Anyone else having issues with workflows just not starting on change or created?

Pretty simple pre-existing workflows in a migrated sharepoint app had to be recreated in Designer 2013 when we migrated.

They will not trigger automatically now that we are under 2013. This is the only thing stopping our implementation.

Even tried a VERY simple workflow and it won't start either

(No errors or error messages, just won't start !)

https://cloudsites.vzbi.com/sites/pcimage I have checked "Allow Workflow to manually Start" and also checked "Start workflow automatically when item is created"

  • 2
    Are you using System Account for testing? May 15, 2015 at 14:17
  • While publishing the workflow, u need to select the checkbox Start workflow automatically when an item is created or changed for the workflow to start automatically or else whatsoever the WF will not start automatically. Workflow will never start automatically with system account. May 15, 2015 at 14:18
  • Instead of using Sharepoint system user account, u could use an account having contribute permission on site level and full control over the library. This should fix ya. stsadm.exe –o setproperty –propertyname declarativeworkflowautostartonemailenabled –propertyvalue yes May 15, 2015 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


If you use System Account then workflow will not auto start on Item Create etc.

To fix this you can use below command

stsadm.exe –o setproperty –propertyname declarativeworkflowautostartonemailenabled –propertyvalue yes
  • where do I enter this code? May 15, 2015 at 14:26
  • You should run it from one of your SharePoint Server. Open SharePoint Management Shell and execute the command. May 15, 2015 at 14:27
  • This works for libraries that are receiving mail, but how about SSRS subscriptions that are delivered to a library? This doesn't seem to work with this command.
    – SomeGuy
    Mar 19, 2018 at 18:01

SharePoint Designer workflows run as System Account but with their permissions trimmed down to impersonate those of the user that initiated the workflow.

We faced a similar issue to yours in our SharePoint environment and identified that it was due to workflows being fired automatically by System Account. To get around this, we created an administrative account in our environment called 'DOMAIN\SP_Workflow' and opened/re-saved/published the failing workflows while logged in under this new account. After making this change, the previously failing workflows started as expected.

  • From what I gather, not all workflows run as the system account; but (for example) workflows triggered by an email do. That KB article suggests (after other steps) to create a separate workflow account simply to avoid allowing users to impersonate workflow authors.
    – jpaugh
    Jun 14, 2019 at 5:47

This might be a 'state' issue. I came across a situation where I had to uncheck 'Start this workflow when an item is changed.' to at least have the workflow continue operation when a new item is created. This is a mutually exclusive situation which might not be applied to your requirements but it's a start as to the behavior of the workflow itself.


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.