Situation: A Custom List and a approval workflow designed by SharePoint Designer 2010

The approval workflow will pause 5 mins when the item created , after pause, will start the approval process.

When only one item into the custom list ,after pause 5 mins , it will randomly to show the error 'xxx workfow fail to run'.

When more then one item created into the list , after pause 5 mins , it will randomly to show error ' xxx workflow fail to run' on each items , sometime only show the error on one item.

Work around: I try to modifiy the pause action longer , e.g. pause 5 mins updated to pause 1 hour. And not allow the worklfows run at same time.


workflow a:12:30

workflow b:01:45

workflow c:02:00

I would like to know , how can I fix the 'xxx workfow fail to run' error


2014-06-17 In this case , I start the workflow at 10:06 am , and workflow pause 30mins , after pause activity done , it show error workflow fail to run. enter image description here

  • What is the first activity in your workflow?
    – Aanchal
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 10:06
  • To Aanchal: Pause until xxx is the first activity
    – HateBear
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 2:03
  • After pause what is next?
    – Aanchal
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 11:13
  • Send Email to someone
    – HateBear
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


I've run into the same issue recently and came across the following MS support article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2674684

This is assuming you're running the workflow timer on multiple servers and one of those doesn't have the web application service running.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.