Events that trigger workflows

You can configure your workflows to run when specific activity on GitHub happens, at a scheduled time, or when an event outside of GitHub occurs.

GitHub Actions is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Free for organizations, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, and GitHub One. GitHub Actions is not available for private repositories owned by accounts using legacy per-repository plans. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

In this article

About workflow events

You can configure your workflow to run when webhook events are created from activity on GitHub. Workflows can use more than one webhook event to trigger a workflow run. For more information, see "Webhooks." For more information about the on syntax, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

The following steps occur to trigger a workflow run:

  1. An event occurs on your repository, and the resulting event webhook has an associated commit SHA and Git ref.

  2. The .github/workflows directory in your repository is searched for workflow files at the associated commit SHA or Git ref. The workflow files must be present in that commit SHA or Git ref to be considered.

    For example, if the event occurred on a particular repository branch, then the workflow files must be present in the repository on that branch.

  3. The workflow files for that commit SHA and Git ref are inspected, and a new workflow run is triggered for any workflows that have on: values that match the triggering event.

    The workflow runs on your repository's code at the same commit SHA and Git ref that triggered the event. When a workflow runs, GitHub sets the GITHUB_SHA (commit SHA) and GITHUB_REF (Git ref) environment variables in the runner environment. For more information, see "Using environment variables."

Note: You cannot trigger new workflow runs using the GITHUB_TOKEN. For more information, see "Triggering new workflows using a personal access token."

Example using a single event
# Trigger on push
on: push
Example using a list of events
# Trigger the workflow on push or pull request
on: [push, pull_request]
Example using multiple events with activity types or configuration

If you need to specify activity types or configuration for an event, you must configure each event separately. You must append a colon (:) to all events, including events without configuration.

on:
  # Trigger the workflow on push or pull request,
  # but only for the master branch
  push:
    branches:
      - master
  pull_request:
    branches:
      - master
  # Also trigger on page_build, as well as release created events
  page_build:
  release:
    types: # This configuration does not affect the page_build event above
      - created

Webhook events

You can configure your workflow to run when webhook events are created on GitHub. Some events have more than one activity type that triggers the event. If more than one activity type triggers the event, you can specify which activity types will trigger the workflow to run.

check_run

Runs your workflow anytime the check_run event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Check runs."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
check_run- created
- rerequested
- completed
- requested_action
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a check run has been rerequested or requested_action.

on:
  check_run:
    types: [rerequested, requested_action]

check_suite

Runs your workflow anytime the check_suite event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Check suites."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Note: To prevent recursive workflows, this event does not trigger workflows if the check suite was created by GitHub Actions.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
check_suite- completed
- requested
- rerequested
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a check suite has been rerequested or completed.

on:
  check_suite:
    types: [rerequested, completed]

create

Runs your workflow anytime someone creates a branch or tag, which triggers the create event. For information about the REST API, see "Create a reference."

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
createn/aLast commit on the created branch or tagBranch or tag created

For example, you can run a workflow when the create event occurs.

on:
  create

delete

Runs your workflow anytime someone deletes a branch or tag, which triggers the delete event. For information about the REST API, see "Delete a reference."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
deleten/aLast commit on default branchDefault branch

For example, you can run a workflow when the delete event occurs.

on:
  delete

deployment

Runs your workflow anytime someone creates a deployment, which triggers the deployment event. Deployments created with a commit SHA may not have a Git ref. For information about the REST API, see "Deployments."

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
deploymentn/aCommit to be deployedBranch or tag to be deployed (empty if commit)

For example, you can run a workflow when the deployment event occurs.

on:
  deployment

deployment_status

Runs your workflow anytime a third party provides a deployment status, which triggers the deployment_status event. Deployments created with a commit SHA may not have a Git ref. For information about the REST API, see "Create a deployment status."

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
deployment_statusn/aCommit to be deployedBranch or tag to be deployed (empty if commit)

For example, you can run a workflow when the deployment_status event occurs.

on:
  deployment_status

fork

Runs your workflow anytime when someone forks a repository, which triggers the fork event. For information about the REST API, see "Create a fork."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
forkn/aLast commit on default branchDefault branch

For example, you can run a workflow when the fork event occurs.

on:
  fork

gollum

Runs your workflow when someone creates or updates a Wiki page, which triggers the gollum event.

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
gollumn/aLast commit on default branchDefault branch

For example, you can run a workflow when the gollum event occurs.

on:
  gollum

issue_comment

Runs your workflow anytime the issue_comment event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Issue comments."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
issue_comment- created
- edited
- deleted
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when an issue comment has been created or deleted.

on:
  issue_comment:
    types: [created, deleted]

issues

Runs your workflow anytime the issues event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Issues."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
issues- opened
- edited
- deleted
- transferred
- pinned
- unpinned
- closed
- reopened
- assigned
- unassigned
- labeled
- unlabeled
- locked
- unlocked
- milestoned
- demilestoned
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when an issue has been opened, edited, or milestoned.

on:
  issues:
    types: [opened, edited, milestoned]

label

Runs your workflow anytime the label event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Labels."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
label- created
- edited
- deleted
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a label has been created or deleted.

on:
  label:
    types: [created, deleted]

milestone

Runs your workflow anytime the milestone event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Milestones."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
milestone- created
- closed
- opened
- edited
- deleted
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a milestone has been opened or deleted.

on:
  milestone:
    types: [opened, deleted]

page_build

Runs your workflow anytime someone pushes to a GitHub Pages-enabled branch, which triggers the page_build event. For information about the REST API, see "Pages."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
page_buildn/aLast commit on default branchn/a

For example, you can run a workflow when the page_build event occurs.

on:
  page_build

project

Runs your workflow anytime the project event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Projects."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
project- created
- updated
- closed
- reopened
- edited
- deleted
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a project has been created or deleted.

on:
  project:
    types: [created, deleted]

project_card

Runs your workflow anytime the project_card event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Project cards."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
project_card- created
- moved
- converted to an issue
- edited
- deleted
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a project card has been opened or deleted.

on:
  project_card:
    types: [opened, deleted]

project_column

Runs your workflow anytime the project_column event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Project columns."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
project_column- created
- updated
- moved
- deleted
Last commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a project column has been created or deleted.

on:
  project_column:
    types: [created, deleted]

public

Runs your workflow anytime someone makes a private repository public, which triggers the public event. For information about the REST API, see "Edit repositories."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
publicn/aLast commit on default branchDefault branch

For example, you can run a workflow when the public event occurs.

on:
  public

pull_request

Runs your workflow anytime the pull_request event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Pull requests."

Note: By default, a workflow only runs when a pull_request's activity type is opened, synchronize, or reopened. To trigger workflows for more activity types, use the types keyword.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
pull_request- assigned
- unassigned
- labeled
- unlabeled
- opened
- edited
- closed
- reopened
- synchronize
- ready_for_review
- locked
- unlocked
- review_requested
- review_request_removed
Last merge commit on the GITHUB_REF branchPR merge branch refs/pull/:prNumber/merge

You extend or limit the default activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a pull request has been assigned, opened, synchronize, or reopened.

on:
  pull_request:
    types: [assigned, opened, synchronize, reopened]
Pull request events for forked repositories

Note: Workflows do not run on private base repositories when you open a pull request from a forked repository.

When you create a pull request from a forked repository to the base repository, GitHub sends the pull_request event to the base repository and no pull request events occur on the forked repository.

Workflows don't run on forked repositories by default. You must enable GitHub Actions in the Actions tab of the forked repository.

The permissions for the GITHUB_TOKEN in forked repositories is read-only. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

pull_request_review

Runs your workflow anytime the pull_request_review event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Pull request reviews."

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
pull_request_review- submitted
- edited
- dismissed
Last merge commit on the GITHUB_REF branchPR merge branch refs/pull/:prNumber/merge

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a pull request review has been edited or dismissed.

on:
  pull_request_review:
    types: [edited, dismissed]
Pull request events for forked repositories

Note: Workflows do not run on private base repositories when you open a pull request from a forked repository.

When you create a pull request from a forked repository to the base repository, GitHub sends the pull_request event to the base repository and no pull request events occur on the forked repository.

Workflows don't run on forked repositories by default. You must enable GitHub Actions in the Actions tab of the forked repository.

The permissions for the GITHUB_TOKEN in forked repositories is read-only. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

pull_request_review_comment

Runs your workflow anytime a comment on a pull request's unified diff is modified, which triggers the pull_request_review_comment event. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see Review comments.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
pull_request_review_comment- created
- edited
- deleted
Last merge commit on the GITHUB_REF branchPR merge branch refs/pull/:prNumber/merge

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a pull request review comment has been created or deleted.

on:
  pull_request_review_comment:
    types: [created, deleted]
Pull request events for forked repositories

Note: Workflows do not run on private base repositories when you open a pull request from a forked repository.

When you create a pull request from a forked repository to the base repository, GitHub sends the pull_request event to the base repository and no pull request events occur on the forked repository.

Workflows don't run on forked repositories by default. You must enable GitHub Actions in the Actions tab of the forked repository.

The permissions for the GITHUB_TOKEN in forked repositories is read-only. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

pull_request_target

This event is similar to pull_request, except that it runs in the context of the base repository of the pull request, rather than in the merge commit. This means that you can more safely make your secrets available to the workflows triggered by the pull request, because only workflows defined in the commit on the base repository are run. For example, this event allows you to create workflows that label and comment on pull requests, based on the contents of the event payload.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
pull_request- assigned
- unassigned
- labeled
- unlabeled
- opened
- edited
- closed
- reopened
- synchronize
- ready_for_review
- locked
- unlocked
- review_requested
- review_request_removed
Last commit on the PR base branchPR base branch

By default, a workflow only runs when a pull_request_target's activity type is opened, synchronize, or reopened. To trigger workflows for more activity types, use the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a pull request has been assigned, opened, synchronize, or reopened.

on: pull_request_target
    types: [assigned, opened, synchronize, reopened]

push

Note: The webhook payload available to GitHub Actions does not include the added, removed, and modified attributes in the commit object. You can retrieve the full commit object using the REST API. For more information, see "Get a single commit"".

Runs your workflow when someone pushes to a repository branch, which triggers the push event.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
pushn/aCommit pushed, unless deleting a branch (when it's the default branch)Updated ref

For example, you can run a workflow when the push event occurs.

on:
  push

registry_package

Runs your workflow anytime a package is published or updated. For more information, see "Managing packages with GitHub Packages."

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
registry_package- published
- updated
Commit of the published packageBranch or tag of the published package

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a package has been published.

on:
  registry_package:
    types: [published]

release

Note: The release event is not triggered for draft releases.

Runs your workflow anytime the release event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Releases."

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
release- published
- unpublished
- created
- edited
- deleted
- prereleased
- released
Last commit in the tagged releaseTag of release

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when a release has been published.

on:
  release:
    types: [published]

status

Runs your workflow anytime the status of a Git commit changes, which triggers the status event. For information about the REST API, see Statuses.

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
statusn/aLast commit on default branchn/a

For example, you can run a workflow when the status event occurs.

on:
  status

watch

Runs your workflow anytime the watch event occurs. More than one activity type triggers this event. For information about the REST API, see "Starring."

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
watch- startedLast commit on default branchDefault branch

By default, all activity types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow runs to specific activity types using the types keyword. For more information, see "Workflow syntax for GitHub Actions."

For example, you can run a workflow when someone stars a repository, which is the started activity type that triggers the watch event.

on:
  watch:
    types: [started]

workflow_run

This event occurs when a workflow run is requested or completed, and allows you to execute a workflow based on the finished result of another workflow. For example, if your pull_request workflow generates build artifacts, you can create a new workflow that uses workflow_run to analyze the results and add a comment to the original pull request.

The workflow started by the workflow_run event is able to access the secrets and write tokens used by the original workflow.

If you need to filter branches from this event, you can use branches or branches-ignore.

In this example, a workflow is configured to run after the separate “Run Tests” workflow completes.

on:
  workflow_run:
    workflows: ["Run Tests"]
    branches: [main]
    types: 
      - completed
      - requested

Scheduled events

The schedule event allows you to trigger a workflow at a scheduled time.

schedule

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
n/an/aLast commit on default branchDefault branch

You can schedule a workflow to run at specific UTC times using POSIX cron syntax. Scheduled workflows run on the latest commit on the default or base branch. The shortest interval you can run scheduled workflows is once every 5 minutes.

This example triggers the workflow every 15 minutes:

on:
  schedule:
    # * is a special character in YAML so you have to quote this string
    - cron:  '*/15 * * * *'

Cron syntax has five fields separated by a space, and each field represents a unit of time.

┌───────────── minute (0 - 59)
│ ┌───────────── hour (0 - 23)
│ │ ┌───────────── day of the month (1 - 31)
│ │ │ ┌───────────── month (1 - 12 or JAN-DEC)
│ │ │ │ ┌───────────── day of the week (0 - 6 or SUN-SAT)
│ │ │ │ │                                   
│ │ │ │ │
│ │ │ │ │
* * * * *

You can use these operators in any of the five fields:

OperatorDescriptionExample
*Any value* * * * * runs every minute of every day.
,Value list separator2,10 4,5 * * * runs at minute 2 and 10 of the 4th and 5th hour of every day.
-Range of values0 4-6 * * * runs at minute 0 of the 4th, 5th, and 6th hour.
/Step values20/15 * * * * runs every 15 minutes starting from minute 20 through 59 (minutes 20, 35, and 50).

Note: GitHub Actions does not support the non-standard syntax @yearly, @monthly, @weekly, @daily, @hourly, and @reboot.

You can use crontab guru to help generate your cron syntax and confirm what time it will run. To help you get started, there is also a list of crontab guru examples.

Manual events

You can manually trigger workflow runs. To trigger specific workflows in a repository, use the workflow_dispatch event. To trigger more than one workflow in a repository and create custom events and event types, use the repository_dispatch event.

workflow_dispatch

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
workflow_dispatchn/aLast commit on the GITHUB_REF branchBranch that received dispatch

You can manually trigger a workflow run using the GitHub API and from GitHub. To trigger the custom workflow_dispatch webhook event using the REST API, you must send a POST request to a GitHub API endpoint and provide the ref and any required inputs. For more information, see the "Create a workflow dispatch event" REST API endpoint.

When you trigger the event on GitHub, you can provide the ref and any inputs directly on GitHub. For more information, see "Configuring a workflow."

repository_dispatch

Webhook event payloadActivity typesGITHUB_SHAGITHUB_REF
repository_dispatchn/aLast commit on the GITHUB_REF branchBranch that received dispatch

Note: This event will only trigger a workflow run if the workflow file is on the master or default branch.

You can use the GitHub API to trigger a webhook event called repository_dispatch when you want to trigger a workflow for activity that happens outside of GitHub. For more information, see "Create a repository dispatch event."

To trigger the custom repository_dispatch webhook event, you must send a POST request to a GitHub API endpoint and provide an event_type name to describe the activity type. To trigger a workflow run, you must also configure your workflow to use the repository_dispatch event.

Example

By default, all event_types trigger a workflow to run. You can limit your workflow to run when a specific event_type value is sent in the repository_dispatch webhook payload. You define the event types sent in the repository_dispatch payload when you create the repository dispatch event.

on:
  repository_dispatch:
    types: [opened, deleted]

Triggering new workflows using a personal access token

When you use the repository's GITHUB_TOKEN to perform tasks on behalf of the GitHub Actions app, events triggered by the GITHUB_TOKEN will not create a new workflow run. This prevents you from accidentally creating recursive workflow runs. For example, if a workflow run pushes code using the repository's GITHUB_TOKEN, a new workflow will not run even when the repository contains a workflow configured to run when push events occur. For more information, see "Authenticating with the GITHUB_TOKEN."

If you would like to trigger a workflow from a workflow run, you can trigger the event using a personal access token. You'll need to create a personal access token and store it as a secret. To minimize your GitHub Actions usage costs, ensure that you don't create recursive or unintended workflow runs. For more information, see "Creating and storing encrypted secrets."

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