Automations: "There was an error, please try again"

Hi everyone,

I’ve added a number of devices to my smart home during a renovation, and I’ve now created a number of automations. The “smaller” ones - that only have 2 or 3 things that happen - are fine. But the others are now alway giving me a red banner error message across the top that says, “There was an error, please try again.”

It seems that some of the actions do happen, but not all of them. There does not seem to be a pattern in terms of what actions happen and which ones fail.

Anyone have any ideas?

Sounds like it’s timing out because you’re trying to do too many things in one automation. You may just need to break them up into smaller ones.


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What devices do you have in the automation? are they hub connected or samsung appliances? Are any of the device showing as offline/disconnected?


Thanks everyone.

@JDRoberts is there a way to do this and still just have one action? I don’t really want to have to select multiple buttons/items to do one thing (e.g., turn all the lights off) - seems to defeat the purpose of home automation.

@Automated_House - all of the devices are lights. Some are Hue, some are LIFX, some are the GE switches that are z-wave plus, so connected directly to the hub without having to go through the Hue Bridge or WiFi.

There are a few devices that are showing up as disconnected or offline in the devices list, but they aren’t connected to the automations I’m trying to run.

Side question: If I set up scenes, then triggered them via automation, would this expedite things? In other words, is there something about the automation protocol that may be more laborious, or would it just be a different way of doing two things?

Alright, created some test automations and it looks like there is a limit of actions that I can add, specifically within the Hue/LIFX categories. I’ve basically found the amount that can be handled, then I try to add one extra thing on (Hue or LIFX) and it then gives me an error.

So, is this simply an upper limit in terms of what I can do with home automation, or is this some problem with an integration between Hue and/or LIFX with SmartThings? Is there some sort of delay setting that I can adjust within the automations protocol so that it doesn’t time out. If it’s just a matter of timing out, and it’s timing out so quickly, it seems this is bad code - SmartThings should just give the automations a bit more time work. I can’t imagine it would be better to time out than take a bit longer to get everything done.

Are there any workarounds, for example combining different actions as scenes and then having an automation trigger those?

Thanks for your creativity everyone!

What was the limit? Can you post screenshots of the automation?

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if there is indeed a limit, scenes can probably work around it. I have a scene with 25+ devices that still runs fine in an automation.

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Somewhere around 20 lights or so? Screenshot would be hard as you have to scroll to see everything.

So, more broadly, an update and potential workaround: I offloaded some of the LIFX actions to a scene, so instead of asking the automation directly to turn the LIFX lights off, I created a scene to turn off all the LIFX lights, then triggered the scene through the automation. So, it seems you can expand the number of things you can do before hitting the SmartThings automation limit by combining actions into scenes rather than doing it directly through the automation itself.

Oh, and I’ve been using SmartThings classic to do all of this. It may be possible to get around this limit with the new SmartThings app, but I can’t even seem to create an automation with the new app without using some sort of trigger. With the classic app, I can create the automation with no trigger set, then just manually select that automation in the app (or via a smart switch). Yet another example of this whole “let’s have two simultaneously running apps, each of which can only do some things” is a horrendous approach to app/product development.

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@Automated_House good timing ;). Seems that’s the answer for a workaround

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To be fair, it seems pretty clear that their original design intent was simply to replace the classic V2 app with the new V3 app. But then they rushed out the V3 app to match the release of the new galaxy phone, and it just wasn’t quite ready yet. So we’re left with two for an indefinite Period.

Also, with regard to automations that don’t need a trigger, the capability of scenes is greatly expanded in the V3 app. So my guess is that in most cases in the V3 app you would just use a scene for an automation that doesn’t have a trigger. Then activate the scene from the app.

Thanks @JDRoberts - has anyone heard of any progress toward merging the functionality of the two apps, out of curiosity?

And thanks for the info about the expanded capabilities of the scenes in the new app. Truthfully, I haven’t played around with it too much. I’ll give that a shot next.

They Aren’t going to merge them because they’ve changed some of their design philosophy. And they aren’t going to do any more updates to the classic app unless essential for security.

They have said that they will be adding more features to the new V3 app.

They have also said the following, but to be honest, I don’t believe it.

How long will there be two apps?
We do not have a specific sunset date for SmartThings Classic, but it will not happen until the new SmartThings app can support you, our existing customers. We will let you know ahead of time before SmartThings Classic is no longer supported.

Because I already know they are not planning to have a Geopresence trigger to allow hands-free unlocking. Which was the whole reason I started with Home Automation to begin with. :disappointed_relieved:

Interesting - so, you’re mentioned a V3 app - am I understanding it correctly that there is now a third app out?

No, the newest version of the app, which came out in 2018 about the time when the V3 hub came out, is what we are calling in the forum the V3 app. Because there were two versions before that.

See the following FAQ, it explains and has screenshots and all that. :sunglasses: ( The topic title is a clickable link)

Thanks @JDRoberts - I think this is what I had previously read, but hadn’t remembered it was called the V3 app, so was getting confused (and hopeful) that there had been some sort of merged, new app. I guess we’ll still have to wait

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