I've read online that you can set a 2010 workflow to check for a blank date column in a list like this:

If [date column] contains [1/1/0001]

conditions etc...

However in a 2013 workflow I don't see the "contains" operator to do something similar. Is it possible to do this in a 2013 workflow?

If [date column] is blank

conditions etc...

The lowest date a SharePoint 2013 workflow allows me to enter in is between January, 01, 1900 - December 31, 8900. (blank isn't an option)


4 Answers 4


You can use Date less than 1/1/1900

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I just remembered how I achieved this using workflow variables to check if the date field was blank.

Here is what my workflow logic ended up something like this:

Set Variable: TempDateString to CurrentItemDateField

If Variable TempDateString contains 1/1/0001

send email, set date to today ect...

This was a useful way to use the date field to show the users when an email was sent and it also acts as a flag so the email doesn't get sent more than once.


You could try many validations. For instance you could have,

Date *is less than* 2/1/0001

Or if you wish to stick with contains, you should try index of,

Find 1/1/2001 in Date (output variable to index)

...now if the value of index is valid, you know that the date is blank.


You can create a column, data type date, name EmptyDate (or whatever name) and leave it blank, no default value. If checking for a date value in a workflow, then condition is, if YourDate > EmptyDate do something.
else YourDate is blank. I'm guessing sharepoint internally sets column EmptyDate to 1/1/1900, just a guess. I create column EmptyDate in any and all of my lists/libraries that use a workflow date comparison.

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