To my library I added a workflow, which is based on the 'approval with notification' template. The workflow is started to approve publishing of a major version and default groups for approval and notification are defined.

Whenever users now want to publish a major version, they are seeing the workflow settings in a popup and are able to change the approver and notification list.

Is there any way to prevent the end user from changing the workflow settings without using SP Designer? I want to start the workflow always with the default workflow settings.

edit: These are the start options that I set in the browser. start options

  • just to be clear, you are using the standard out of the box workflow called "approval" native to sharepoint?
    – susan
    Jul 20, 2016 at 10:46
  • Yes, that is what I meant with template. :) The one I can set up in the library without SP Designer.
    – wheeler
    Jul 20, 2016 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I have explored the Approval workflow in depth since I had to write a detailed guide. You are aware that the workflow has a setting (that you can activate via sharepoint designer) that lets you 'start the workflow automatically' and/or "start the workflow manually" (the 2 options are not in opposition, as a matter of fact you can leave them both checked), however I have noticed that if you check only the 'start the workflow automatically, it will not show you the dialogue box with all the details (you will be shown that dialogue box only the first time, when you activate it), so the user is not able to change the approvers or the days required to approve etc.

If you use the 'manually start the workflow' option, the pop up window will show up every time.

The other option is to re-create the workflow entirely and leaving the approvers in the details of the workflow as fixed approvers.

However, by experience please consider the fact that one of the approvers might be on holiday, unavailable or sick. Your file will never be approved, as there is no way to force the approval of an absentee.

I do not have access to SPD right now, but look at this image, find in your SPD your workflow (EDIT) and see the below options


  • How can I change the settings of the workflow within SharePoint Designer? On my list information tab I see the workflows, but once I click on them, the browser opens and brings me to the 'Change a Workflow' setting.
    – wheeler
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:14
  • see my edited reply above
    – susan
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:24
  • I cannot edit the workflow within Designer. It is always referring me to the browser. See my edited question.
    – wheeler
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:35
  • look at this image, 10nkyj1cgq7f1m2hjafk6vn3-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/… , are you able to rightclick on the workflow name and select WORKFLOW SETTINGS?
    – susan
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:41

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