Firstly, apologies if this has been answered somewhere, but I have spent 2 days hunting through Google, including results here, and I haven't found an answer yet, so I thought someone here may be able to help.

  • I am using an on-prem SharePoint 2013 farm. I only want to use the 2013 Workflow Manager (no 2010 workflows, please).

  • My library has major and minor versions, requires check in/out, and also document approval before it's made available to everyone.

  • I have been trying to create a workflow (currently in SharePoint Designer) which can ultimately approve a document.

Does anyone have any ideas how to get this to work?

I can't update the Approval Status field. I can't find an action that will allow the document to be approved (unless I want to use a 2010 workflow, which I don't). I considered using a custom field to set the status to approved, and wondered if I could use a timer job to properly approve these records overnight or something, but even that hit a snag when I did the necessary check out / check in around the update of the field, and the document ended up checked in as a minor version instead of a major, which meant it couldn't be approved anyway. I also can't find a way to tell it to check in as a major version.

Anyone have any suggestions?

  • Is document approval even possible with a SharePoint 2013 workflow (and force check in/out)?

  • Is the timer job a good idea? Could I write a custom workflow action in Visual Studio to accomplish the "check in as major version" idea?

Any help would be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


Yes its possible. When you click the approval process link in the Text based Designer in Sharepoint Designer go to task behaviour ( In short edit the workflow) go to "When the task completes" add a line inside if statement " set content approval ... approve (author).." same for rejected. In that case select "Rejected"

save and publish.

  • Thanks for your answer, but I can't see any "approval process" link in SharePoint Designer using a SharePoint 2013 Workflow. Are you sure you're not referring to the 2010 Workflow? Oct 28, 2014 at 13:37

As a last resort, there is always the possibility to call some of the SharePoint REST web services. The following answer has what you need: https://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/a/199060/75504

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.