I would like to calculate a Lookup Field. I am trying to figure out how to copy the Lookout Field using workflow. I did find some tips but they were using 2010 workflow which I keep getting Access Denied when I tried to save or publish. Is it possible to do it using 2013 workflow platform?

I have a column with numer on one list. And the second list supposts to loopup this number and use it to calculate expiration date from start date.

I tried using Update List but it seems to go into loop.

  • Which version of SharePoint is your environment: on-prem 2013 - 2013, 2016, or 2019. Or SharePoint Online? Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 1:42
  • By the way, welcome to the SharePoint community on StackExchange. I have found this forum immensely useful for answering technical questions over the years and I hope you do too. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 21:02
  • Thank you for the warm welcome :) It's SharePoint Online included in Office 365. I am trying to make a traning management for my department - courses, reminder to take class, calculate expiration date etc. I don't have the admin access, only owner.
    – Meeh
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


To answer your question: “to copy a look up column to another column” it depends on what you are trying to copy. A lookup column, under the hood it is a URL to another list item in another list or library.

Basically what the workflow value you are looking for is the ID value in the source list that corresponds to the value you are trying to match in the target list. Then in the workflow you could concatenate a URL that looks like the following with your data:

https://your tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/your site collection name/your site name - if any/Lists/Source List Name/Item/displayifs.aspx?ID= Followed by the numeric ID value of the item you want to link to.

It sounds like you are using SharePoint Designer as your authoring tool for workflows.
If so, and If your site has multiple triggers for user actions, I strongly suggest using Microsoft Flow, instead of the legacy SP Designer Workflows, they are far more reliable and have many more connectors to additional services.

  • Please let me explain a little bit about my project. I have a list call "Course Name" which contain courses info items - "course name" , "validation days" (ex. 180 day to retrain). And I have another list called "Open Course" in here user can add a course and pick the name of the course from the first list (lookup from first" and choose the "start date" of the course. Also in this list, a calumn called "Valid Until" will take the start date (manually select) and + validation days (ex. 180 days, additiinal field from lookup) = the day the needs to retrain.
    – Meeh
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 9:32

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