I removed the workflow from the list through workflow settings and now when I tried to open the workflow through the designer to publish it again, I'm receiving this error message.

"Failed to load the workflow definition for the workflow"

How do I get my workflow file now?


There is a hotfix package for SharePoint designer 2013 which fixes that error.

failed to load workflow definition.

The detailed scenario that raises the issue is similar to what you have mentioned in your question:

Assume that you use SharePoint Designer 2013 to create a workflow on a SharePoint Server 2013 server. Then, you delete the subscription for the workflow on the server. When you open the workflow in SharePoint Designer 2013, you receive the following error message:

failed to load workflow definition.

To download and check hotfix details, check Description of the SharePoint Designer 2013 hotfix package (Spd-x-none.msp): June 11, 2013

  • Just to make sure- i have to install this hot-fix on all computers i'm using in my development? – SpM Dec 19 '16 at 18:53
  • Not all computers in your dev environment, only the computers that have SharePoint Designer 2013 installed, – Mohamed El-Qassas MVP Dec 19 '16 at 18:57
  • I tried hotfix suggested but i received this message at the end. "There are no products affected by this package installed on this system." – SpM Dec 19 '16 at 22:04
  • you are using SharePoint Designer 2013 ! right ! – Mohamed El-Qassas MVP Dec 19 '16 at 22:48
  • Yes, that's right! – SpM Dec 19 '16 at 22:49

TRy clearing SharePoint Designer cache and open a fresh session of the site. Follow below steps to clear the cache :

  • Close SPD2013

  • Delete everything at %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebsiteCache

  • Delete everything at %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Web Server Extensions\Cache

  • Go to SPD2013 options –> General –> Application Options –> Uncheck the “Cache site data across SharePoint Designer sessions”
  • I actually did that prior to removing workflow from the list, i cleared the cache and unchecked Cache option. I did not open the workflow in designer before removing it from the list. Do you think this could be the reason for the files to be deleted? – SpM Dec 19 '16 at 16:30
  • 1
    Clearing SharePoint Designer cache works perfectly – Sudip Misra Jan 17 '18 at 20:23
  • This worked for me! I still have some 2013 workflows that I have to support and SPD was giving me a lot of trouble. This solution worked perfect! Thanks! – Howard Renollet Sep 27 '18 at 15:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.