I'm trying to figure out how to use powershell to start a list workflow. I found a few sites that give examples for sharepoint 2010 workflows, but only one for sharepoint 2013 workflows here.

Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell
$sourceWebURL = '<URL>'
$sourceListName = '<List Name>'
$TargetWorkflow = '<Workflow Name>'
$spSourceWeb = Get-SPWeb $sourceWebURL
$spSourceList = $spSourceWeb.Lists[$sourceListName]

#Getting a Workflow manager object to work with.
$wfm = New-object Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowServices.WorkflowServicesManager($spSourceweb)
#Getting the subscriptions
$sub = $wfm.GetWorkflowSubscriptionService()
#Getting the specific workflow within the list of subscriptions on the specific list. (SP2010 associated workflows basically)
$WF = $sub.EnumerateSubscriptionsByList($spSourcelist.ID) | Where-Object {$_.Name -eq "$TargetWorkflow"}
#Getting a Workflow instance in order to perform my commands.

Foreach($item in $spSourceList){
    #Creating the dictonary object I need to parse into StartWorkflow. This could be most other workflow commands.
    $object = New-Object 'system.collections.generic.dictionary[string,object]'
    $object.Add("WorkflowStart", "StartWorkflow");
    $wfis.StartWorkflowOnListItem($WF, $item.ID, $object)

When I enter in the correct values the follow error get's thrown.

Cannot convert argument "itemId", with value: "GUID", for "StartWorkflowOnListItem" to type "System.Int32": "Cannot convert the "GUID" value of type "System.Guid" to type 
At line:23 char:5
+     $wfis.StartWorkflowOnListItem($WF, $item.ID, $object)
+     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : MethodArgumentConversionInvalidCastArgument

Does anyone know what I need to do to fix this error?

$web = Get-SPWeb -Identity "http://YourParameter.xx/sites/publishing/en"

$workFlowManager = $web.Site.WorkFlowManager

$list = $web.Lists["YourParameter"]

$workflowAssociations =

$associationData = $workflowAssociations.AssociationData

$items = $list.Items

foreach($item in $items) { $workflow =



It works in my SharePoint 2013 farm (starts workflow for all items).

  • When I run that code I get the following error Exception calling "StartWorkflow" with "4" argument(s): "Value cannot be null." At line:15 char:28 + foreach($item in $items) { $workflow = $workFlowManager.StartWorkFlow($item,$wor ... + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ArgumentNullException Do you know how I can resolve the error?
    – zingwing
    Aug 11 '14 at 17:02
  • I got it working with 2010 workflows, just not 2013 workflows
    – zingwing
    Aug 11 '14 at 19:59
  • Could post the your function please? It seems you are missing one parameter for the method StartWorkflow(...). Could you double check if the parameters $item, $workflowAssociations and $associationData are not null? Aug 12 '14 at 8:55


Foreach($item in $spSourceList)

That's all because of in an $item you got list but not an item :)


foreach ($item in $sourcelist.Items)

The method in second post wont work with 2013 workflows only 2010!

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