Automation executions stuck "In progress" for 12+ hours on simple "Update records" or "Send email"

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer


we had a fairly simple automation - on a checkbox, send an email and put a simple value in one of the cells. We ran that for 1200 cells, the automation executions got queued, but only some of them went through to the email phase and only a couple of them got to the last step of updating the records. We are on a PRO plan, so we should have enough of quota (50 000). The automation has been working fine when testing (and apparently another couple hundreds of executions - as we know that cca at least 500 emails went through).

What's going on?

1 Reply 1
Airtable Employee
Airtable Employee

Hi! I found this thread after we chatted via Support. I'll go ahead and leave some of the tips we discussed here in case it should help other users:


Automations stuck in pending status are typically a result of overall base performance/load. If the trigger is "When a record is updated," for example, and you're using the API to programmatically update records at a high frequency, it could overwhelm the base and cause many pending runs. We run a limited number of automation actions at a time. When too many automation action try to run at the same time, some of them must wait in a queue. If some automation runs get stuck or take longer to complete, the other runs that are queued up above them will have to wait until they complete.


Furthermore, when using the Gmail: Send email action, Airtable must respect rate limiting which Gmail imposes, so we're unfortunately not able to manually reprioritize the pending runs on our end.


Note that turning off an automation will cancel the pending runs that are queued. If you decide to do so, you will need to return to the canceled runs and either run them manually or devise a one-time automation to trigger the automation to run for the relevant records in smaller batches (perhaps by leveraging a Checkbox field).