Previously I've been able to edit workflows without any problem on our Sharepoint 2010, using Sharepoint Designer. Most of them are simple email workflows.

However today every workflow I try to publish gives me the error:

"Could not publish the workflow because the workflow configuration file contains errors."

Even though when I "Check for Errors" it says there are no errors.

I've googled it and I've tried some of the suggestions, such as setting an "executionTimeout" attribute on httpruntime in the web.config and restarting IIS, but that hasn't helped.

Another suggestion said to Deactive the Workflow feature on the whole sharepoint and Activate again, but the warning that comes up before I do it says data may be lost, so I am concerned that if I deactivate it it's going to delete all the many workflows we have across our subsites, as I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to have something like that happen, considering all the numerous other problems Sharepoint and Internet Explorer cause us.

Has anyone got any ideas as to what might be causing this, or how to fix it? Are there any error log files I can look at to find more detailed error information?


  • Is the workflow big? Do you use many variables in the workflow? Jun 9, 2015 at 9:23
  • No, it's just a simple email work flow with about 2 conditions. But this error is occuring on any workflow I try to publish.
    – CMR
    Jun 9, 2015 at 9:54
  • I think this might be related to another problem I have just discovered, that every list and library we have is now saying "List does not exist" when you try to open it or its settings/permissions/etc... Any ideas how to fix that?
    – CMR
    Jun 9, 2015 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


It turns out it was only me having the issue, everyone else was fine.

I eventually managed to work out that they were accessing the intranet through https and I was doing http.

Quite why that kept giving me "List does not exist" whenever I tried to access Libraries or Lists I have no idea, but it seems to have sorted it out.

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