Create a flow for a list or library in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business

Use Microsoft Flow to set up workflows for lists and libraries in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Microsoft Flow helps you automate common tasks between SharePoint and other Office 365 and third party services.

Create a flow for a list or library

  1. Navigate to a list or library in SharePoint Online. The Flow button will be available in the command bar of SharePoint lists and libraries and OneDrive for Business on the web. For SharePoint Online, the option to create a flow will only be available for site members who can add and edit items. The option is always available for OneDrive for Business in the browser.

    Note: Microsoft Flow can connect with SharePoint Server through an on-premises data gateway. The Flow button will not be displayed in SharePoint Server.

  2. At the top of the list or library, click Flow, and then click Create a flow.

    Creating a flow in a list or library
  3. Select a flow template from the right-hand panel. Some commonly used flows are shown. Get started with common scenarios, such as sending a customized email when a new item is added to the library. Use these templates as a starting point to create your own flows. Or, choose the custom action flow templates that can be found at the bottom of the list to create a flow from scratch. After selecting a template, complete the remaining steps on the Microsoft Flow site.

    Selecting a flow template
  4. Follow the instructions on the Microsoft Flow site to connect to a list or library. Credentials will be verified for each service used in the flow. For Office 365 services such as SharePoint and Outlook, connections will be created automatically. For third party services, click on the link provided to sign into each service.

  5. The next steps will be performed in the Microsoft Flow designer. The first action displayed, also known as a trigger, will determine how the flow will be started. Additional actions may be added after the first. Each new action will be dependent on the previous action.

    One type of flow performs actions automatically when items are added or changed in a list or library. For example, the flow template shown below sends an email when an item is added to the list. A second type of flow can be started only after an item is selected. This second type of flow is started using the Flow menu in the command bar in SharePoint. The type of trigger you selected determines if the flow is started automatically, or manually, from the command bar.

    Add any needed information, or change the default values provided for the template in the designer. For example, in the screenshot below, select Edit under Send Email to modify the default values. The options for the Send Email action include changes to how the email looks and to displaying additional fields from the SharePoint item.

    Follow the instructions on the Microsoft Flow site to connect the flow
  6. Configure the flow, and then click Create Flow.

    Note: To learn more about Microsoft Flow, view the guided learning videos.

  7. After the flow has been created, click Done.

Note: You can view all of your flows and check status on the Microsoft Flow website.

After creating the flow shown above, adding an email to the list or library will send an email like the one shown below.

Email sent by Microsoft Flow when an item changed

To learn how to edit a flow in a SharePoint list, see Edit a flow for a list in SharePoint Online. To learn how to delete a flow in a SharePoint list, see Delete a flow from a list in SharePoint Online.

Note: Microsoft Flow button is only available in modern lists and libraries

Lists and libraries work by default using the modern experience. However, the Office 365 administrator for your organization may have set the default behavior for lists and libraries to use classic experience. If the default behavior is set to the classic experience then you will not see the Flow button in the command bar of your list or library. If the new experience is available you can enable it for your list or library by going to List Settings, and then clicking on Advanced Settings. To learn more, see Switch the default experience for lists or document libraries from new or classic.

To learn more about SharePoint lists, see What is a list in SharePoint Online?. To learn more about Microsoft Flow, see Getting Started with Microsoft Flow.

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