Zapier makes it easy to automate tasks across apps and platforms. The thing is, no matter how well you polish your setup, sooner or later, you’ll inevitably run into issues. And one of the most common ones is the “Zap not triggering” problem. 

Luckily, a Zap that doesn’t want to run is not the end of the world. In this article, we’ll look for an answer to the “why is my Zap not triggering” question. But first, let’s look at what a Zap trigger is.

What Is a Zap Trigger? 

A Zap trigger is anything that starts your Zap workflow. Depending on the app that you add to your Zap, it can be anything.

A new email in your CRM, a new Google sheets row, or a new Airtable database entry. The list is limitless. In the below example, the Zap is triggered whenever there’s a new Tweet in a predefined list:

Setting up a Twitter Zapier Zap trigger

Keep in mind that there are two different types of Zap triggers – polling and instant triggers.

– Polling triggers. The majority of Zap triggers belong to this category. These Zaps check the trigger app for new information at regular intervals..

Because each item has a unique ID, the Zap can differentiate between new and old items. The good news is, you can try to trigger the Zap manually, which helps especially in fixing the “Zap not triggering” issue.

– Instant Triggers. These triggers work by using Webhooks. Whenever there’s new data in the app, the Zap will receive a notification. Keep in mind that you can’t run this Zap manually from the Zapier dashboard. To do that, you have to perform the desired trigger event.

To check if the Zap has a polling or an instant trigger, hit the three dots to the right. If the Zap has a “Run” button, it’s the former type of Zap: 

Manually triggering a polling Zap

No matter how you decide to start the Zap, what’s important is that every Zap can have only one trigger. Thankfully, this should make nailing down potential issues much easier.

Speaking of which – let’s look at the most common reasons why your Zap is not triggering. 

1. Your Zap is OK, but You’re on a 15-minute Polling Interval

This is a common problem for people who’re just starting out. If you look at the Zapier pricing table, you can quickly see the plans have different update frequencies.

If you’re on either of the first two plans, you have to wait for 15 minutes between each time Zapier checks the app.

Different update frequencies for various Zapier pricing plans

To check if that’s the case, you can go to Zapier and run the Zap manually. Keep in mind this will only work for a polling type of trigger Zap.

If you hit the “run” button, and the Zap is still not triggering – at least you know that polling is not the problem.

2. You’re Out of Tasks! 

This case is rare – but it still may happen, especially if you’re experimenting. Obviously, if you’re out of tasks, all your Zaps will be turned off.

But, if all you’re doing is waiting for the change in the app that’s in one of the action steps, it’s easy to miss that. Especially if you were already close to the limit. Another reason why you suddenly run out of tasks is getting your Zap stuck in a loop.

3. Your App Hasn’t Produced a Valid Trigger

Polling aside, the most common reason why a Zap is not triggering is… an invalid trigger! Sounds pretty obvious, right? However, spotting it isn’t always that simple, and there are a few reasons why that may be the case.

– Check Your Trigger Event

First, go to your Zap and double-check the trigger event. Let’s continue on the previous Twitter example and say that you collect Tweets from accounts in a specific list.

In this case, the first thing you should do is check if the account that you’re trying to collect new Tweets from is correctly added to the list. If you’ve only added it recently, you may also want to re-run the trigger test to see if you can find Tweets from that account. 

– Check and/or Remap Trigger Fields

Another reason why your Zap isn’t triggering is a change in Trigger fields. For example, let’s say that you set the Zap to trigger whenever there’s a new task in a specific ClickUp folder.

However, since then, you’ve moved all lists out of that folder and removed them. In this case, Zapier will be unable to find any new task and won’t trigger.

– You Picked the Wrong Event

Lastly, you may have picked the wrong event as a trigger altogether. This can happen in several situations:

– The events were… confusing. For example, in Gmail, there’s a New Label and a New Labeled Email.

At first glance, the difference is obvious. However, if you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to assume the “new Label” means the same as a “New Labeled Email”.

One of common reasons why a Zap is not triggering - choosing the wrong event.

– You Picked the Wrong Data

Similarly, some apps can have two similar pieces of data that mean completely different things for the app. For example, if you’re using a CRM, the app may differentiate between a customer and a subscriber. 

To fix this issue, it’s critical that you carefully check the Zap setup. Then compare it with what you’re trying to achieve in the app. 

– You Set a Filter Immediately After the Trigger Step

Another reason why your Zap may be failing to trigger is a filter. If you set it right after the trigger, the Zap will (technically) run. But since the next step is a filter, and your data gets filtered out, no other step will run. As a result, you won’t see the expected results.

Luckily, this issue is super easy to spot. To do that, simply go to your Zap run history and look for a filtered Zap with zero tasks: 

An example of a Zap that didn't trigger due to a filter

Also, if you’d like to learn more about troubleshooting Zaps – check out this quick video from Zap academy:

4. A Webhook Can’t Trigger Your Zap

Unlike the Zaps with a polling trigger, instant Zaps can fail whenever there’s a problem with Webhooks. Typically, there are two common reasons why your Zap doesn’t start: 

– The App You’re Using Has Issues Sending Data

If this is the case, there’s very little you can do other than reach out to the app’s support. The easiest way to verify this?

Set up a new Zap with the app of your choice and run a test. If you’re 100% sure that you’ve set everything correctly and the test still can’t pull any data, it’s time to reach out to the app’s support (or a Zapier consultant 🙂 ). 

– Your Webhook Is Set Incorrectly 

This can happen if you’re setting the Webhook as a trigger step yourself. In this case, there’s plenty that can go wrong – but the two most common solutions include:

– Check if you activated webhooks in the app of your choice

Some applications won’t send data via webhook if you don’t manually activate the option in the settings. This can happen EVEN if the app allows you to configure everything (so you’d think the option has to be active). 

– Verify that you copied the right URL.

Each time you set a Zap to get triggered by a webhook step, you receive a unique URL:

A webhook URL that's used to send data to a Zap (and trigger it)

To make the Zap work, you’ve got to then copy this URL to the app of your choice. But, that’s where it’s easy to make a mistake.

For example, if you’re working on multiple Zaps at once, it’s easy to mix the URLs. 

Similarly, it may happen if you pause the setup and then decide to start from scratch by creating a new Zap. If you’ve already copied the old URL to your app, it’s easy to forget to make the switch. 

5. Your App Got Disconnected

In some rare cases, the application that you previously chose as a trigger may get disconnected.

In this case, you need to go to the Zap settings, find the app and click the “+ Connect a new account” button. 

Reconnecting an application to Zapier

The most common reason for an app getting disconnected is a change in credentials. Especially if you get asked to provide a secret key or API manually, and switch them to different ones. 

6. Your Zap Is Not Triggering So You Need to… Restart It

The last point may sound silly… but it probably should be the first one. However, I’m leaving it here for all those who scroll immediately to the very bottom of the post. While Zapier is not Windows (where restarting often solves the weirdest issues), restarting a Zap may help.

To turn off your Zap, simply click the green button and wait a few seconds. Then, click it again to get the Zap running. 

The on and off Zapier button

I can’t promise it will work – however, sometimes after the restart Zap may be able to find data that it previously missed.

Start Automating Your Workflow

The more Zaps you have active, the harder it can be to avoid Zapier problems. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to automate as many tasks as you can! The key is to stay organized and understand all the little things that can cause Zap issues.

But, that little effort that you’ll put in will pay you back multiple times – especially if you start with automating the right tasks.

Speaking of which – if you’d like to take advantage of Zapier automation, I can help you. Visit this page to schedule a quick call, and let’s discuss your Zapier automation needs. 

Jacek Piotrowski
Jacek Piotrowski

Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at

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


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This