Airtable automation action: Update record
  • 19 Jan 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Airtable automation action: Update record

  • Dark

Article Summary

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. The "Update record" action can be configured with one or more fields set to any text or to a value from a previous step or both.


Plan availabilityAll plan types with varying limitations
  • Owners/Creators - Create, delete, duplicate, configure, or rename an automation and edit an automation's description.
  • Editors - View an automation's configuration or copy an automation's URL.
Platform(s)Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app 
Related reading


For this example, we will be setting up an automation using the Product launch template that assigns any new record created in the "Feature" table with the status "Not started".

To start creating an automation, click on Automations in the upper left corner of an open base.


Choose a trigger

Next, choose a trigger that will kickoff this automation, such as "When a record is created". In our example, anytime a new record is created in the "Features" table this automation will be triggered.


Add an action

After testing the trigger successfully, click the "Add action" button and select the "Update record" action.


In our example, anytime a new record is created in the "Features" table we want to update the {Feature Status} field of that record with the value "Not started".

To do that, select the table (in our case, the "Features" table) where the record should be updated. We then need to input the record ID of the record we'd like to update. To do that we will:

  1. Press the blue "+" plus button icon
  2. This allows us to add dynamic information from a previous step in the automation setup process. In this case, from the trigger step (Step 1).
  3. After clicking "Continue" you'll want to "Insert" the "Airtable record ID."
  4. Ultimately, this allows the automation to recognize the record ID value of the triggering record, insert that value in the action step, and then update the record with any new field values you add later in the setup process.

For this part of the step, make sure you only insert the Record ID.


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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.

Next, choose the field or fields to be updated. In the example below we selected the {Feature Status} field and entered the value "Not started".


You can add any number of other fields to update by clicking the "Choose field" button.

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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.

Test and turn on the automation

After adding the desired information for the action step make sure to click "Run test" to make sure the action is working correctly. If the test is successful you can turn your automation on. Now, anytime a record is created the automation will update the record with the field values we prescribed.



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 "Update Record" 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. Currently, "Update record" updates a single record identified by the input record's ID. If the previous automation step, or trigger, attempts to pass multiple record ID's into the "Update record" action the step will fail with an error. If you are looking to update multiple records at once, we recommend checking out the Batch Update Extension or explore writing a custom script using the Scripting Extension.

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