- 01 Mar 2024
- 4 Minutes to read
Airtable automation action: Update record
- Updated on 01 Mar 2024
- 4 Minutes to read
Setting up an automation to update a record
When building an Automation, you may choose the "Update record" action to update a single record. When the automation runs successfully, one record will be updated in a specified table. Learn how to use the "Update record" action to update one or more fields in the record with a static string of text or a dynamic value token from a previous step or both.
Step 1: Create a new automation
T + Create automation
Step 2: Configure a trigger
N + Add trigger Click here to learn more about all available automation triggers
Step 3: Find the “Update record” action
Step 4: Configure the “Update record” action
Feel free to enter a description of what the action will do. You can always add one later if you prefer to skip this step.
Under the “Configuration” section, you’ll first select a table that contains or will eventually contain a record that you want to update.
Next, you will need to map the “Record ID” for the automation to run effectively. You can either accomplish this by:
Typing in a static record ID. This will cause the automation to update the same record every time it runs.
Or insert a token from a previous automation step, typically the record ID of the triggering record from the trigger step. This will cause the automation to dynamically update a record depending upon the record ID value attached to the token you insert.
The "Update record" action requires a single record ID to know which record it will be updating. If you are creating an automation to dynamically update a record you will need to make sure that either the automation's trigger, or a previous step's action, returns the record you'd like to update. You can then utilize a previous step's returned record's ID in your "Update record" action step. Static record ID values in an "Update record" Action will result in the same record being updated every time the automation is triggered to run.
Step 5: Choose the fields that will be updated and insert values
Next, you’ll need to configure the automation to update one or more fields related to the record identified in the previous step. To accomplish this:
Click + Choose field
Find and click the name of the field you want this automation to update.
Now you’ll need to input the static or dynamic value of your choice for that field. You can also leave a field blank to have the automation “clear” the value in that particular field/cell of the record.
Repeat this process for as many fields as you would like.
You can use the action step to update records in any table within your base. You can also add multiple actions to update records across multiple tables.
Step 5: Test and turn on the automation
Again, be sure to test all of the steps in the automation that you are building. Once every part of the automation has tested successfully, you’ll likely be ready to turn the automation on. Find the red colored “OFF” toggle and click it so the automation now appears as “ON” in green.
Check out this automation guide if you'd like to see the "Update Record" action in a workflow. If you'd like to see an example of using the Update record action in a multistep workflow (coupled with the Find Record action) check out this guide on linking existing records.
Can the "Update record" action update multiple records at once?
The "Update record" action does not support updating multiple records within one step. However, you can choose to add a repeating group of actions to accomplish this behavior.
Can the “Update record” action update records in another table?
Yes it can, but likely not in the way that you think.
In many cases, you'll first need to add a “ Find records” action, before the “Update record” step that will search for records in the other table that match certain conditions that you set.
Once you have the list of records, you'll use this as a reference in a repeating group to inform updates to another record. You’ll want to insert/move the “Update record” step in that repeating group. For this to work most effectively, you’ll want to have a linked record field that connects records across the two tables. This will help you to inform which records should be updated in the other table.
Note that other use cases may benefit from alternative ways of accomplishing similar results.