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Frequent Visitor

Finding where Collection is used

Would it be possible to get the same information for a collection as we currently have for variables. With that I mean an overview of where the collection is used. I am currently using different collections for the same purpose of the older collections, but I want to know for sure that I don't need the older collections, such that I can remove that code entirely from my app.  Therefore it would be beneficial to get such a screen with information

Super User
Super User

Hi @5euro 

Unfortunately, there's no simple way to do this.

I think the best bet is to download and use the review tool from here. 

I've had some mixed success with this, so you might want to test it relying on the results.

In the meantime, I think it's worth adding this to the ideas forum, as it's something that would benefit a lot of people. 


Frequent Visitor


Thanks for your solution. It was indeed more an idea than looking for a solution. I did not know that the ideas forum existed, therefore thank you for suggesting it, I will put this idea up there.

I have no idea why this is so slow in coming.  There have been requests for this dating back to 2018.  Just a simple search with a link, as with the variables.  Is that too much to ask?

Advocate V
Advocate V

Some info for people struggling with "Where The Hell DID I create that collection"......


First of all, vote for at least ONE of these two ideas/suggestions. 





The PApps team has them as Under Review but they seem to be stuck there.  More votes will get that moving, hopefully.


Also, in the meantime, there are at least two workarounds/hacks for locating where a collection is defined (e.g. ClearCollect, Collect).

I describe one method using a .zip export of the app in the aforementioned threads here (and I'm now pretty certain the person I should have given credit to for that trick is @TML , btw) :


But here is the newest method I've become aware of...and it may be the better way.. though still deciding on that....


I.e. the "PowerAppps Review Tool" available here: 


It allows you to export an app as an MSApp file and see all your functions, and it highlights what formulas/properties have been changed from the PApps default values.  You can export the report as JSON or HTML.  This is easier than the export as .ZIP and extract method I described.


Do be aware that the tool can APPEAR to hang (e.g. Not Responding) when you open your MSAPP file.   I.e. it can take SEVERAL minutes for the tool to chew through the app and generate the report.


Here is an example screenshot of a report:



Advocate I
Advocate I

My Work Around
Instead of a collections I created Variable Tables. Happened by accident and they work. Stakeholders kept changing how they wanted things named, from lists to column names to lookup items. So I put everything in OnStart and can all be changed from there so none of my code breaks.

Set(varListName, 'ListName')

There were only a few places in my app that I actually needed to create a collection. One is where I needed to add the "New" item selection to a combo box 
For that I did

ClearCollect(collectListName, varListName ); //Where varListName is created in OnStart from the SP list
Collect(collectListName, { Title: "New", ID: 0 }


Also if you need to use collections you can also assign a dummy variable like

ClearCollect(collectListName, ListName ); Set(varCollectListName,Blank()))

and that way you will always find the collection


Hope that helps someone



I loved your ideas so much I wanted to kudo you here in addition to the other thread where you also shared your EXCELLENT workarounds.  🙂    Hope you don't mind the extra "chatter."


As I noted in my reply in that other thread, your ideas have really given me food for thought...and my hope is that the "extensions" I propose to your great suggestions might also help others come up with better workarounds until MSFT makes hunting collections as easy as it is to hunt global vars.


Once again, thanks SO much!



Frequent Visitor

You can download your app as Zip, enter in the Zip folder and find the MSAPP file.


Change the extension of that file to .zip and extract it content. It will give you a bunch of jason files. At the Folder "Controls" you will have a Json file for each page. In there you can make a search (control + F)  and find your collection.

Frequent Visitor

Hi there,

I think the easiest way is simply to make the collection fail. Then you find them in the Errors. 😉


for example you add a button 

you have

- Source1 (with a People/Group Column "Person")

-  a random "source2" with a e.g "NumberColumn"

- The Collection you search for collectLost




If you run the button (or even before) you will receive an error for all collections you look for. 



Let me know how you went at the end.




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