either filter array or a condition but in both when I get to the delete file action it demands I choose a single file from the library

 

This is what I tried:

Filter Array

iandavies_2-1707069743842.png

Condition

iandavies_1-1707069623190.png

 

I am new to Power Automate and building flows but I thought there would be a way to do this. Can someone give me some pointers please.

 

 

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

@iandavies Using a Filter Array action as you've done in your first screenshot is more efficient than using an Apply to Each and Condition action. 

 

I'm assuming you've used the Filter Array action to filter out files with a PDF extension. If that is the case you will then loop though the items from your Filter Array action. Please note: I'm using the Classic Designer as the New Designer still has a few bugs. 

creativeopinion_0-1707070952241.png

 

To get the identifier of the Filter Array item being looped through, you need an expression. Refer to this section of a YT Tutorial I uploaded on how to get dynamic content from a Filter Array action.

 

Review the output of the Filter Array action—locate the dynamic content key of the dynamic content you want to return. In this case it's {Identifier}.

creativeopinion_1-1707071153734.png

Insert an expression into the File Identifier field.

item()?['']

creativeopinion_2-1707071181922.png

Between the single quotes enter the dynamic content key.

creativeopinion_3-1707071208637.png

Hope this helps!

 

 

To learn more about how to use the Filter Array action, please refer to this YT Tutorial: Are you using the Microsoft Power Automate Filter Array Action wrong?

In this video tutorial I’ll show you 3 practical ways to use the Filter Array action and how to use it properly.

1️⃣ Cross-Referencing Data

2️⃣ Filtering by Key

3️⃣ Substring Matching

Did you know that the Condition action has a limit of 10 conditions? Although it might look like the Filter Array action can only accept one condition—this is not true. By using the advanced mode you can enter multiple conditions into a Filter Array action with an expression.

IN THIS VIDEO:

 3 Ways to Use the Filter Array Action

How to use the Scope Action to Group Actions

How to Check the Number of Items returned from a Filter Array Action

How to Cross-Reference Data in Excel with a SharePoint List

 How the Filter Array Action Works

 How to Access the Dynamic Content from a Filter Array Action

 How to Filter Items by a Key

How to Filter Items by Matching a Substring

How to Use Multiple Conditions in a Filter Array Action

 

If I helped you solve your problem—please mark my post as a solution .
Consider giving me a 👍 if you liked my response! If you're feeling generous— ️  Buy me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/acreativeopinion

👉 Watch my tutorials on YouTube
👉 Tips and Tricks on TikTok
 

 

View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10

@iandavies Using a Filter Array action as you've done in your first screenshot is more efficient than using an Apply to Each and Condition action. 

 

I'm assuming you've used the Filter Array action to filter out files with a PDF extension. If that is the case you will then loop though the items from your Filter Array action. Please note: I'm using the Classic Designer as the New Designer still has a few bugs. 

creativeopinion_0-1707070952241.png

 

To get the identifier of the Filter Array item being looped through, you need an expression. Refer to this section of a YT Tutorial I uploaded on how to get dynamic content from a Filter Array action.

 

Review the output of the Filter Array action—locate the dynamic content key of the dynamic content you want to return. In this case it's {Identifier}.

creativeopinion_1-1707071153734.png

Insert an expression into the File Identifier field.

item()?['']

creativeopinion_2-1707071181922.png

Between the single quotes enter the dynamic content key.

creativeopinion_3-1707071208637.png

Hope this helps!

 

 

To learn more about how to use the Filter Array action, please refer to this YT Tutorial: Are you using the Microsoft Power Automate Filter Array Action wrong?

In this video tutorial I’ll show you 3 practical ways to use the Filter Array action and how to use it properly.

1️⃣ Cross-Referencing Data

2️⃣ Filtering by Key

3️⃣ Substring Matching

Did you know that the Condition action has a limit of 10 conditions? Although it might look like the Filter Array action can only accept one condition—this is not true. By using the advanced mode you can enter multiple conditions into a Filter Array action with an expression.

IN THIS VIDEO:

 3 Ways to Use the Filter Array Action

How to use the Scope Action to Group Actions

How to Check the Number of Items returned from a Filter Array Action

How to Cross-Reference Data in Excel with a SharePoint List

 How the Filter Array Action Works

 How to Access the Dynamic Content from a Filter Array Action

 How to Filter Items by a Key

How to Filter Items by Matching a Substring

How to Use Multiple Conditions in a Filter Array Action

 

If I helped you solve your problem—please mark my post as a solution .
Consider giving me a 👍 if you liked my response! If you're feeling generous— ️  Buy me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/acreativeopinion

👉 Watch my tutorials on YouTube
👉 Tips and Tricks on TikTok
 

 

Thank you, it seems to have moved me on somewhat, I can see the correct files are being filtered and indeed when I test it the "Input is showing the correct site and item, but the action is failing with a bad url message.

 

I'll persevere and mark it as solved once it get to the bottom of this error, which must just be syntax. I have put all the output from the filter array into notepad and I can see all the identifiers are files I would expect but all six come back as failed when I test the flow.

 

{"statusCode":400,"headers":{"Date":"Sun, 04 Feb 2024 21:53:47 GMT","Connection":"close","Content-Type":"text/html; charset=us-ascii","Content-Length":"324"},"body":"<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN\"\"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd\">\r\n<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Bad Request</TITLE>\r\n<META HTTP-EQUIV=\"Content-Type\" Content=\"text/html; charset=us-ascii\"></HEAD>\r\n<BODY><h2>Bad Request - Invalid URL</h2>\r\n<hr><p>HTTP Error 400. The request URL is invalid.</p>\r\n</BODY></HTML>\r\n"}

 

@iandavies Can you pls share a screenshot of your flow and the error message?

I have to be a bit careful as I am concerned about exposing business confidential information in the URI or folder names, this is about as much as I can do, no idea of it helps.

 

My Flow:

iandavies_0-1707118472476.png

Error Message

iandavies_1-1707118506120.png

I cant share the exact site address and file identifier but they look accurate to me. They do use hex to identify special characters such as spaces and slashes which is quite normal I would think in a URI

 

The output is as per my previous message

{"statusCode":400,"headers":{"Date":"Mon, 05 Feb 2024 07:31:43 GMT","Connection":"close","Content-Type":"text/html; charset=us-ascii","Content-Length":"324"},"body":"<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN\"\"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd\">\r\n<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Bad Request</TITLE>\r\n<META HTTP-EQUIV=\"Content-Type\" Content=\"text/html; charset=us-ascii\"></HEAD>\r\n<BODY><h2>Bad Request - Invalid URL</h2>\r\n<hr><p>HTTP Error 400. The request URL is invalid.</p>\r\n</BODY></HTML>\r\n"}

 

@iandavies It looks correct. Confirming that you've selected the same SP site in the Delete file action as you've selected in the Get files (properties only) action?

 

Can you hover over this dynamic content and take a screenshot of the expression that displays? Wanted to confirm the expression.

creativeopinion_0-1707145738612.png

 

Also, can you confirm if deleting all 6 files failed? Or if it was only a few files of the 6 that failed?

 

OK, so I've checked further, as per your questions, and I really do appreciate you persevering with me.

 

The two sites look to be the same in the two actions. To be absolutely certain I copied/pasted the URL as a custom value but still get the same error.

 

There is however, something wildly wrong with the filter array, its only bringing back 8 files. I checked this by grabbing the Raw Output and importing the JSON into Power Query, sure enough there are only 8 items listed.

iandavies_6-1707150097810.png

and the delete file action supports that

iandavies_1-1707149342077.png

but there are 51 that exist in that folder (if you can read it)

iandavies_5-1707149986726.png

A manual comparison of the identifier vs the files that exist in that library suggests that it is returning filenames that are not present.

 

I imported the XML from Raw Output into Power Query and I get these eight files

iandavies_2-1707149590216.png

 

If I search the library for any file that has 1706 in the number I get this list

iandavies_3-1707149748599.png

the file ending 2288 (line 2 of the Power Query list) doesn't exist in the folder.

 

This is the {Identifier} you asked for 

iandavies_4-1707149874244.png

 

Now I am truly puzzled

@iandavies No worries. If you have a lot of files, you'll need to turn on Pagination and set a threshold in the Get files (properties only) action. However, while you are testing and building your flow. I would recommend returning fewer files so that your flow runs faster—especially while you are troubleshooting it. You can limit the number of files returned by specifying a top count in the Get files (properties only) action. 

 

Fun fact. The Get Files (properties only) returns folders as well. You need to use a Filter Query to return Files only. Refer to this YT Short.

 

It's also a bit weird that the Filter Array action is returning files that don't exist. Can you try to remove the period from the pdf text in the Filter Array action?

I removed the period. It made no difference.

 

I did however revisit the fact that it was selecting files that weren't present in the folder and I am very embarrassed to say that I had chosen the wrong folder in the Get File (Properties only) action.

 

I have two folders that are named the same in different parent folders, I had selected the wrong one. Having changed to the correct folder and removed/re-added the identifier it seems to have worked when I have run the test.

 

Now I have something working and a much better understanding of the system, the options and the problems, many, many thanks for persevering with me and I apologise for my rookie error taking up so much of your time.

@iandavies No worries. You might be interested in this YT Tutorial: 5 Power Automate Troubleshooting FAQs and Helpful Tips for Creating Better Flows

 

In this tutorial I cover:

 How to troubleshoot a false Condition action result

 How to get dynamic content when it isn’t selectable from the list of dynamic content

 How to troubleshoot an Apply to Each action that isn’t looping through

 How to troubleshoot a skipped Apply to Each action

 How to troubleshoot a Filter Query

 How to use a SharePoint yes/no column in a Filter Query

 How to use Compose actions to troubleshoot a Power Automate flow

How to troubleshoot multiple emails being sent

 How to troubleshoot multiple Teams messages being sent

 

Hope this helps!


If I helped you solve your problem—please mark my post as a solution .
Consider giving me a 👍 if you liked my response! If you're feeling generous— ️  Buy me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/acreativeopinion

👉 Watch my tutorials on YouTube
👉 Tips and Tricks on TikTok
 

Thank you, I have already subscribed to your channel using my personal account. This is the start of a journey for me and I look forward to learning more and seeing how this can help me manage and automate many processes that have thus far been done manually

 

Kindest regards and thanks again for the help and your patience.

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