Debug a desktop flow

It is common to have to debug flows in case there are any changes in the system or if a desktop flow cannot run because it contains errors.

Debug a desktop flow using the following tools:

Run, stop, and pause in flow designer

Select Run or press F5 to run the flow. When the flow runs, Run becomes Pause. Select Pause or press Ctrl + Pause while the flow is running to pause and inspect any changes up to that point. Select Run while the flow is paused to resume it. The Run next action button and the F10 shortcut run the flow action by action and pause it after each action completes. The Stop button and the Shift + F5 shortcut stop the flow completely.

Screenshot of the toolbar.

Adding breakpoints

Click to the left of the running order number in the workspace to place a breakpoint in the flow, which appears as a red dot. Add a breakpoint to specify at which action to pause the flow. Resume running the flow by selecting Run or Run next action. Select the breakpoint to remove it.

Screenshot of an added breakpoint.

Run a desktop flow by action

The Run next action button runs the flow action by action. After each action is completed, the flow is paused. Open the variables pane to check the value of any variable at the point where it's paused. This feature is useful for debugging.

The status bar

The status bar on the bottom of the window shows the status of the flow and the number of the selected actions. Additionally, it shows the total number of actions and subflows in the current flow.

The Run delay field defines the time that the flow waits after running each action in the flow designer. You can modify the default value to increase or decrease the milliseconds that the flow waits.

The status bar also displays the number of errors, if any are present. Select the Errors option to pop up the Errors pane.

If you search inside the flow, the status bar shows an additional field containing the number of the results. Select this field to pop up the Find in code pane.

Screenshot of the status bar.

Run from here

To run the flow starting from a specific action, right-click the action and select Run from here. This ignores all previous actions and runs the flow from the selected action onwards.

Screenshot of the Run from here option.

Power Automate reserved keywords

A certain amount of words are being used in the core of Power Automate and can't be used during development in the variable, subflow, label or error block names. The list of these words is displayed below.

A - E F - J K - R S - Z
action FALSE label set
and for loop step
block foreach main switch
call from mod then
case function next throw
default global no times
disable goto not to
else if on TRUE
end in or wait
error input output while
exit repeat xor