It is often a regular occurrence when building a Power Automate flow to manage time. You may want to schedule a flow to take place at a specific time each day which can easily be done with the Scheduled Automation Trigger. However, you may also want to wait to perform certain actions until a time has elapsed or a time has been met.
In this article, we will talk about both the Delay action and Delay Until action in Power Automate, the differences between the two and how they can be used to achieve what you want.
What is Delay Until & how to use it?
First, let’s talk about the Delay Until action. This action has one input to the action. A timestamp is an ISO standard format for a specific date and time. Usually content from a SharePoint date column will be formatted in this way however, if you choose to you can enter a date and time manually in the ISO standard format.
It’s important to note here that Dynamic Content can also be used here as long as it is presented in the correct format.
A good use case for this would be to bring in Dynamic Content from a SharePoint list where you could delay an automation that sends out an email until a time specified in SharePoint. For example, send an email reminder to someone on the day of their holiday telling them their holiday has started.
What is Delay & how to use it?
Delay works very similarly to Delay Until however you have more control over specifying a period of time relevant to the flow and less relevant to a date specified in the data.
What I mean by this is you can manually set a length of time in either Months, Days, Hours or Seconds that you wish to wait for before completing the next action. This can be incredibly useful for multiple reasons. For example, waiting 30 seconds for your data to appear in a list before continuing or maybe waiting a day before sending an email to a customer.