Create approval flows with attachments

Sometimes, you need to get a file approved for business purposes. Fortunately, you can use Power Automate approvals to do this. For example, let's say you are an accountant and you want to get approval for a an invoice, you could create an instant flow that lets you send the file for approval by simply tapping a button and selecting the file to send.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create an approval flow that sends an attachment that the approver needs to review before deciding if the request should be approved.

Create the flow

  1. Sign into Power Automate.

  2. Select My flows > New > Instant-from blank.

    New instant blank flow

  3. Give your flow a name > search for, and then select Manually trigger a flow, and then select Create.

    Name your flow and select a trigger

  4. Select the Manually trigger a flow trigger > Add an input > File.

    The previous steps configure your flow so that when your flow runs, it requests a file from the user to trigger your flow.

  5. Select New step

  6. Search for Approvals and then select Start and wait for an approval.

  7. Select Approve/reject - First to respond in the Approval type list of the Start and wait for an approval card.

  8. Provide the following information on the Start and wait for an approval card:

    • Title - This is a short description that tells the approver what the request is about.

    • Assigned to - The person to who the request is sent.

    • Details - This text shows up in the approval request.

      THe approval request card

  9. Select Show advanced options to reveal the fields in which you'll provide information about the file attached to the request.

  10. Provide a file name in Attachments Name - 1

    Tip

    You must include the file extension that matches the file type that's uploaded.

  11. Provide the contents for the file that will be sent to the approver in the Attachments Content - 1 box.

    An easy way to do this is to use the File Content item from the list of dynamic content that's displayed when you select the Attachments Content - 1 box.

    Advanced options on approval request card

  12. Select Save to save your flow.

Test your flow

You'll can test your flow by selecting Test and then uploading an .xlsx file.

  1. Select Test.

  2. Select I'll perform the trigger action.

    Test your flow

  3. Select Test > Continue to start the test.

  4. Select Import.

  5. Find the file, select it, and then select Open to upload the file or image you're sending for approval.

  6. Select Run flow.

    You'll see that the test run starts.

    The test starts

  7. Select Flow Runs Page to monitor the status of the test.

Approve the request

The person to whom you send the approval request receives an email, similar to this image, where they can view the attachment and then Approve or Reject the request:

View the request email

Tip

Approvers can review requests in the approvals center as well.

Learn more

In most approval flows, you'd want to notify the person who requests the approval of the decision. Follow the modern approvals article to learn how to add a condition to an approval flow to take specific actions based on the outcome of the request.