I have created a 2010 workflow for my SharePoint online environment using SharePoint Designer. The workflow is a reusable one which used by 3 different calendars. When an item is created or change the workflow will trigger.

It's a basic approval workflow.

  • An item is created, the admin is notified by email which asks them to approve or reject it
  • Condition
    • If Approved create the item.
    • Email user with the outcome.
  • Condition
    • If Rejected end workflow
    • Email user
  • Workflow Ends.

At the very first step, however, the user that is emailed get's 12 emails asking them to approve or reject the item that's been created and I don't know why.

Workflow Diagram

Have I done something wrong here?

  • If the workflow triggers on item create/update then check in workflow whether you are updating the same item within the workflow which might initiate multiple instances of workflow. Also check the step "create item in Current List" which might again trigger the workflow
    – Yayati
    Sep 19, 2018 at 7:19

3 Answers 3


Is there anything update?

If the emails are sent by workflow, it may be because your server is slow. Add a 2 minute pause before the workflow is kicked off and see if that solves the problem.

Since you have checked the box "start workflow when item is changed" and "start workflow when item is changed" .

It may be because something is changing it so it triggers when created and when updated.


The workflow kicks off every single time the item is changed. This also means that every time the item is changed it checks if

Approval Status = Approved

And every time this is true it will send a mail (and create an item). The problem here being that you do not check if the status has been changed - or if the mail has been send before (and item has been created already). Reagrdless if this is the root cause for your multiple mails you should implement one fo the two suggested checks above.

Now if you do receive multiple mails, but only one item is ever created the issues most likely is between SharePoint and your Exchange (I've seen similar issues before).


The solution is a pause for the workflow if your server is slow AND a wait until function... wait until field XYZ changed to value XYZ. That means you only concentrate on the one field you want to have updated and send out a workflow mail with.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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