Add YouTube video description and thumbnail taken from the titles of files in a Google Drive folder

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This question was split from this topic:



Anyone has an idea how to have automatic youtube video description and thumbnail taken from the same Google drive folder when using this zap so I don't have to have a human step in to fill it in.

So that I have above procedure combined like this:

  1. Take from google drive folder video file and description and thumbnail (so it can be 3 files (video, txt, jpg) having identical titles.
  2. Fill Google sheet with title, video download link, txt description, jpg thumbnail 
  3. Upload to youtube video with title, description and thumbnail and in the same sheet in the same row put in youtube viewing link 
  4. Send youtube view link with description to social platforms (fb, inst, LinkedIn,...)

? 😎

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23 replies

Userlevel 6
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Hey Vesna,

Do you have the description already somewhere? Are you saying that for each video in this Google Drive folder there are three files, for example, how_to_fix_a_sink.mp4, how_to_fix_a_sink.txt., and how_to_fix_a_sink.jpg. If that’s the case, what is your trigger that kicks off the Zap?

Or are you looking for something like OpenAI to write the description for you?

Userlevel 2
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I'm planning, seeking solution.

So, yes, I would like to manually only upload 3 files you mention: mp4, txt, jpg.

And create Zap do it all as listed in 4 steps I posted above.

Is that possible currently?

Userlevel 6
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I can think of a number of ways to go about the Google Drive portion in Zapier. You can use the Find File search in Google Drive to find all three files and then go from there. But the thing you’ll need to figure out is how to tell Zapier what the shared part of the filename is. This is why I was asking what your trigger is going to be to start the Zap? New file in drive?

As far as the YouTube portion, you could do it all with the YouTube integration except for the thumbnail parameter, as that’s not a current option on the YouTube integration. I could add you to the existing feature request we have to add that, though, if you wanted it.

Userlevel 2
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Hm, I would like it executed on the new file in drive.

So it is possible but only mp4+txt?

If that is the case than it would be more practical if I would only upload mp4 files to drive but write description for each somewhere in that Google sheet, maybe in separate subsheet? So when zap detects new file in Drive it pulls description somehow from subsheet?

I'm getting lost, don't know how to solve it with minimum manual work as a result.


Userlevel 6
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No worries. Let’s talk through your existing workflow to see if we can figure it out together!

What is your current process for getting a new video into Google Drive?

Userlevel 2
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I upload videos to Google drive manually to specific folder.

Zap recognizes that there is new video file in specified folder.

Than I have zap Google sheet step which you can see in this screenshot.

As you can see I have written the excel formula which converts drive file ID (which zap read from the new drive file) into file field formatted as download link. This part would be cool if it were offered in the file field options so not to type it in the future manually.

Now I need solution for description and actual youtube link:

  • Where to point zap to read description for the new video file (I would prepare description at the same time when video is uploaded) and upload it to youtube?
  • How to get back in the same or new sheet thus data to post to many social platforms at the same time: title of video, youtube link, description 

Hope it is possible 😎


Userlevel 6
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Hey there, Vesna…

Sounds like you’re making great progress! I can’t see any screenshot in your last post, but let’s see what I can do.

First, downloadUrl is one of the files that comes from the Google Drive step, so you can just use that in your next step without the calculation in Google Sheets:

Second, as far as where to point the Zap to read the description of the new video file. It sounds like you want everything back in the same Google Sheet in the end, is that right? If so, I wonder if we could set up a system of Zaps that would work together to automate things. 

Consider something like this:

Zap 1: Triggers when a new mp4 is in Google Drive → Creates a new row in a Google Sheet (you already have this set up) → a third step that notifies you that the Zap has run and there’s a new row in your Sheet.

Zap 2: Triggers on the Updated Row in Google Sheets and you set your Trigger Column to be a column called Ready For Upload (a column that you can add to the Sheet that’s just a checkbox.) That way, when you’re done writing the Description, you click on that Ready For Upload column and it triggers this Zap → uploads all the data to YouTube. (

Does that make sense? Do you think it would meet your needs?

It sounds like the manual parts are putting the file in Drive (triggers Zap 1) and writing the description (triggers Zap 2). The downside of this system is that you have to wait for Zap 1 to run, which is why that third step exists, to notify you that the row exists. (Though you can also manually run your Zap:

Another system that avoids the waiting and notification would be something like this:

Manual: You know what the name of the file is, so create a new row in the Google Sheet and in the Video Name column put the name of the filename (my_video.mp4) and in the Description column, write the description. Then upload your file to Google Drive.

Zap 1: Triggers when a new mp4 is in Google Drive → Use the Lookup Spreadsheet Row search to find the row whose Video Column value is the same as the name of the file in Google Drive → Having found that row, use the Update Spreadsheet Row to put the download link into that spreadsheet.

So there are a couple of ways you might be able to get there. Let me know if you have more questions!

Userlevel 2
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Wow excellent, thank you for all these solutions to choose from 👍❤️


Everything works ok now. I chose this solution:

  1. Zap1: on new file on drive creates new sheet row with download link only 
  2. I will go when I wish, once per day or once per week, whenever, and update columns named Title, description, tags, schedule date/time, and put a checkbox in column Ready to upload (useful if for some videos I wish to additionally edit the description before marking it ready)
  3. Zap2: detects a change in the Ready to upload fields and uploads it to youtube - all tested and all uploaded ok.

So, 2 more needs arise now after testing…

  1. I am not youtube partner so Zapier isn't giving me an option to choose schedule time. Can I bypass it by using some zap action to check sheet Schedule field value? And if the date and time is in the past it uploads it to youtube? So in this way if zap action detects a change in Ready to upload field, then it actually uploads only if date and time is before current time (which also means thag it is after the last zap run)?
  2. How to fill up (after youtube upload) the field “YouTube link” for uploaded video row so I can add actions hopefully in the same zap to post youtube link and description to social platforms?

Looking forward to more cool replies.

Being nostalgic about my coding past life here 🤪🤓👩‍💻💡🔢💡

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for keeping us updated here, @Vesna. Thought I’d hop in here to give some suggestions for the 2 additional needs...

1. To check the schedule date/time
You could potentially use Formatter to compare the schedule time and current time. You can find out more about how to use Formatter to compare dates and times here: Comparing to Today's Date

That said, you may want to look at using a Delay action in the Zap to prevent the Zap from uploading the video to YouTube until the schedule time. You can find out more about how to use Delay actions in these Community articles: 

To update the same row in Google Sheets
You’d need to use an Update Spreadsheet Row action. In the settings for that action in the Row field, you’d use the Custom value option and select either the Row ID or Row Number that’s output by the New or Updated Spreadsheet Row trigger. For example:
You can find out more about using Custom values in Zaps here: Add custom values to dropdown menu fields in Zaps

Selecting the Row ID (or Row Number) field from the Google Sheets trigger will ensure that the Zap will update the exact same row that triggered it.

Hope that helps. Please do let us know if you run into any issues on any of that! 🙂

Userlevel 2
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Thank you, the update with youtube link is working ok.

But I don't know how to solve schedule i.e. Delay.

I have field in this format: 01/19/2023 13:40

Delay action doesn't execute youtube upload no matter if the date is in past or future.

How do I tell zap which time zone I'm using?

Also, what happens if zap detects 3 new rows with data to upload videos to youtube but these 3 rows have date in the past (few hours back just to make sure it is uploaded immediately on next zap run) and 2 zaps in the future?

Would zap upload only the row with past date and skip the 2 future dates? Does it skip them forever or executes these uploads each in it's defined date and time?

I will be having a list of video data to upload to youtube on dates and specific times during next few months few each day at different time.

Userlevel 7
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Glad to hear the YouTube link is being added to the spreadsheet correctly, @Vesna! 🙂

There should be a How Should We Handle Dates In The Past? field on the Delay (Delay Until) action. That should allow you to select whether you want the Zap to continue running and upload the video if the date has been passed. What option have you currently got selected for that field? I wonder if that might be related to why the videos aren’t being uploaded.

The timezone can be set within the profile settings for your account or Zap settings. Alternatively, you can specify the timezone directly in the Date/Time Delayed Until field for example “01/19/2023 13:40 EST” would be set to Eastern Standard Time. If it helps, you can find out more about troubleshooting date/time issues here: Zap dates or times are incorrect

The New or Updated Spreadsheet Row trigger would trigger separately for each video so all three would be uploaded, but the two with dates in the future would be delayed from uploading them until the scheduled time.

Please do let us know if setting the timezone and changing the selected option for that How Should We Handle Dates In The Past? field does the trick!

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@SamB, thank you. Excellent. Setting correct time zone in my account settings solved the issue and Zap now correctly understands what is the last and what the future.

Delay Until works ok even when multiple video lines with different schedule times are waiting for upload.

But new issue came up. I'm attaching screenshots. This zap is triggered by Google sheet new or updated row on a trigger column “Ready for upload”. I wish that zap uploads videos not on each new row addition but only when some row gets this checkmark in the column Ready for upload: ✅

Currently zap uploads all new rows of video even if they don't have checkmark meaning it doesn't care if I changed this column or not, so what then is the use of defining the trigger column? How do I solve so zap first checks for checkmark in new and old rows  and then uses schedule delay? In attached example it uploaded both lines.


Userlevel 7
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Hey @Vesna!

Ah, for new rows they would always trigger but for updates it would check whether a value has changed in that column. In order to prevent the Zap from uploading them until that check box is ticked you could try to adding a Filter by Zapier action. Make sure you put it in the Zap just after the Google Sheets trigger. 

That filter action will allow you to check whether the Ready for upload field has a value. I’d suggest using the Exists option on the filter rule, as it checks to see if a value exists for the selected field. You can find out more about filters here: Add conditions to Zaps with filters

Let us know if that sorts it! 🙂 

Userlevel 2
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Filter was a good solution 👍

New glitch altough 😎😵

For those sheet rows which didn't have a checkmark in the column Ready to upload, zap did good not uploading that video, but weirdly did paste link to YouTube link column but one of older uploads and not the most recent one. How do I make zap not paste anything if no upload happened? When upload happens the pasted link is correct.

This is a screenshot of this last zap action which gets the uploaded youtube link and adds it to the correct column. For this not uploaded zap should leave this column empty,


Userlevel 7
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I’m so pleased that filter worked, @Vesna! 🙂

Can I just double-check where you placed the filter in the Zap, is it right after the Google Sheets trigger step? If so, when the Zap is switched on, that should stop all the subsequent actions from running if it doesn’t find the checkbox selected.

When you’re in the Zap and test the last Google Sheets action it won’t take the filter into account as you’re just testing that specific action. So if it added the link when you tested that Google Sheets action, then that would be the expected behaviour here. Is that what happened here?

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Hm, no. It wasn't result of testing but after I left it run on it's own for an hour to see if it all works ok.

Yes, I followed your instruction and placed filter after Google sheet action, here is a screenshot of the order of actions:


Userlevel 7
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Hi again, @Vesna!

Hmm, that sounds odd. Could you take a look at your Zap history to see if the Filter stopped the Zap? You’ll see a ‘Filtered’ status by the Zap run if it did.

If the Zap didn’t stop the filter, could you share a screenshot of how the filter is set up so we can see if there’s something there that can be tweaked?

If the Zap stop at the filter, then there’s no way it could have updated your sheet, if that’s the case is there anything else that might have caused the change? Another formula in the sheet maybe?


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I added new videos to make sure there wasn't some residue of data and I activated zap to run on it's own. Same weird data entry again. The line that didn't have a checkmark in Ready to upload didn't upload but got an entry of youtube link to  one of the uploads  from yesterday (the one that yesterday didn't have a checkmark but did have a checkmark in the evening and it was uploaded before midnight! 😎 so now the same youtube link is in the yesterday's successful upload of video originally unmarked for it and the same youtube link was entered into today's youtube link field for the video which doesn't have a checkmark yet and wasn't uploaded.



Also, why cannot I see history of zap runs for today? It was executed but no history for me to paste for you. Is zapier having some limits so history for today is only available tomorrow?

Could there be a glitch in filter definition and also in the choice of the row to update in the last action altough if no checkmark during filter than no row update should occur at all...?



Userlevel 7
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Hi @Vesna!

You should see Zap runs in the Zap history as soon as they have happened. 

I think that this would be a good point to reach out to the Zapier support team using the Get Help form. They can look at the Zap logs and see exactly when the Zap was triggered and what information was sent at each step, so they’re in a great position to get to the bottom of this with you. 



Userlevel 2
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Ok I'll do that. Thanks for all the above help, I learned very useful things 👍

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Vesna!

Fingers crossed you’ll be able to get this sorted with the Support team’s help soon. If you could share any solutions here once it’s sorted we would be most grateful! 🙂

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Solved 😎😳

It seems that zap history doesnt show runs which filtered no data to process. I thought that successful zap run meant that zap runned  and not what were the filter results.

Also it seems that if I do testing with multiple  rows of data and then I delete those rows after successful testing, than zap doesn't consider new rows if they were added in the place of deleted ones. I'm not sure that's good because it means in the future I have to be careful never to delete a row I don't want to keep?

And about weird data entry, it was my mistake, I pasted some old data for testing and forgot about it 😎😳


Userlevel 7
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Thanks for letting us know you have it all sorted, @Vesna!

And yes, when you use Google Sheets with Zapier you need to be careful about deleting rows or sorting columns if the sheet is attached to a Zap. I really recommend taking a look at this help guide to make sure your sheet works well with Zapier: Work with Google Sheets in Zaps