Add branching logic to Zaps with Paths

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The Paths app lets you perform different actions in your Zap based on rules that you define. These rules determine whether the Zap will perform subsequent steps in the path. Paths use conditional logic: “If A happens in your trigger app, then do X. If B happens, then do Y.” 

You can also add a Path step in the middle of your Zap. This means any subsequent steps will automatically be shifted into “Path A” (first path branch).


Paths terminology

  • Path step: this is a starting point for using Paths in your Zap.
  • Path branch: a single vertical column of action steps in one path that only run when the path rules are met.
  • Path rules: the conditions that determine whether the path branch will run.  
  • Path group: a set of path branches at the same horizontal level.
  • Nested path step: a path group nested within a path branch. 


1. Add a Paths step to your Zap

  • In the Zap editor, click the Action step, or click the plus icon to add an action to your Zap. A dialog box will open.
  • Search for and select Paths. Two path branches, “Path A” and “Path B”, will automatically be created in a single path group (a set of paths that are on the same level).

(Optional) Rename your path branch

  • Click the three dot icon next to a path branch rule.
  • A dropdown menu will appear. Select Rename
  • An input box will appear. Enter a name for the path branch.
  • Click the checkmark icon to confirm the new path name.


2. Create path rules

Rules determine whether a path branch should run. There are three types of rules you can use:

  • Custom rules: Define custom rules to determine when this path branch will run.
  • Always run: This path branch will always run.
  • Fallback: If no other path branches within the group run, this one will run.

To create path rules:

  • In your path branch, select the Path rules. The right sidebar will open to the Rules setup & testing tab.
  • Select the type of rule you want to use for your path branch:
    • Custom rules
    • Always run
    • Fallback
Custom rules

With custom rules, you can use “and” or “or” logic when adding multiple rules to your path branch: 

  • And logic: your data must match all of the path rules for the Zap to continue.
  • Or logic: your data must match at least one of the path rules for the Zap to continue.

Learn more about the difference between “and” and “or” logic.

Each rule requires three pieces of information:

  • Field: in the first dropdown menu, select a field to be checked.
  • Condition: in the second dropdown menu, select the condition for the field. Learn more about different path rule types.
  • Value: in the third dropdown menu, enter the value the rule must meet.

ratingStar icon Tip

You can set the rules for two path branches with opposite conditions to ensure your Zap acts correctly in all possible scenarios. For example, in Path A, you can use a rule that says "if the email address exists", and in Path B, the rule can be "if the email address does not exist".

Always run

Selecting a path branch as “Always run” means all steps within a path branch will run each time the Zap runs. You can have multiple path branches within a path group set to  “Always run”. 

The path rules “Always Run” and “Fallback” are mutually exclusive, only one of them can be active in a path group at a given time. However, you can combine either of them with “Custom rules”.


A fallback branch will run if no other path branch's rules are met. You can only set one path branch as a fallback, per path group. If you have Autoreplay enabled, fallback branches will only run after all replay attempts fail.

You can designate any path branch as a fallback. If you do, it automatically becomes the last branch (far right) within the path group. It's also renamed to "Fallback" (this name cannot be changed).

The path rules  “Always Run” and “Fallback” are mutually exclusive, only one of them can be active in a path group at a given time. However, you can combine either of them with “Custom rules”.

ratingStar icon Tip

You can use custom error handling instead of Paths, to handle any errors that occur in your Zap.


3. Test your path rule(s)

  • Click Continue to test your path rule(s).

Zapier will test your path rules based on the sample data in the fields used in your rules. At the bottom of the Rules setup & testing tab, a message will tell you if your Zap would or would not have continued down the path branch.


4. Add actions to your path

Add actions to your path the same way you would add actions to your Zap. You must add at least one action to each path branch.


5. (Optional) Add more path branches

You can add up to 10 path branches within the same path group.  Path branches all run at once as long as their rules are satisfied. They do not run sequentially or separately.

actionEdit icon Example

This Zap’s Paths step contains 3 path branches:

  • Path A
  • Path B
  • Path C

To add a path branch:

  • Click the plus icon above the existing path branches.

  • A new path branch will appear as “Path C”. 
  • Continue setting up your path rule(s) and action(s).


6. (Optional) Add a nested Paths step

A nested Paths step lets you create up to 3 levels of path groups within a Zap. Path branches, including nested Paths steps, all run at once as long as their rules are satisfied. They do not run sequentially or separately.

To add a nested path step:

  • Add a new action step where you want the new path to start.

  • Select Paths as the app.
  • A nested Paths step will appear, creating a single path group containing two path branches.

  • Continue setting up your path rules and actions.


7. (Optional) Reposition path branches

You can reposition your path branches within a path group to organize your branching logic visually. Repositioning paths does not influence when the path branch will run. 

To move a path branch:

  • Hover to the left of the Path name. The icon will appear. 

  • Using the icon, drag the path branch into its new position.
  • A pop-up message will appear to confirm the path branch has moved.


Path limitations

  • Each path group can have up to 10 path branches.
  • Each Zap can have a maximum of 3 nested Path steps.
  • Zaps are limited to 100 steps, including all steps within paths.
  • You can only set up paths after adding a trigger to your Zap.
  • Deleting a Paths step deletes all path groups within that step, including nested paths.
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