As a regular follower of my posts you will have noticed the many posts about Microsoft Flow. I would like to put a quote form one of my customers here:

Excited is an understatement!

Yes, indeed Microsoft Flow is very exciting. When comparing with SharePoint Designer Microsoft Flow is 10.5 times better. Just just the development of the Flows is a dream, debugging flows is so much easier. Running flows in Microsoft Flow is simply more stable that SharePoint Designer has ever been. All the issues with running the flows that I have found have been with developer mistakes rather than problems with the product. I’m even getting close to the point where I would say that Microsoft Flow is a good competitor for Nintex and K2. Do you want to give me a challenge and let me migrate your workflows?

Today I’m going to have a look at the triggers in Microsoft Flow that start a flow. I’m only going to have a look at the SharePoint triggers. It would be a mistake to go through all the 100s of triggers. in a single post.

Manual Trigger

I’m going to start with the manual trigger. So within SharePoint you want to get a user to start a flow manually.


So I created a flow called My important workflow and it appears within my menu when I select an item.

All you need is the trigger For a selected item. I already opened the advanced options that give you the options to ask for data from your user.

So in my case I’m getting Input, Email and File Content.

These input parameters in the trigger then become available as dynamic content within the flow.

You can create as many parameters as you need.

And you can even use choice options to restrict your input.





This all feels very easy to use.


When a file is created (properties only)

This trigger can be a bit confusing. Once you have completed the Library name the Folder will ask you for the same thing again. At least that is what it looks like:

So when you select a folder you can trigger the flow just by documents within a certain folder, but there is nothing there to stop you form configuring the folder within another library. Most of the time however I would probably leave the folder blank anyway.

This trigger gives you all the properties of the document that triggered the flow. Title, Created, Created By and so on, even all your custom columns will appear.

When a file is created in a folder

When a file is created in a folder  is another one of those confusing triggers.

You first supply the Site address then a folder within SharePoint. this can be a library or a folder in a library and then the option Infer Content Type. This means that the content type will be retrieved by Flow from the document.

Note that this trigger doesn’t give you the properties of the document. Using the file identifier ( the relative url of the document) it is possible to get the document properties later during the flow with an action.

When a file is created or modified (properties only)

The next trigger is very similar to the When a file is created in a folder however the result is very different.

The configuration options are the same, however the result is very different. This trigger you get the document properties back too.

Are you wishing for the option to have multiple triggers yet?

When a file is created or modified in a folder

Other than that this trigger also fires when files are modified there is no difference between When a file is created or modified in a folder and When a file is created  in a folder

When an item is created

Now we get to the list item triggers.

No real exciting option here. You get all the properties of the item returned

When an item is created or modified

The final trigger handles modified items in lists as well.

Next posts in this series

Microsoft Flow – What SharePoint actions follow the triggers?

So now the big questions.

  • How do you avoid triggering flows multiple times when you update a status field? Design your flow correctly!
  • Can I trigger on things that aren’t SharePoint? Yes!
  • Can you help me get started? Yes!