Airtable automatically deleting attachments uploaded via Make/Integromat

I know this issue has been discussed before, but there doesn’t seem to have ever been a solution discovered, so I’m bringing it up again in case anyone’s found an answer in the last 1.5 years.

The problem: occasionally/often, when an attachment is uploaded to Airtable via a Make.com automation, Airtable will immediately delete the file after upload. In the record history, it will say that the user who created the record also deleted it, but that’s not the case.

Here’s a Loom video illustrating.

Important notes:

  • I’m using the Share Link Google Drive module to get the share link. The automation itself doesn’t seem to be the issue.
  • Airtable will occasionally keep the attachments, but less often than it seems to delete them.
  • The files being uploaded are all “accepted” file formats, like jpg, pdf, etc.

Anyone have any ideas?

@maradas Why do you have the download module in there? Assuming that your upload module is successfully uploading the files to your Google Drive (have you checked to see if the attachments are actually in your Google Drive?), then you only need to get a share link from the upload module. It should look like the screenshot below:

@maradas Additionally, the most important thing of all is that you have to make sure that you are uploading to a publicly-accessible folder that any user on the Internet can access. You can’t upload to a private folder.

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Hello @ScottWorld ! The Download module was an extra module that I’d forgotten to delete, but nothing was actually pointing to it, so it had no impact on the rest of the automation. Additionally, yes the Google Drive file was publicly accessible, and the files were successfully downloaded into it.

However, you actually ended up pointing me in the right direction–after I deleted the superfluous Download module, I started looking at the Delete File module at the end, and disconnected it from the flow to test things out. That actually seems to have fixed the error; I tested it with ten different emails, and all were able to upload attachments successfully.

I don’t have a good idea about why that might be–maybe the files being deleted from Google Drive while subsequent files were getting uploaded meant that the “host” file no longer existed while the upload hadn’t fully been processed? But getting rid of that module seems to have solved the issue! So thank you :slight_smile:

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That is correct… you need to give time for Airtable to download the attachment. It doesn’t happen instantly. So it sounds like you were deleting the file before Airtable even had a chance to access it.

This is a known issue - Airtable uses the service Filestack in processing attachments, Google Drive at times IP address rate limits downloads from Filestack, which causes transient failures like those observed here.

When this happens Airtable will write a log of the file before it is actually downloaded, when the download fails the record logs will look like the user uploaded and then deleted the file.

I have had this happen numerous times across many different automations and use cases when downloading from Google Drive. Switching to a different provider solves the issue.

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Interesting. Good to know for future reference for other people searching on this topic!

In @maradas’s case, she was actually deleting her files immediately from Google Drive… before Airtable had a chance to upload the files. So in her case, her Make.com scenario was setup incorrectly.

That is not even the tip of the iceberg. If you want to see how this issue evolved beginning in late 2019, this is the thread containing all of it.

@Lorenzo_Lee, which cloud file storage providers would you recommend for this?

Depends… WIth Make not being able to transfer files to airtable without a public URL I use Digital Ocean spaces product which is 5$ a month. They have a Make app. Its similar to amazon s3 but simpler in every way… I send file payloads there, and grab the public url to send to Airtable.

This solution is good if people are using Google Drive basically as a Public URL file cache for Airtable.

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Yes it is a know issue, I have made a video about a workaround some time before. You basically use can use Make webhook as an upload URL … - the webhook downloads the file from Drive and returns as data in webhook response. In Airtable attachment upload field you use webhook url with Google File ID.

I hope it helps!

This is a known issue - Airtable uses the service Filestack in processing attachments, and Google Drive at time rate limits downloads from Filestack, which causes transient failures like those observed here.

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