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I'm re-creating a SP Designer 2013 workflow in MS Flow.

An important feature of the original workflow was replacing the default permissions to the list item as required by the business logic.

Before digging deep into the topic of how to accomplish the same in Flow I wanted to know if this is necessary at all. During the testing of MS Flow it seemed to me that the approver is never required to directly interact with the list item.

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The short answer is NO. Microsoft flow approvers do not need edit permission to the list item thriggering the flow. The approval is done in the email and most likely, they do not need to view the item before approving. If as part of the approval they need to view the item before approving it, you will want to make sure they have at least Read access to the item.

However, the user account that created the flow will need edit permission to the list item.

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