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When I try to open a workflow using Designer 2013. I get the error "Unable to load workflow actions from the server. Please contact your server administrator".

I did a lots of digging and not able to find a good solution for this.

One option was to see if there's a solution deployed in both the farm level and site collection level. But there's nothing.

I checked the logs but I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. Can anybody help me?

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Your issue looks similar to another post: SharePoint Designer 2010 - "Unable to load workflow actions from the server..."

The gist of it is to check the ULS logs for "FetchLegalWorkflowActions" to help identify why you're getting the issue.

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  • yes I read that post but that wasn't the problem with me. I finally figured it out and one of the installed features is missing a .xml file. After I copied that .xml file, everything is back to normal. Thanks. – dkorra Nov 4 '16 at 12:43
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When we try to open the workflows in the SharePoint Designer, sometimes we receive the below error:

enter image description here

Symptoms:

You can access the workflow from the SharePoint UI. Other workflows in different web applications are editable.

Cause:

Cannot be same in all the scenarios but should be specific to the features

Capture a fiddler trace while opening the SharePoint designer and you should see a 505 error with the below error tag:

<errorstring xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/">Failed to find the XML file at location
     '14\Template\Features\custom solution\feature.xml'</errorstring><errorcode
     xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/">0x80131600</errorcode></detail></soap:Fault></soap:Body></soap:Envelope>

This is due to the feature which is not available at '14\Template\Features'. If you have a custom solution whose web parts are placed in a web site and the solution files are missing or the solution is retracted, you see this error.

Solution:

Remove the web parts that the solution adds to a site collection using PowerShell/code or deploy the solution back to the farm to get the feature.xml.

Read more about this:

Unable to load workflow actions from the server. Please contact your server administrator

SharePoint Designer 2010 - “Unable to load workflow actions from the server…”

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