I have a basic workflow that, when manually run, copies a document from one library to another library with the same structure. This works great. What I'm having an issue with is if the document already exists in the destination, I can't use the copy action, but rather, I'm trying to use the Update List action. This errors every time, and I'm looking for help. In addition to this, after the error, I terminate the workflow, delete the destination library item, and the workflow still errors. In my mind, the copy with nothing in the destination library should work.

To reiterate, first time copy with empty destination: Works great Second time copy, workflow runs the Update List action: Receive the following error: The workflow could not update the item, possibly because one or more columns for the item require a different type of information - Unknown Error

Thank you!

  • could you please share your workflow screen print?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Jun 10, 2014 at 4:17

1 Answer 1


I've got it figured out. I did 2 things:

  1. When I saved the library as a template and created the destination library based on it, some managed metadata columns did not get set to the correct term. I went through each column to ensure it was the same as the source library, instead of just assuming it was same, being that it was a template.
  2. On the properties of the "Copy" action, I set the override to "Yes".

The combination of these 2 things worked for me.

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