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Turning off Flow and turning back on still create new instances of Flow

 

Currently we are working on a bunch of flow automation logic with SharePoint connectors. The issue we have is that flow queues SharePoint list item changes even when the flow is turned off. Since we have many SharePoint metadata that are updated in bulk while testing, there are many flows that are triggered on error data after turned on. We don't want this to happen. When we turn off the flow, we want it to not run later.

When we turn off the flow, we want it to not run later.

Status: Under Review

Thank you for the suggestion. As is covered in the comments this is not a bug but an important feature to avoid data loss -- this allows you to temporarily disable a flow, make corrections, and then enable the flow, running it over all of the events that happened in the interim. Without this functionality all of those business critical events would be lost.

 

That being said, there may be scenarios where you want to explicitly discard your business data -- to support that case we'll look at adding an option to delete the trigger data so you can start again from scratch.

Comments
Advocate I

I just ran into this today. I tried to switch back to an old version of a flow I was using, and it retriggered all of the items ran since turning it off and sent out hundreds of emails. This was unexpected and has caused several hours of work this morning.

 

@gani94thanks for the workaround, I'll try doing that instead.

Kudo Kingpin

Once again I come here expecting to find a solution for what is obviously a problem only to find out that the "problem" is a really a "feature". I can't think of a single time I have ever wanted to turn off a Flow then turn it on and have it do all the things it would have done, for the entire period while it was turned off, the moment I turn it back on. Really? This is how this is designed to work? Yes, I understand that all of this is fantastically complex but it seems that this could have been designed differently or at least not provisioned in such a way to trick users into thinking that turning it off would turn it off (what a leap, I know). To at least not allow one to chose is an unbelievable oversight, to build it in such a way that any reasonable human being would not expect it to behave in this way is almost malicious. With the constant changes and migration from one platform to another (i.e. on prem to O365), there are tons of folks out there moving huge blocks of data around as they try to keep up with the latest way we are supposed to be doing things. What a special treat to have a thousand email notifications (or worse) be sent out to hundreds of users related to historic data. This also really makes testing a complex workflow a breeze... one slip up and you are screwed in a spectacularly public fashion.

Super User

(UPDATE: This is now an internal joke between those that were involved, especially considering all the great things I've done for them using Flow & PowerApps, so luckily I didn't have it altering items or adding values or something crazy like that when I turned it back on!

 - Still a bit annoying that I have to save and recreate a Flow every time there is major Dev work going on though!)

 



Wish I'd known this earlier today - added a thousand items to a SharePoint List while Flow was off and there's a trigger for starting and mailing an approval to the finance director for any new items and I turned the flow back on and... nightmare.

 

 

Nightmare details:

 

There's now a thousand flow approval processes in the director's Flow approvals area, which I'm going to have to go through and remove.

 

UPDATE: Some of them failed as I reached the rate limit for simultaneous flows, so won't have to remove all of them.

FURTHER UPDATE: You Can't Select More Than One Run To Cancel Simultaneously. WHY is this a feature?

image.png

Tried ctrl-clicking, filtering by 'running', can still only select one at a time.

So I'm going to have to do this manually..

 

EVEN FURTHER UPDATE: The ability to cancel runs stopped working after about the 30th cancel - nothing worked to restore this, clearing cache, different browser, only showing certain types, longer delays between attempts.

 

FINAL UPDATE - This is so broken I can't even explain to you how lucky I am to still have my job.

- Deleted the flow after saving a copy. Saw that it said it would 'cancel all runs that are currently active'. Excellent, just what I need.

  • This was not the case.
  • Now I have nowhere to cancel the approvals! (as you can't do it from your sent approvals sections in Flow)

- You can imagine the embarrassment and potential data concerns when I had to ask our finance director to sign into my machine so that I could approve several hundred flows while still leaving the existing approvals they had before this whole debaucherous mess.

This is my life now:

image.png

 

 


In future I will create a copy every time, but as it's not obvious that When You Turn It Off It's Not Actually Off It's Just Queued, there could be others out there who were not so lucky and may have been blamed for lost time/revenue or even fired.

 

 

So if the developers would please be so kind as to include a second toggle 'don't queue items' in addition to 'turn off flow',
that would be great.

Power Automate
Status changed to: Under Review

Thank you for the suggestion. As is covered in the comments this is not a bug but an important feature to avoid data loss -- this allows you to temporarily disable a flow, make corrections, and then enable the flow, running it over all of the events that happened in the interim. Without this functionality all of those business critical events would be lost.

 

That being said, there may be scenarios where you want to explicitly discard your business data -- to support that case we'll look at adding an option to delete the trigger data so you can start again from scratch.

New Member

Can we have an update on this (per Stephen's last comment)? We are looking to use this platform for some workflows, but this issue would be a huge blocker & therefore non-started on moving forward.

 

 

Regular Visitor

Any update on this idea being implemented? It is still under review after an year.

Advocate II

Yeah, just learned this lesson the hard way and sent out about 200 emails to users as we were trying to bulk load for a new process. I get that data loss is important, but sometimes you legitmately need to turn it off so you don't spam end users or for testing. Come on Microsoft... every other workflow tool I've used allows for this.


New Member

Are there any status updates on this? The "solution" currently is to check against a value in the source using a condition, but this is highly problematic for some use cases that we have...

Regular Visitor

Wow, it is good that I Google's this subject...

 

Otherwise after testing importing emailaddress to a list that generates Azure AD invitations with the Flow OFF, after turning it on all those people would have received an invitiation...

 

Should really be fixed.

 

Flow development should be made more robust  and professional in general

 

  • Backups and versioning
  • Testing 
  • Moving actions or blocks of flows around (in and of conditions for instance)
  • Rename actions without having to recreate all depeding actions and or dynamic data

 

It is now very clumsy with lots of copy=pasting and manual reconstructing

Advocate II

Any updates of this?