Troubleshoot Automation Rules

Steps to take if your automation rules do not apply to your orders as expected.

If your automation rules are not applying to orders as expected, try the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. Review the Order Activity log

    You can see if a rule applied to an order by checking the Order Activity log in the Order Details window. If the rule did not apply, the order may not have met the rule's criteria.


    If the rule did apply but did not affect the order as you were expecting, it could be that the changes the rule made were overridden by another automation rule. The activity log will help you find which other rules were applied to the order that may have overridden the desired rule.

  2. Check for invalid criteria

    If you're using criteria that call for a number (like Order Total, Total Quantity, or Total Weight), the numerical value must be entered without any additional symbols or letters.

    For example: No $ symbol in Order Total. No weight indications like oz or kg in Total Weight.

  3. Check for missing criteria or actions

    Each rule must have at least one criteria (or be set to apply to all orders) and one action. The selected criteria and actions should not be blank.


    Leaving blank criteria or actions will cause an automation rule to fail, and can also cause all subsequent automation rules to fail to run as well. If you find that a large number of your automation rules are not running, even though the rules themselves appear to be valid, check the previous rules in the list to see if any are missing their criteria or action values.

  4. Check the order of operations

    Many automation rule actions update the Other Shipping Options of an order, but those options are often carrier-specific (such as Shipper Release for UPS.) In such cases, it's best to have automation that sets the shipping service on the order before any automation rules set a carrier-specific shipping option.

    For example: Use product defaults, service mappings, or an automation rule which is earlier on the list to set the order's shipping service to a UPS service before any automation rules that enable Shipper Release.


    Similarly, the criteria for an automation rule may be dependent on other automation being applied first.

    For example: If a rule uses a tag as criteria, something else must apply the tag to the order before the rule. This would be achieved by product defaults (which apply before automation rules) or prior automation rules adding the tag as an action.

  5. Reprocess Automation Rules

    Reprocessing automation rules will reapply all currently active automation rules and product defaults to all orders currently in the Awaiting Shipment status. Reprocessing the rules can help troubleshoot if there is missing criteria and fix any absent settings not applied during the initial rule processing.

    Automation Rules. Arrow points to Reprocess Automation Rules button.


    Reprocessing automation rules will not apply the Send Email or Adjust Order Weight actions.

If those tips do not help resolve the issue, please contact ShipStation's User Success team and one of our User Success Specialists can help you sort out what's going on with the rule.