I've been trying to find a good detailed tutorial on sharepoint workflow triggers to understand how workflows start. All I know so far is that there are 3 types of workflow triggers:

  • Manually
  • On change (automatic)
  • On create (automatic)

But, I have no idea what this means actually. What's being changed or created? What's the difference between manual & automatic? I read somewhere that custom actions can also be used as a workflow trigger? But I'm not exactly sure how that works too.

Can someone explain all the triggers and how to create a workflow from them if possible? Or if you have a good article/youtube video on this topic that explains in detail, mind sharing here? Thanks!


Manual is basically the user presses a button (like a custom action) On Change is whenever a user changes anything on the current item On Create is whenever a user creates a nw item (E.g. in a list or document library)

You can configure workflows on lists and libraries those can be set to any combination of the above. Site workflows - which isn't tied to any lists or libraries - can only be set to start manually.

  • Here is a link to MS info on workflows link Though it is very detailed. I checked my favourites but also do not have a good link to a workflow tutorial. Just to add to what Morten said re: triggers: On Create = when a new item or document is created the workflow will automatically run; this can be useful to notify people of a new item / task / approval request etc. On Change = if the item is modified the workflow triggers; useful if e.g. a task is reassigned
    – Tally
    Jan 16 '18 at 8:46

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