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Performing a “System Update” of a SharePoint List Item through Power Automate

Author by jschantz

In situations where it is desired to update a SharePoint list item’s metadata without causing another version to be created, such as applying look up data when a file is uploaded or item created, there is a SharePoint API that can be called in your Power Automate Flow to do just that. The API call in question is validateUpdateListItem. validateUpdateListItem lives at _api/web/lists/getbytitle(‘your list name’)/items(<id of item you wish to update>)/validateUpdateListItem and what this method does is checks for a specific flag, bNewDocumentUpdate, and when it is set to true the list item will be updated without creating a new version.  


How to use 

After you have retrieved the data you wish to add/update on the SharePoint item, you use a Compose action to create and format the data into an object usable to send to the SharePoint API like as shown in the image below. 



Then we use a “Send an HTTP request to SharePoint” action to pass the desired updates to the API. This will be a POST method to “_api/web/lists/getbytitle(‘your list name’)/items(<id of item you wish to update>)/validateUpdateListItem”. The Body of the request will be formatted as: 

  “formValues: <Outputs from the Compose action>, 




The Results 

As shown in the screen shots below, the Title of the item is updated without creating a new version on the item. 

Version history before the flow run: 



Version history after the flow run: 




SP.ListItem.validateUpdateListItem Method (sp.js) | Microsoft Docs 

Lists and list items REST API reference | Microsoft Docs