Prepare for API outages

Zapier recognizes that temporary unavailability is sometimes inevitable for your API. To accommodate these situations, we recommend configuring custom error response handling to:

  • Present a meaningful, user-friendly message to users
  • Refrain from disabling Zaps due to error-ratios
  • Potentially reattempt the action after a given delay window

1. Default behavior

Zap runs that encounter a 5xx error from your API throw an exception and receive the “Stopped / Errored” status. This will display an error message to the user; allowing them to replay the Run.

If the user has Autoreplay enabled, then the errored steps will be retried on a defined schedule. Only when all Autoreplay attempts have also failed will the Zap Run be assigned the “Stopped / Errored” status.

If 95% of a Zap’s runs in the last 7 days are assigned the “Stopped / Errored” status, the Zap will be paused automatically. The Zap will not run again until the user manually enables it.

2. Avoid automatic Zap disablement

Platform CLI

When building in the CLI, you can make use of HTTP middleware to implement custom error response handling.

This allows you to write a single script that applies across the entire integration to detect a specific error from the API, and act accordingly. For example, if the API’s outage duration is known, you could catch 503 responses during the afterResponse middleware and throw a ThrottledError like this:

const yourAfterResponse = (resp) => {
  if (resp.status === 503) {
    throw new z.errors.ThrottledError('Service is temporarily unavailable. Retrying in 60 seconds.', 60);  // Zapier will retry in 60 seconds
  return resp;

Note: You need to set skipThrowForStatus to true when invoking z.request().

Platform UI

When building in the UI, custom error handling needs to be added to each individual element of the integration (authentication, triggers, actions) using Code Mode.

For example:

const options = {
  url: ``,
  skipThrowForStatus: true,
  method: 'POST',
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/json',
    'Accept': 'application/json',
  params: {},
  body: {}

return z.request(options)
  .then((response) => {
    if (response.status === 503){
      throw new z.errors.ThrottledError('Service is temporarily unavailable. Retrying in 60 seconds.', 60); // Zapier will retry in 60 seconds
   const results = response.json;
   return results;


Note: Integrations built with the Zapier Platform UI can enable the skipThrowForStatus toggle under Advanced/Settings to On to use skipThrowForStatus:true on every request

3. Specify how long Zapier should wait before retrying

The ThrottledError(message,delay) method accepts two input parameters; a custom error message (string) and a delay expressed in seconds (integer).

Include a Retry-After header with responses provided by your API during downtime, to specify the amount of time until the service is expected to be back online and Zapier should retry the request. Your custom error handling script can read this header and pass it to the delay parameter for ThrottledError(), like this:

if(response.status === 503){
    const delay = response.getHeader('retry-after');
    const message = `Service is temporarily unavailable. Retrying in ${delay} seconds.`;
    throw new z.errors.ThrottledError(message,delay);

4. Scheduled API maintenance

For periods of scheduled maintenance, a status of an app (API) as “unhealthy” can be set between a specific start and end time on request. A “Scheduled Maintenance” message will then be posted to our status page for example.


The app will also have a status of “unhealthy” on the App Status tab.

During a set maintenance window, Zaps impacted by the downtime will be affected as follows:

Actions/Searches: Zap runs with affected actions/searches will have the status of “Playing” in the Zap History page. The action/search will be delayed until the incident resolves, or up to five times. On the fifth time, Zapier will attempt it regardless of the app status. If it fails, Zap runs will error and normal manual replay mechanisms can be used to try to replay any affected Zap runs.

Triggers: most Zaps with affected (polling) triggers won’t run and so (for the most part) there will be no Zap runs in Zap History.

In more detail, Zapier will “skip” 90% of polls, allowing 10% through, so typically some runs will occur for some Zaps. After 15 minutes, all polling is re-enabled to check if the API is healthy again. If not, Zapier will again “skip” 90% of polls. This will be repeated until the API is healthy. Once the API is healthy, Zaps will be triggered and “catch up” on missed data, subject to normal polling limitations such as pagination.

If Zap runs error users will be notified via email based on their notification settings.

If you would like to schedule a maintenance window for your app, please send across the following information to Developer Support

  • Start date and time (in UTC)
  • End date and time (in UTC)
  • Further details about how the API will respond during the downtime if called; eg. will it return an HTTP 503 “Service Unavailable” status code or not respond at all.

Need help? Tell us about your problem and we’ll connect you with the right resource or contact support.