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In SharePoint Designer, I see that there is a workflow I'd like to delete. When I select it and click Delete, I can tell it does something but the workflow never disappears. If I log into the SharePoint site and go to the workflow settings, I don't see any workflows listed. But it still appears in Designer.

How can I go about removing this workflow that appears to be orphaned?

  • are you seeing any workflow in sharepoint using the browser...check from here Lists > Site Workflows link. Tells us if their is any in progress workflow? – Waqas Sarwar MVP Jun 17 '14 at 17:20
  • No workflows in progress. Doesn't appear on the website, just in Designer and in SQL server. – jkandiko Jun 17 '14 at 20:13
  • try to clear the local cache C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft, close the designer and restart the Machine. Now try it, if you still seeing it...if possible share the screen – Waqas Sarwar MVP Jun 17 '14 at 20:24
  • Can you check if there is any error in your 15 hive logs while deleting? – Aanchal Jun 18 '14 at 5:36
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You have to be a Site Collection Admin to see this folder in SP Designer, and click on All Files > Workflows > Select the Workflow > Delete. Press F5 when finished to make sure it deleted.

enter image description here

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  • I'm using 2013, so it looks a little different, but yeah, that's how I go about trying to delete it. It never gets removed. – jkandiko Jun 17 '14 at 20:13
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Just one thought, If certain operations fail to perform from UI / SPdesigner then go for powershell approach.

Refer this pnp powershell commnd to remove workflow definitions

Remove-PnPWorkflowDefinition
      -Identity <WorkflowDefinitionPipeBind>
                                  [-Web <WebPipeBind>]
                                  [-Connection <SPOnlineConnection>]

Reference 1

Other reference

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