I have SharePoint Online. I created a workflow using SharePoint Designer 2013 that is fairly simple:

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When I have tested the workflow - it sends all the emails & notifications that it is supposed to. I am the site collection administrator. However - if any user adds an item (and they have contribute access) the workflow it won't kick off and is suspended with the following error:


I am at a loss as to how to solve this or what could be causing this.

  • Are you sending mail to a single user or group for review? – love thakker Jan 24 '17 at 18:02
  • Two individual users. – Sasha Jan 28 '17 at 23:45

Have you checked this thread: Set user permissions required to run workflow

Something which I think could relate to your problem is this bit: If you look at a workflow's properties you can see there's a checkbox for "Allow this workflow to be manually started by an authenticated user with Edit Item permissions". So obviously users with "edit item" can execute a workflow.

Alternatively, have a look at the top answer which explains using an Impersonation Step.

  • Thanks for the pointer! I'm new to SharePoint Online (previous experience is SharePoint 2010). I don't understand in your link what they mean by "App Pool Account". I'm confused why SharePoint Online doesn't inherit site permissions on a workflow? In theory - if someone has contribute level access to a site they shouldn't have an issue. My settings in designer are allow workflow to manually start/start workflo when item is created or changed. Given my design above and these settings - what should I change? I appreciate all the help I can get! :) – Sasha Jan 29 '17 at 0:40
  • Also - as a side note. I have two accounts (Admin & Regular user) in SharePoint online. I created the workflow with my user account. I have set my user account as site owner - workflow worked. I removed site owner access and gave myself contributor - workflow worked. When the users who need the workflow try - they are able to successfully ad an item to the list but workflow won't kick off. They have contribute access to site. – Sasha Jan 29 '17 at 0:51

You should also try to create a log within your workflow just as a best practice. Maybe it wouldn't help with this problem, but for others in the future, if you put log "whatever" after each action, it makes it A TON easier to troubleshoot.

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