I have a list and i have set it to use the require content approval. I created a workflow SP 2013 to send an email when

If Approval Status = "Pending"
 - Send Email 

When i run the workflow manually or when an item is created it doesn't send an email. But when i use SP 2010 designer workflow it works. Why is SP 2013 designer workflow isn't sending emails. Am i missing something with the content approval with SP 2013 designer?

Thanks in Advance

1 Answer 1


Is the user an external user?

If it is true, it's by default SharePoint Designer workflows creating using SharePoint 2013 Workflows will not sent emails to the external users (email addresses).


If it is false, please add a "Log to history list" action after send emails action to track the email sending status.

-----------------------------------------------------------Update-------------------------------------------------------------- Use flow to monitor the approval status then send emails:

enter image description here


If we enable content approval in the list, the default status syntax of the approval column is 2;#pending in designer workflow:

enter image description here

  • No Julie_MSFT.It isn't am external user. See screenshot of the workflow here ibb.co/z5MSGfD
    – naijacoder
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 9:55
  • its seems the OTB content approval doesn't work with sharepoint workflow 2013.Can you please test this and confirm this from your end?
    – naijacoder
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 11:04
  • Per my test SharePoint designer 2013 workflow sends email successfully.Please re-publish the 2013 workflow and test again, if the issue still exists, create a new list and check the result. If above ways not work for you, please use flow to meet your requirement, and I have updated my answer, please check it.
    – Julie_MSFT
    Commented Oct 2, 2020 at 7:25
  • Thanks.I wasn't considering using power automate, Also not sure the log to workflow history isn't working either.Can you please screenshoot what exactly your workflow looks like?
    – naijacoder
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 10:17
  • Also another issue is when i approve..and refresh the approval status changed back to pending :( Not sure why
    – naijacoder
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 10:19

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