Canceling a workflow

You can cancel a workflow run that is in progress. When you cancel a workflow run, GitHub cancels all jobs and steps that are a part of that workflow.

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Write access to the repository is required to perform these steps.

Canceling a workflow run

  1. On GitHub, navigate to the main page of the repository.
  2. Under your repository name, click Actions.
    Actions tab in the main repository navigation
  3. In the left sidebar, click the workflow you want to see.
    Workflow list in left sidebar
  4. From the list of workflow runs, click the name of the run you want to see.
    Name of workflow run
  5. In the upper-right corner of the workflow, click Cancel workflow.
    Cancel check suite button

Steps GitHub takes to cancel a workflow run

When canceling workflow run, you may be running other software that uses resources that are related to the workflow run. To help you free up resources related to the workflow run, it may help to understand the steps GitHub performs to cancel a workflow run.

  1. To cancel the workflow run, the server re-evaluates if conditions for all currently running jobs. If the condition evaluates to true, the job will not get canceled. For example, the condition if: always() would evaluate to true and the job continues to run. When there is no condition, that is the equivalent of the condition if: success(), which only runs if the previous step finished successfully.
  2. For jobs that need to be canceled, the server sends a cancellation message to all the runner machines with jobs that need to be canceled.
  3. For jobs that continue to run, the server re-evaluates if conditions for the unfinished steps. If the condition evaluates to true, the step continues to run.
  4. For steps that need to be canceled, the runner machine sends SIGINT/Ctrl-C to the step's entry process (node for javascript action, docker for container action, and bash/cmd/pwd when using run in a step). If the process doesn't exit within 7500 ms, the runner will send SIGTERM/Ctrl-Break to the process, then wait for 2500 ms for the process to exit. If the process is still running, the runner kills the process tree.
  5. After the 5 minutes cancellation timeout period, the server will force terminate all jobs and steps that don't finish running or fail to complete the cancellation process.

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