Fixing Zapier Problems – Why Is My Zap Stuck in a Loop?
Getting your Zap stuck in a loop is one of the most common problems with Zapier automation. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous ones.
And the reason is simple – a Zap stuck in a loop can quickly use up all of your available tasks. This would then stop all of your automation, paralyzing your workflow (and, potentially, your business).
In this article, we will look for methods to stop (or prevent) the Zap from getting stuck in a loop.
Note: In this article, we’re not discussing the Zapier Helper action (Looping by Zapier). Rather, we’re talking about a common error caused by issues with one’s Zap setup.
What Is a Zapier Loop Error?
A loop error happens whenever one (or more) of your Zaps run over and over again. This can be caused by two things:
- When a Zap recreates its own trigger.
Example: If you create a Zap to update the Airtable database, but the same Zap is triggered by an update to that same Airtable database or table.
While this may sound like a very improbable scenario, it’s more common than one might think.
That’s because it’s actually quite easy to trigger the error. Often, it happens when one accidentally picks the same record for the update step that triggered the Zap:
Keep in mind that it’s not the only cause of a Zap loop. Also, a loop can be caused by a multi-step Zap. So, the problematic step doesn’t have to be the one right after the trigger.
- When a Zap creates a trigger for another Zap, which, in turn, creates a trigger for this Zap.
Example: The first Zap creates a contact in Mailchimp from a new contact in Google sheets.
The second Zap creates a new contact in Google sheets from a new subscriber in Mailchimp:
Unless stopped, the Zaps will keep triggering each other until they use up all of your tasks.
How to Stop a Looping Zap?
The only way to stop a looping Zap is to turn it off (or turn off the Zap that’s causing it to loop). Keep in mind that, sometimes you may realize that a Zap is looping only after it eats up all of your tasks.
In this case, it’s important that you review your Zap history to find out what caused the problem. Make sure that you turn off and fix the problematic Zaps before your task resets for the month so as not to use up the new allowance!
How to Prevent Looping Zaps?
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prevent a Zap loop from happening:
Carefully Plan Your Zaps
Creating a good Zapier plan is key to effective automation. Drafting out your workflows gives you a clear overview of the apps that you’ll be using and allows you to avoid any conflicts between the Zaps.
Keep a Clear List of Triggers
Knowing what triggers your Zaps helps you avoid creating Zap action steps that might accidentally trigger other Zaps.
Of course, that doesn’t mean every such trigger will end in a Zap loop. Still, the more you know about your Zaps, the easier it is to manage them as their number grows.
Add Filters to Your Zaps
Alternatively, you can also add an extra filter to your Zap. For example, the filter could catch duplicate entries, helping prevent the loop from happening.
However, for the filter to be effective, you may need to add a “Loop for Zapier” first, to check all the existing entries for duplicates.
In some cases, this might complicate the setup, making it hard to pull off (but, not impossible).
Add a delay to your Zap
Adding a delay won’t prevent the loop from happening. But, it will prevent it from eating all of your Zaps as fast as it normally would.
This, in turn, might allow you to spot the loop before it eats up all of your Zaps.
Review the Account Carefully
Lastly, it is critical to simply review other Zaps before you start building new ones. This is especially important if you’re creating a setup on somebody else’s account (for example, as a Zapier consultant).
In this case, it’s a good idea to document the triggers and/or the apps that are used in their Zaps (if they lack such documentation).
Fixing Common Zap Errors
Zap loop is one of the most common Zap errors out there. But, it’s far from being the only one. If you’re having trouble setting up working Zaps or keep running into Zap errors, I might be able to help. Simply >>>schedule a quick call and let’s discuss your Zapier needs.
Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at Clickleo.com
I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.
You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page