Workflow_dispatch workflow not showing in actions tab

For some reason my workflow_dispatch event is not showing under the actions tab. At this point I feel like i have tried everything.

The code is on the master branch (and master is set as main). I have the the exact same code (at least I think) on a test repo and things show up as I would expect. Is there something I could be doing wrong here?

Workflow file

name: Create New Release

        description: 'Release version tag'
        default: 'v1.0.0'
        required: true

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

      - name: "Checkout"
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
          fetch-depth: 0
      - name: "Prepare Files For Release"
        uses: ./.github/actions/prepare-files-for-release
        id: prepare-files
      - name: "Add, Commit And Push Prepared Files"
        run: |
          git config --global ""
          git config --local "release bot"
          git add -A
          git commit -m "Update Photon Networking code to ${{ }}"
          git push
      - name: "Merge Master Into Release"
        run: |
          git fetch
          git checkout release
          git merge master --no-ff
          git push
      - name: "Tag Release"
        run: |
          git tag ${{ github.event.inputs.release-version }}
          git push --tags

Action file

name: "Prepare files for release"

description: "Modifies various files in preparation for release"

    description: "Token with permissions to do repo things"
    required: false
    description: "The string specifying what new version we are releasing"
    required: false
    description: "The networking version our photonNetworkingVersion has been set to"

  using: "node12"
  main: "dist/index.js"

@thsbrown ,

Please try to edit the workflow file directly on the GitHub web page like as below steps:
Comment or delete the current trigger and re-add the workflow_dispatch event.

Here is an earlier reported similar topic as reference:

I’ll give it a try and get back to you! Thanks so much for the reply. Was really at a loss here.

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I was mistaken. I’m sorry that did not work. It looks like I was looking at another workflow by mistake.

I wonder what’s causing the issue here :thinking:.

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I was finally able to get this working. But it feels like there is a pretty serious bug lurking somewhere with the workflow_dispatch event.

Here’s what I did.

  1. Go to actions tab.
  2. Click new workflow.
  3. Scroll to bottom and click “Set up this workflow” for the “Manual Workflow”.
  4. Copy code from workflow that wasn’t working and paste it in this workflow.
  5. Rename workflow file ( I just renamed it to “release.yml”).
  6. Commit new workflow to master.
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So after doing a bunch more investigation I think I found when the bug occurs.

If you create a new workflow_dispatch and push it up to the server on master all goes well. However if you force push master back to a point where that workflow no longer exists and then try to re-add the workflow (with the same file name) the workflow_dispatch fails to appear under the actions tab.

I think this may due to the fact that github fails to realize that the workflow was deleted during the force push and thus “thinks” it’s already been added.

Repro steps:

  1. Create workflow_dispatch by going to action tab new workflow button.
  2. Select “Manual Workflow” -> “Set up this workflow”.
    3.Name the workflow file name something unique (no other workflow is named this).
  3. Leave the default workflow in place and commit to master.
  4. Workflow should show in actions tab at this point.
  5. git fetch master locally and checkout latest master (now the commit with workflow added).
  6. git reset --hard to commit prior to workflow being added.
  7. git push --force master back to point before workflow was added.
    9.Repeat steps 1 - 4 (ensuring workflow file name is the same as it was the first time)
  8. Go to action tab, and it should no longer be there.

Hopefully this all makes sense!


@thsbrown ,

I tested as the steps you mentioned. Yes, I also can reproduce the same issue on my side.

After step 9, I also tried:

activity result
rename the workflow name not appear
rename the workflow file name appear
delete and re-add the workflow file not appear
successfully trigger the workflow via the
“Create a workflow dispatch event” API at least once

Looks like, only renaming the workflow file name, or triggering the workflow at least once can let the workflow appear on the Actions tab.

In your case, if you do not want to change the workflow file name, you may need to trigger the workflow at lease once via the API.


Yup I observed the exact same behavior on my end. Thanks so much for confirming the issue.

The one case I didn’t test for was utilizing the API to try to make it appear. That’s a nice little workaround until this issue get’s fixed. Also should I flag the issue somewhere else btw or is this a good place to leave it :).

Thanks once again!

@thsbrown ,

I have created a ticket from here to report this issue to the appropriate engineering team for further investigation and evaluation.

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Do you have any updates on that ticket?

@brightran could you please provide a link to the issue that you screen-shotted?

That’s a support ticket which is not public, so a link is useless unless you are the reporter or a GitHub support employee.

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It seems the manual workflow_dispatch trigger only works from a non-main (previously called master) branch when the workflow with this trigger also exists in the main branch. Is this correct?

And if so, can someone explain me why this is? It makes total sense to me to create a workflow in a feature branch, test it from there and push it to develop or main when done. As it looks now, this doesn’t work. The workflow .yaml has to exist in main in order to get recognized as a manually triggered action and can than be called from the feature branch. That seems a bit odd.


@EnieReinder You can manually trigger workflows which are only in a feature branch, but not in the GitHub web UI. It’s possible via the REST API:

curl -H "Authorization: token {oauth-or-personal-access-token}" -d "{\"ref\": \"feature-branch\"}"{owner}/{repo}/actions/workflows/{workflow_id}/dispatches

(You may use the filename instead of the numeric workflow ID, e.g. feature-branch-test.yaml instead of 1234567890)

Or use this workaround:


Hi i had the same issue.

  • Not showing me the Run workflow button

My solution was creatin a new Simple workflow

You can manually trigger workflows which are only in a feature branch, but not in the GitHub web UI. It’s possible via the REST API

I encountered this today after adding a second manually triggered workflow. My first one automatically appeared in the Actions tab so that I could manually trigger it for its first run. I added it while I was on my main branch. My second workflow did not appear in the Actions tab so I couldn’t trigger it. I suspected it was because I had been working on a feature branch ever since I first triggered my first workflow (I was testing lots of things and didn’t want to clutter the commit history of the main branch). I merged the feature branch into the main branch and then my second workflow appeared.

It’s nice that there are these workarounds, but it would be a lot more convenient if GitHub could detect when a new workflow is added, no matter what branch it’s added to.

None of the above solutions worked for me what I tried:

  • I renamed the file.
  • I committed to the master branch.
  • I renamed the Workflow.
  • I setup a new workflow.
  • I committed to the feature branch and then merged the feature branch to master even then it didn’t work.
name: Run Pipeline Tests

      - master
      - master
        description: Choose Tag to Run Tests With
        default: smoke
        required: true
        description: Choose Environment on Which you want to run Tests.
        default: staging
        required: true
        description: Choose Browser you want to run Tests on.
        default: chromium
        required: true

Now I’m lost.

Is master actually the default branch?
You should use the API to trigger it once and see if that makes it show in the UI.

I faced this issue as well. My workflow that listens only to the workflow_dispatch event is in master. I pushed it there directly without intermediate feature branch. The workflow isn’t detected by Github and doesn’t show up in Actions tab. I tried calling API endpoint for that, but it didn’t work either: API responds with 404 error:

    "message": "Not Found",
    "documentation_url": ""

This feature is totally unusable. I cannot play with the workflow because these changes will be saved forever in Git history.

Thanks for reporting this issue. I’ve just ran into this and been debugging it for a couple of hours now. Could you share some info about the ticket? @brightran