I have a well-established Globally Reusable Workflow which has been working for a few years. It now shows an error during approval. Nothing has changed in the workflow or on the Document Library, the approvers also have not changed - I am the Sharepoint Administrator, I have one other colleague who also helps as SP Admin. If something has changed in the settings, it would have been inadvertent.

The error message: "this form cannot be opened in a web browser. To open this form, use Microsoft Infopath". We don't use Infopath and the approval relates to a document rather than a custom item, so I'm puzzled by the unhelpful error message.

I followed Coralie's Answer here but I this was not the cause, the Approver is in the Approver's group and has both Contribute and Approve permissions.

Current Approval Method

  • Globally reusable workflow.
  • 'Publish Major version' of document triggers the approval process.

Steps taken to resolve

  • Cancelled document approval and resubmitted document for approval. (Resulted in the same error message).

Screen shots

Error message pic


MS Link - troubleshooting guide

1 Answer 1


Simple answer - replaced it with a reusable workflow instead of a globally reusable workflow.

The globally reusable workflow had become corrupted, for reasons unknown...woooo spooky...

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