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Kill switch flags

Read time: 1 minute
Last edited: Mar 11, 2024

Overview

This topic explains how you can use kill switch or circuit breaker flags to shut off functionality. These flags are permanent safety mechanisms that you can use to turn off non-core functionality or third-party tools in an emergency.

Understanding kill switch flags

Kill switch flags, sometimes called circuit breaker flags, are permanent boolean flags with two variations: "Enabled" (true) and "Disabled" (false).

Kill switch flags are operational flags that control or change how your app or service operates. Often, these changes happen in response to unplanned events, such as traffic spikes or third-party service failures. You can use these flags to quickly turn off functionality when needed. You can also integrate these flags with observability or application performance management (APM) tools to automate flag shut off. To learn more, read Observability tools.

To create a kill switch flag:

  1. Navigate to the flags list.
  2. Click Create flag.
  3. Choose Kill switch:
The "Configuration" section of the "Create new flag" page.
The "Configuration" section of the "Create new flag" page.

To learn more, read Creating new flags.

Because kill switch or circuit breaker flags are used to shut off functionality or third-party tools completely, they typically do not use complex targeting rules. Instead, they serve "Enabled" by default when targeting is on, and "Disabled" when targeting is off. To learn more about targeting, read Target with flags.