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ZilvinasK
Regular Visitor

Unwanted approval reminders

Hello,

 

Few days ago in one of my flows people suddenly started receiving approval reminders (usually every 24 hours, but in some cases same approval arrived twice within 10 minutes) they are not needed since some approvals might take few days to approve, so there is a lot of spam suddenly. This flow has been running for quite some time and reminders appeared out of nowhere, without me changing anything in the flow. How could this have happened? and is there a way to turn reminders off?

 

Thanks

11 REPLIES 11
mahoneypat
Solution Sage
Solution Sage

I would look at the recent events in the history for that flow, and see what triggered them.  You should be able to change the logic there to turn them back off.

Regards,

Pat

I've tried to look into run history but it doesn't give any useful information, it only shows that approval was triggered and that it is still waiting for an answer from responder.

ChadVKealey
Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

What trigger are you using to start the flow? Also, are they "reminders" or are they identical to the original approval? As far as I know, MS has not introduced any automated reminder functionality, so it sounds like your flow is being triggered multiple times. For example, if you're using the "When a file (or item) is modified [in SharePoint]" trigger and someone (or something - like another flow) is modifying those items, they would be triggered again. This (to me) is on failing of Power Automate compared to SharePoint Designer workflows. The file/item in SharePoint isn't directly aware of any flows that are running on it and has no control over them. In SPD approval workflows, there was a built-in "catch" that would terminate the workflow if the item awaiting approval was modified. It was tough explaining that to users and often required some clever "hiding" of those items (to prevent people from modifying them), but it made for a more "durable" and predictable process. 

If you are using the "When an item is modified" trigger, I would suggest adding a column to act as a "flag" to indicate that the approval process has started. I like to make it a date/time column titled "FlowStarted" or "ApprovalStarted" which is set as part of the initial flow process. You can then add a trigger condition to only run the flow if that field is empty. Whenever using that trigger for a flow that includes actions that update the item on which the flow is running, you need to be careful to avoid creating infinite loops. This page has some really good information on how to do that: https://medium.com/@gurdevluck/prevent-infinite-loop-in-microsoft-flow-power-automate-b3cf9d764926

 

Flow is triggered when a new item is created and all emails are actually identical. But as i understand problem is that the smart approval is somehow triggering more than once.

I actually found out that another very similar flow started behaving this way few days ago as well, both flows have not been edited for the last 3 weeks and were working absolutely fine just until this behavior started on it's own.

Both flow's are running 3 step approvals and only the final approval stage is behaving this way for some reason. 

flow.PNG

maybe this behavior is somehow being triggered because of "requestor" part in approval?

ChadVKealey
Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Is the email specified in the Requestor field a "user" in your tenant with a Power Automate license? Also, if you look at the run history of a particular instance, are you certain that side of the branch is what's running? Are those the only approvals in the entire flow, or are there others before/after that block? 

Yes, requestor is "user" that was created specifically for sending out approvals. I've used this user for this task for last few months with no problems.

Yes this is specific part that is running, i have checked this in several cases.

This is not the only approval in this flow, there are more, but this one is final and it seems that only this one is sending out multiple emails, but it could be because others are usually approved quickly, and this one takes some time.

 

Maybe there is some kind of work around for this? i see that "Enable Notification" field has custom value, maybe it is possible to set it for every month or so?

 

 

ChadVKealey
Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

"Enable Notification" only takes two possible values (Yes or No); the "custom" option allows you to set it using dynamic data, like a variable or input on a button trigger. 

 

Are these "resends" arriving at the same time every day? I've noticed recently (in the last few days) a similar behavior in the midst of testing a process I rebuilt last week. In my case, the approval notifications are be (re)delivered at 4:29 PM (EST) every day.

DaveD_Prism
Frequent Visitor

I have started seeing the exact same issue in the last week or two. At exactly 21:40 each day recipients receive a duplicate notification of the approval email for all active flow. I assumed that there was an issue in a recent update I made to a flow so rolled back to a older version flow that had been running since October 2020 with no issues. This duplicate notification exists within the old version so it would appear to be a result of some update elsewhere!

ZilvinasK
Regular Visitor

yes, this must be it. thanks!

DaveD_Prism
Frequent Visitor

It looks like the issue has been resolved. No reminders last night for me!

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