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Helper III
Helper III

File update issues and flow frequency

After days of teaching myself how to use Power Automate to automate some of my more routine business processes, I created a flow which, in response to a form submission, updates a row in an excel sheet, grabs the meta data and content, and emails the sheet to the user that submitted the form.


I have encountered a troublesome problem, however, in that the sheet that gets emailed does not always contain the correct data, instead sometimes containing the data from the previous response. I've tried to counter this by adding a delay in my flow before the file is updated and then again before the file metadata and content grab, but this is not always successful in remedying the problem, and is not ideal if I want to upscale, as there may be additional responses within the time frame of the flow.


If anyone has encountered this before and can offer any advice, it would be much appreciated!!    


Accepted Solutions


Have you tried instead to create a new file each time and then deleting it at the end of the flow?

So the idea is you have a template and then Copy File and use the new copied file and delete it afterwards...


If this post helps you with your problem, please mark your as Accepted solution.If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

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Multi Super User
Multi Super User

Hi @teespolyglot,


Can I ask if you replace the data in the sheet or you accumulate on it?




If this post helps you with your problem, please mark your as Accepted solution.If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

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Hi @Mira_Ghaly , thanks for your response. I'm replacing the data each time


Have you tried instead to create a new file each time and then deleting it at the end of the flow?

So the idea is you have a template and then Copy File and use the new copied file and delete it afterwards...


If this post helps you with your problem, please mark your as Accepted solution.If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Blog: here


Sample as below:


Column1 .. Column2 are the columns in your template, Sample as below:




If this post helps you with your problem, please mark your as Accepted solution.If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Blog: here

Hi @Mira_Ghaly ,


Thanks for your continued efforts on this. It's taken me all day (my column headers were 46 sentence-like questions with dynamic input responses!), but I've finally managed to overhaul the flow so that a template is copied at the beginning and deleted at the end.


At first glance it appears to be running well. I'll put it to a more intensive test tomorrow (multiple different responses in a row) to see whether I still have the same problem. Fingers crossed, it's gone!



Hi @Mira_Ghaly ,


I've submitted a few responses to test it out this evening and all appears fine. Thanks ever so much for your help! 🙂

@teespolyglot Can I ask what your flow looks like? I'm trying to do something similar to provide feedback to students

Of course, please see below



And inside the first Apply to Each, you will be mainly concerned with the right-hand branch. The left copies to a Master file with all of the responses, while the right copies to the file created at the beginning.


and in the appy to each in the right hand loop


I should point out that the two Apply to Each loops on the right could probably have been avoided by using a first(outputs(...)) expression, but i was feeling lazy 🙂


Side note: the Check out file action at the start was because Power Automate kept throwing errors about the file being locked for editing by me (I believe this was caused by me creating the file in the previous step 🙄)


Hope that helps.

Cheers for this, it has been useful, is there any chance you could send me a fully expanded view. I'm struggling to understand how each part works.


I tried the original suggestions from @Mira_Ghaly & got returns of (Cannot add row as this will cause some merged cells to unmerge) (I think this might have been to do with my file formatting.


Now i'm going back to basics as I am completely new to Automate. 

I have attached an expanded view of the right-hand branch, but that doesn't sound like a flow error to me. This sounds like exactly what it says. Either:

  • one (or more) of the cells you are copying from (in sheet A) are merged, OR
  • the template you are inserting a row into (sheet B) includes merged cells

My template file has a hidden sheet, which contains an exact replica of the table from the original file. It's into that table that the data gets pasted. I then use a visible sheet to display the data in a format of my choosing (this being what gets converted into a PDF and emailed out in the later parts of my flow). I found trying to insert the data into a manipulated table too problematic.


If you still can't get it to work, it might be wise to create a new question outlining your issue, as this is sounding outside the scope of my original post, and a new question will generate more responses and be more helpful to others in future who might be experiencing the same issues as you

Thanks for your all your help. There was an issue with the "Apply to Each" loops as they've got rid of "List of responses" option but you got me 95% there & I was able to tweak it with one of my existing flows & I was able to create a PDF which actually solves a security issue I was worried about which is even better.

You're quite welcome. That's what the community is all about - i received help and have in turn been able to help you 🙂 


Glad i was able to help and great to hear the file conversion bit helped you out- it was for security reasons that I put that step in too!

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