Automation Issue that seems to be caused by records with attachments

Topic Labels: Automations
980 4
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I have an Automation running that copies a record from one table into another one every time we check that a task has been completed. It seems to work well except when there is any attachment attached to the record being copied. In those cases, the automation doesn’t function, and the record isn’t copied over. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

4 Replies 4

#1. My first question for you would be to ask why are you moving records from table to table after a task is completed?

This is not the best way to setup a database system, so it is typically not recommended unless there is a very unique reason for it. But in general, this is not considered good database design, because it is very inefficient and adds all sorts of cumbersome maintenance overhead into your database system.

In general, most people would be significantly better served by keeping all of their tasks in the same table, and then creating different filtered views to show them only the tasks that they want to see.

You might greatly benefit from taking my free Airtable training course, which covers views in depth:

#2. However, if you’re convinced that you need to move records from table to table (which I do not recommend), please post screenshots or a video of your automation setup which is failing.

Hi @Meg_Ramey , on the off chance the error you’re hitting is like “Invalid String” or something, it might be because, for attachment fields in automations, we need to give it a URL to the attachment

Edit: Ah, we can just use the Display as option within the automation like so:
Screenshot 2022-09-15 at 11.39.58 AM

Original Message

[Here’s a link to a base where I’ve done a workaround](

Sign up - Airtable). It involves using a formula field to extract the attachment’s URL and using that for the automation

copy attachment

To view the setup (formulas, automations etc), you can duplicate the base by clicking the title of the base at the top of the screen, then the three horizontal dots on the right, and then the “Duplicate Base” button.

There’s an upcoming change to attachments in November that might break this workaround though


That will continue to work in November.

And that’s not a workaround… that’s exactly how the attachment fields are designed to work — by inserting the URL.

Thanks so much. I appreciate it!