Whenever I publish a workflow from the Designer, the workflow will create a new workflow instead of updating the old one.

For example:

  • Workflow A is published as a list workflow and can be manually started by users
  • Workflow A gets published again. Users can now start two workflows "Workflow A" and "Workflow A (1)" instead of just the new one

Is there a setting to turn on overwriting for workflows?

1 Answer 1


Each time a new workflow is published within SPD, a new instance is added. What this means is that each time a workflow is published, it overwrites a previous version but the previous versions are not removed. If an administrator were to check the active workflows, they'd see a history that looks like this. This is to allow any items that still have "in-progress" workflows to complete successfully.

enter image description here

The latest workflow version will have name "Workflow A".

You can manually remove those workflows by opening up the Workflow Settings page of that List.

  • Thanks for your tip, but my problem is that the new version of the workflow is called "Workflow A (1)" while the old version remains "Workflow A". Both can be started by users. I want to achieve what is seen on your screenshot.
    – Razze
    Dec 4, 2014 at 15:09
  • After deleting all workflows for the list and re-deploying them via SPD the workflows finally updated themselves instead of creating new versions with different numbers behind the name.
    – Razze
    Dec 5, 2014 at 12:06

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