Learn key concepts in Zapier

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Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your apps and services. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration. This guide walks you through key concepts to help you get started with Zapier.


A Zap is an automated workflow that connects your apps and services together. Each Zap consists of a trigger and one or more actions. When you turn your Zap on, it will run the action steps every time the trigger event occurs.

Learn more about creating a Zap and managing your Zaps.

Zap editor

The Zap editor allows you to create a Zap from scratch. In the Zap editor, you can set up a trigger and one or more actions.


An app is a web service or application, such as Google Docs, Slack, or Salesforce. Zapier offers integrations for over 3,000 apps, letting you move data between them or automate repetitive tasks. Explore the apps you can connect to Zapier.


A trigger is an event that starts a Zap. For example, if you want to send a text message each time you receive an email, the trigger is ‘new email in inbox’. Learn more about using triggers in Zaps.

Test data

When you first set up your Zap trigger, Zapier will attempt to find some existing data from your trigger app to use in the Zap. For example, if your trigger brings in data from a new Google Sheets spreadsheet row, Zapier will pull in an existing row. The sample row can then be used as test data in an action step later in the Zap.

Polling interval

The polling interval or update time is the frequency that Zapier will check your trigger apps for new data. The polling interval varies between 1 to 15 minutes based on different pricing plans.


Triggers labeled Instant will always trigger Zaps immediately (regardless of pricing plan) as the trigger app pushes the data to Zapier when the event happens.


An action is an event a Zap performs after it is triggered. For example, if you want to send a text message each time you receive an email, the action is ‘send a text message’. Learn more about using actions in Zaps.


A task is an action your Zap successfully completes. For example, if your Zap has an action to create new Google Contacts, each contact that is created will count as one task. Learn more about tasks in Zapier.

Zap History

Your Zap History displays a log of all your Zap activity, including all the data that goes in and out of each of your Zap steps. Learn more about Zap History.



Filters can be added to any Zap to restrict it to run only when certain conditions are met. For example, if you want to send a text message each time you receive an email, you can add a filter so the Zap only runs when emails are received from a specific email address. Learn more about using filters in Zaps.


Paths let you build advanced workflows to perform different actions based on different conditions. Paths use conditional, if/then logic: if A happens in your trigger app, then perform this action, if B happens, then perform this other action, and so on. Learn more about using paths in Zaps.

Multi-step Zap

A single-step Zap has one trigger and one action. If the Zap has more than one action, or includes filters or searches, it is considered a multi-step Zap. Multi-step Zaps are only available on paid plans.

Premium app

Premium apps are available to users on paid plans. Starter plans can use up to 3 premium apps, while Professional plans and higher can use unlimited premium apps. Premium apps are available for use on free trials but require a paid plan after the trial ends.

The full list of premium apps can be found in Zapier's App Directory. Premium apps are also marked with a Premium tag in the Zap editor.


Transfer is a beta feature that you can use to send existing data from one app to another. Transfer lets you select which data to send so you only send the data that you want.

Learn more about Transfer.

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