I have created a simple workflow (through SharePoint designer 2013) on a document library. This workflow has one step, to email the users in a group when a new document is uploaded. The email contains basic information about the document such as title, date, link, etc.

After the email, the transition to stage is set to End of Workflow.

When I go to add a new item to the document library I go to upload, chose my document and select ok. It then brings me to the page to fill in properties. I fill it out and select save. I then get a red error text that says "The file has been modified by user at time" and the dialog doesn't close or update.

Is there any way to fix this?

2 Answers 2


The Workflow, in SPD has a property to automatically update the Workflow State. Try unchecking that option.

Uncheck the update workflow state option

  • What exactly does unchecking that box do? If uncheck that box, and leave start workflow automatically when item is created checked, the workflow does not auto start. Thanks.
    – bmartin
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 19:26
  • 1
    That box is responsible for Sharepoint automatically updating the workflow status column to the current stage's name. With it unchecked, you need to use a Update workflow state activity to set a value for the column
    – Choggo
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 19:42
  • Your workflow is starting, the visual cue you are expecting just isn't happening
    – Choggo
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 19:43
  • This definitely solved the issue for me. Couldn't figure out why SharePoint thought the file had been modified but the status thing makes perfect sense
    – Dan Harris
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 19:40

I am using a SharePoint 2013 workflow that runs on create and on edit. The document library has custom fields. These are the steps needed to edit custom document properties on create while a workflow is running:

There are two settings you must make:

  1. Workflow settings: Uncheck "Automatically update the workflow status to the current stage name"

  2. Add a step to the beginning of the workflow which will pause the workflow until the document properties have been filled in within the browser:

Pause workflow until item has been edited

(Logging to the workflow history is optional, I was just using it while testing.)

The workflow has two actions:

  1. Check to see if the item was created if (mod date == create date)

  2. If the item was just created, wait for a change event on the current item

Note: If a file is uploaded via Windows Explorer (e.g. using "Open with Explorer" in the LIBRARY tab), the workflow will remain running and will not complete.

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