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I have tried OOTB approval workflow, as well as a custom list workflow (using Approval process action). Both failed on start immediately. Every time the error pattern is the same: Status immediately become "Failed on start". The first workflow history is "xxxx was canceled by system account".

I tested run a workflow without Approval process (e.g. log in history) and completed successfully.

I created a new site collection and create a new SP2010 approval workflow, it failed in the same way.

What could be the reason?

  • What is the error when workflow gets suspended? – Ganesh Sanap Jul 15 at 4:33
  • canceled by system account – Mark L Jul 15 at 4:50
  • I tried to dig in ULS log but I am unable to find anything unusal with keyword "workflow" – Mark L Jul 15 at 6:10
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It's so frustrating when workflows just don't work, so I feel compelled to suggest something. You mentioned that your test workflow worked ok, then you set up a new site collection. That leads me to think of Site Features - perhaps you need to activate a feature on your new site collection?

Have a look at this post and perhaps also this second post which discusses the difference between types of sites. It could give you the clue you need to fix the issue.

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Try to troubleshoot as following:

  1. Deactivate and re-activate the Workflows feature in Site collection features and check again.

  2. Clear SharePoint Designer Cache and check again.

  3. What’s the account you use to publish the workflow, try to use anther non system account and check again.

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Later I found below error message in Web front end ULS log:

System.CodeDom.CodeBinaryOperatorExpression is not marked as authorized in the application configuration file.

Then I fixed the error by adding new lines in web.config according to MS article.

For SharePoint 2013 and later versions, add lines under the following tree:

<configuration>
<System.Workflow.ComponentModel.WorkflowCompiler>
<authorizedTypes>
<targetFx>

add below lines:

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodeBinaryOperatorExpression" Authorized="True" /> 

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodePrimitiveExpression" Authorized="True" /> 

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodeMethodInvokeExpression" Authorized="True" />

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodeMethodReferenceExpression" Authorized="True" />

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodeFieldReferenceExpression" Authorized="True" />

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodeThisReferenceExpression" Authorized="True" />

<authorizedType Assembly="System, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" NameSpace="System.CodeDom" TypeName="CodePropertyReferenceExpression" Authorized="True" />

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