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Power Automate Approval Flow – Tutorial

Make Document Management and Approval Easy

Document approval is inevitable no matter in which domain you work.
You may need to get a document approval for new project proposal or a new product release or may be something else. Whatever may be the reason, document approval gives headache to both approver and requestor if it is not managed properly. But Power Automate Flow comes to the rescue with its rich document management and approval features.

What Will You Learn?

In This tutorial you will learn how to create a one level Power Automate approval flow.
This Power Automate example flow will be connected to a SharePoint document library, and any new items uploaded to the document library will be sent for approval. Once the approver approves/rejects the document, the same will be visible in the SharePoint library.


You need to have SharePoint library and any Power Automate (Free, per user or per flow) license.


What is Power Automate?

Power Automate is a low-code / no-code automation solution from Microsoft to reduce repetitive tasks in business environment. Power Automate is mainly an automation solution but is capable of much more than just business automation.

To learn more about Power Automate, check our Power Automat tutorial.

Power Automate Approval Flow

Power Automate Approval flow is pretty simple and straight forward to build. Follow the below steps to create an approval flow.

If you do not wish to create a custom flow and just want to have a basic approval workflow, then we recommend you to use the sign-off status workflow of SharePoint online. This is good for those who want a quick and easy way for document approval. To learn more check this tutorial document.

#. Step 1: Create “Approval Status” column in SharePoint library

The first step is to prepare the document library for the approval flow.
For any approval process we have two outcomes, “Approved” or “Rejected”. Hence we will create the column.

To keep this tutorial simple I have used single line of text column and not used the inbuilt “Approval Status” column.

create approval status column for Power Automate Approval
Create new column and name it
Approval Status (keep the default settings)

Your column should look like this

SharePoint Approval Status Column
Approval Status

#. Step 2: Create The Power Automate Approval Flow

Navigate to flow.microsoft.com page or open the flows page from SharePoint library

To open the flows page from SharePoint, first select any document and then choose Automate > Power Automate > See Your flows

See your flows
Create Column

Next, in the Power Automate page, click My flows > Create New > Automated Cloud flow

create automated cloud flow power automate
Create a flow

In the pop-up give the flow a name and choose the SharePoint trigger, “when a file is created”.

when a file is created Power Automate Trigger
give it a name and choose trigger

Next, change the trigger block details and point to the correct SharePoint directory. Then add a new action block called “Start and wait for an approval”. This block is responsible for triggering the approval process and processing the responses.

start and wait for a Power Automate Approval
add an approval step

Next, after adding the approval block, change the values in the Power Automate flow as shown below.

Power Automate Approval Flow Tutorial

#. Step 3: Add Condition to Process the Responses

Next you need to add a condition to check and process the outcomes of the Approval. If the document is approved then mark it as approved, and if it is rejected then mark it as Rejected in SharePoint.

So first step is to add a condition block and identify the users response. Users response is available in the Outcome field of “Start and Wait for approval” block. After checking the response the default actions are to send email and update the same in the SharePoint list. So to do that, add the actions as shown in the below image. Action blocks are explained below in details

approval flow check response
  1. First add the condition block, this will help us to compare the result with a value and take certain action. Here we are comparing the value with “Approve” as that is the value for approved in Power Automate.
  2. Send an email block helps us to send emails to recipients. More details below.
  3. Update file properties helps us to update file properties in SharePoint document library.
Power Automate Approval Flow Email response
Email response to user
Power Automate Update File properties
Mark the item as Approved or Rejected in SharePoint

That’s it for the Approval flow creation. If you have completed it so far, then you can test the flow and verify if it is working or not.

#. Step 4: Test the Power Automate Approval Flow

No to test the flow, head back to your SharePoint document library. Create/Upload a new document and wait for the flow to trigger. Please wait as the flow can take up to 5 minutes to trigger unless you have higher license.

Here I am uploading the document as below

Power AUtomate Approval Flow Upload A Test Document
Upload a test document

Next, if you navigate to the Power Automate flow page, you will see the flow is triggered and is in running status. And an email has been triggered to the approver.

APproval Flow Running Status
Flow is triggered and in running status
default email for approval flow
Default email for Power Automate Approval flow

Now, select either “Approve” or “Reject” from the email. If you select Approve, you will see the value is updated in SharePoint and an email is sent. For this tutorial, I have selected “Approve”.

Approval Flow Status Approved
Document is marked as approved in SharePoint
Final Email from Power Automate Approval Flow
Final Email for Approved condition

That’s all, if you have successfully completed till this far then be assured that your flow is ready and can be published.

Thank you for checking this tutorial and I hope you are now aware of Power Automate Approval Flow.

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Author @ramizmollahmd

About Ramiz

Ramiz is a professional working in an MNC as a business and technology consultant for quite a few years now. Ramiz is proficient in various Microsoft tools and technologies. He is a tech enthusiast and an active blogger. Ramiz spends his free time playing games or watching movies. He writes blogs to share his knowledge with the world and to make it a better place to live.

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