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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.

New Member

Re-iterating it again , this is a serious issue which needs to be addressed. This is quite similar with scenario posted by JeffWhite and 980Panama

Scenario on When an Item is Created

  1. Made a copy of the Production environment flow as (Prod-Test Flow)  for the maintenance activity. 
  2. Turned off the Production flow and made small change of updating email recipient to self in the copied Prod-Test Flow to validate the small functionality.
  3. Turned on the Prod-Test Flow.
  4. Created list item 
  5. "Prod-Test Flow" got triggered (received the expected email and this was supposed to be end of test)
  6. After 2 and half minutes I turned on actual Production flow.
  7. Unexpected behavior - Production Flow ran successfully and triggered email to all business users which was not at all expected behaviour.  
  8. Need to understand the exact wait time, as same exercise has been done except the duration of turning on time was more than 5 minutes and it worked as expected. 
  9. What conditions are applicable in this scenario as per 
Helper II

@dbro that's a create work around thanks!


I would like to voice my frustration with this "feature" as well. I was migrating content for historical reasons only to a list. I turned off the Flow foolishly thinking that this would in fact turn off the Flow, migrated my content, then proceeded to send out 50+ emails. The worst part is these were for awards, so I have to go back and email people letting them know that they did not in fact get a second round of awards. I was just ignorant of this "feature". 

Advocate I

I have a real crazy suggestion for @Stephen , why don't you call the feature what it actually is?


What does it do? It pauses any new flows from triggering and queues them for later execution". So call something like that! And for the "Turn off" feature - make it actually turn the flow off. I know, crazy!


That way us poor IT Pros don't spam our C-level suite and VP's with the risk of loosing our jobs (ok, a little dark there but read the stories in this thread...)

Not applicable

@Stephen - Any possibility of getting a confirmation dialog when turning a Flow back on that allows you to choose to run or not run Flow on all stored trigger events? This is a huge blocker and makes modifying/testing Flow far more complicated than it needs to be in many cases. Thanks!


Update on this? Turning a Flow Off/On should have an option that you can activate/de-activate the trigger to "Run on items with trigger event" when Flow switched back ON again.

Or at minimum, it should be clearly documented, or perhaps even a dialog confirmation box that pops up, that all triggered events will be stored while Flow is OFF and then processed when Flow is ON again. 

The workaround of adding a terminate at the start still triggers the Flow and then it counts against your run quotas. Going this route doesn't allow for testing changes. 

The other option of working in a staging environment to make changes takes Flow out of being a "citizen" developer environment that is fluid and quick

Advocate I

Definitely need this asap. This is a major pain and risk for us, especially when performing migrations. We need a way to turn these off and not re-run. Using old tools, we could always trigger on change, editing mass quantities in datasheet mode if we had to run workflows when turning them back on. This way is crazy and gives our site owners a bad impression of SharePoint and new workflows. It would be better to turn this "feature" off until there's an option to Pause or Turn Off.

Advocate IV

Is there an update to this? We really need a way to turn off a flow and prevent triggering for certain situations. As other commenters have noted, for migration purposes this is important to allow bulk moves without triggering 100's+ of approval emails that are unnecessary because the items will be approved in bulk. This absolute flooding of their inboxes creates frustration, confusion, and leaves a bad impression of SharePoint with the users who we are trying to get on board with this system.

Advocate V

Hello all ~ just noting here that it is now March 30th, 2020 and there is no update on this Idea. Just today I inadvertently ran over 1500 workflows on a SharePoint library that I did not want to run. This is very seriously needed. The reality is that bulk updates to lists need to happen all the time and a way to stop workflows temporarily is REAL. 

Advocate V

Today I need to turn ON a few Flows that had been OFF for library maintenance. My work-around is to add a nonsense condition at the very top of the flow that will always be false. (Although, whether true or false, the only action is to Terminate the Flow. )


So I add this condition.....turn on the it run on 1200+ documents....and watch them all terminate quickly w/o doing any damage. Then go back in and remove the nonsense condition so that any runs from then on will function as needed.

Regular Visitor

Please, please fix this or provide a logical workflow to allow us to turn off an approval workflow for maintenance purposes.



Frequent Visitor

I just ran into this behaviour last night myself.  There was a large amount of data in a SharePoint list that needed a correction made to it.  Turned off workflow, ran PowerShell script to update data, success, turn workflow back on and suddenly it's a spam factory.  Please do something about this.