I am writing a powershell script to find out all the In-Progress workflow instances in a site collection. Usually, the suggested way to do this is to find associated workflows to a list and check the status of the association. This saves from having to iterate through all list items.

BUT! I was able to find cases where I was running OOTB workflows (Feedback) on some list items - and they were never detected by the script. My only guess is that not all workflow instances necessarily have workflow association with the list. Could anyone shed some light into this for me please?

My PS pseudo-script:

 # For each site in site collection  
 # Get all Lists  
 # For each list  
 if (list.WorkflowAssociations.Count != 0)  
 foreach (SPWorkflowAssociation workflowAssociation in list.WorkflowAssociations)  
  # Get active workflows  
  • Could these worklfows be against the content type rather than the list itself ?
    – Ian
    Apr 18, 2012 at 7:06

2 Answers 2


Check they're not content type workflows.


Reusable Workflows can be associated with:

  • List
  • Content Type
  • Content Type in list

so apart from $list.WorkflowAssociations you also needs to look at $list.ContentTypes | % {$_.WorkflowAssociations}


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