Have you ever noticed that some flows start immediately, where other flows seem to take a while before they get started. Different types of triggers work in different ways. The flow team has now made it easier to recognise the different type of triggers used by your flows.

Of course, you could always have a look at the flow connector documentation and find out how your flow is triggered. But it might not always be easy to find out when your trigger is kicked off.

When you look at your My flows overview in Microsoft Flow, you will find a number of different type of flows.

  • Scheduled
  • Automated
  • Instant

Types of Flow

What does this mean?

Scheduled Flows

Scheduled flows are not triggered by an event on the data, but they simply run when a scheduled time arrives. You can compare this with running scheduled tasks on your PC or servers. This could help you get rid of those on-premises servers that run that monthly or daily task.

Instant Flows

Instant flows are triggered by a person. Typically pressing button within an app, that would make this flow start. This of course also includes all the on selected items triggers that can for example be found within the SharePoint or Excel connectors.

Automated Flows

Automated flows are started by an event on your data. For example when you create or update a list item in SharePoint your flow will start. This is the most common type of trigger used by most of the connectors.



Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications Microsoft MVP working as a Principal Architect at HybrIT Services Ltd. You can contact me using contact@sharepains.com

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