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Sharepoint Update Item Wipes Out Pre-Existing Data In Fields Not Being Updated

I am using Sharepoint Update item to update a handful of fields in a sharepoint list item when a new item is created.   New items are created with up to 10 fields populated.   The update item flow correctly adds the specified fields but in the process wipes out the contents of any fields left blank on the update item form.   Flow should ignore any fields that do not have an update value specified, but instead updates each field to an empty text string.   For example if an address has been populated in the list but address field left blank in the Update Item action, the address field gets updated to empty text.   Looking at the code behind the form I see "Address1":"",  which seems to explain why the contents of the address field is being replaced by "".   But it makes no sense that this would be a default for every field in the Sharepoint Update Item form.   Empty fields should be ignored by default, not updated to empty strings or null.

Community Support Team
Community Support Team

Re: Sharepoint Update Item Wipes Out Pre-Existing Data In Fields Not Being Updated


Hi @djroller ,


Could you please share a screenshot of the Flow configuration?

The feature expected by the Update item action is exactly the same as your description. It only updates the fields of the content you configured, and other fields are not updated.


Do not change/fill the fields that do not need to be changed when configuring the Update item action.

Or please try to fill the field with the Dynamic content of the corresponding field output in the trigger, which could also avoid the situation you mentioned.


Best Regards,

Community Support Team _ Barry
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
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Re: Sharepoint Update Item Wipes Out Pre-Existing Data In Fields Not Being Updated



Hi Barry,

See below for flow and explanation of what is happening.    The second alternative you mentioned -- updating all fields with dynamic content of same, does work, but seems strange to have to specify an update action for fields I don't want to update.   Hard to imagine that is how this is intended to work.   IF it is, it should be documented because it's not at all intuitive.   The other thing is, there seems to be no way to recover data wiped out  in this manner unless you have list versioning turned on.   


Another solution I came across today is to create a custom view of just the fields I want updated, and then select advanced options and specify the view.  This limits the patched columns to just those I want to update.   But again, a very clumsy solution.   If I need to create a custom view every time I want to use flow to update certain fields in a list, that's very cumbersome.   Again, if this is the intent, the documentation should state this and also the danger of not doing it.   If you don't create a custom view, or if you don't specify an update action for the fields you want to keep, you will lose data if you leave fields blank.   Or, at least that is my experience.


Level: Powered On

Re: Sharepoint Update Item Wipes Out Pre-Existing Data In Fields Not Being Updated

To help isolate this issue, I've noticed the behavior happening only when an existing Update Item action is modified. When setting the Update Item up initially it appears to work as intended. If you then modify that action, or use the clipboard to copy/paste the action elsewhere, it will exhibit the behavior in OP's description. 


A workaround (very frustrating workaround) I've found is to insert dummy data into ALL fields in the action, save and close the flow, re-open and remove the dummy data, save again. I've taken to creating a specific view in my lists just for my flow to reference because in most cases I'm only updating a couple of fields out of many more. This makes the workaround quicker to process but still annoying.

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