Has anyone ever seen this strange behaviour or can confirm?

I have a custom list (in a SP2013 site), very simple and clean structure, only Title field and one additional custom list column named "Workflow" (type: single line of text).

When I want to export (using i.e. Powershell export-spweb) this list and its items, it will export the column "Workflow" for the list but not the values of the items. In Manifest.xml all the values for "Workflow" are missing.

When I create another column named "Work_flow", everything is OK with exporting this column and its item values.

Is it possible, that SharePoint will not allow to export columns beginning with string "Workflow" as internal name? And if yes, is there a workaround or how can I export my data (I have to use SharePoint content deployment API, no export to Excel or other stuff is possible)?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


I'm guessing you're possibly referencing the workflows. because export-spweb doesn't include workflows, it's possible the column data isn't present.


quote from the above url.

Important: Export-SPWeb does not export the running workflows.

you may consider moving your site to an empty content db, then doing a db backup and restore of that content db to another sharepoint server.

  • Thanks. To be clear: I am not using any workflow in my site. The column's name is just "Workflow" (chosen by a developer who setup the list, maybe not the best choice when you want to export it...). For some reasons I have to use export-spweb or spexport.run to migrate data. No other options. Aug 4, 2016 at 19:08
  • well there's 2 possibilities. One, the field is corrupt. Two your observation is correct. In my personal investigation i see 2 fields when iterating through lists in powershell, WorkflowVersion and WorkflowInstanceID. If it is ignoring everything starting with Workflow* then we should consider renaming your column. As an experiment, try creating a new column, copy the workflow data into that column, delete workflow column, create new workflow column of same name, and copying it back, then doing an export against that. If it fails, you know for sure it is blocking workflow prefixed fields Aug 4, 2016 at 20:17
  • i don't think the field is corrupt since i tested it with a brandnew site collection, site and list. same result. i think i have to copy the data into a temporary field. export and import the site and copy it back from the temporary field to the original field in the target site. of course i will loose all the field data information in items version history :-( Aug 4, 2016 at 20:27
  • Yeah, that's the alternative method I was going to suggest but stackexchange wouldn't let me type so much =) I feel your pain, I've got a custom field created from a wsp that's too hard to decommission without losing history. Aug 4, 2016 at 20:31

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