I did the following:


After that I can see that the workflow does not exist anymore. But on each Item that had the workflow before I receive an error when trying to display the workflows:

Getting Error Message for Exception System.Web.HttpUnhandledException (0x80004005): Exception of type 'System.Web.HttpUnhandledException' was thrown. ---> System.ArgumentException: Column 'Reservat' doesn't exist

I never had a column with that name. After adding that column manually to the list, the error messages changed to:

Application error when access /_layouts/15/Workflow.aspx, Error=Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Any chance to solve this mess? (The old workflow does NOT exist anymore as WSP)

UPDATE: I can still find the workflows using Powershell:

     foreach ($wf in $item.Workflows) 
  if ($wf.ParentAssociation.Name -eq $oldWorkflow) 

But in the same time $list.WorkflowAssociations.GetAssociationByName does NOT return the workflow

  • You executed $list.Update() ? Nov 3, 2014 at 13:22
  • No. Might be an issue, but the Workflow is gone so I expect everything was working as expected
    – Ole Albers
    Nov 3, 2014 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


I solved this. Note for all those who came here by google: This is not a good practice for removing workflows, but only a solution if you already messed up your workflows in SharePoint. (like me)

    foreach ($item in $list.Items) {
            foreach ($wf in $item.Workflows) {
                if ($wf.ParentAssociation.Name -eq $oldWorkflow)  {
                    Write-Host ("[{0}] Workflow '{1}' will be removed" -f $item.Title, $wf.ParentAssociation.Name);

    ForEach($item in $itemsToRemove) {

This is the cure for most any SPDesigner misbehavior. It also worked for me in a situation very similar to the issue in this post.

  1. Close SPD2013
  2. Delete everything at %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebsiteCache
  3. Delete everything at %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Web Server Extensions\Cache
  4. Go to SPD2013 options –> General –> Application Options –> Uncheck the “Cache site data across SharePoint Designer sessions”

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