Is there any way to edit the body of an email sent by SharePoint's out-of-the-box Approval Workflow?

I'd really like to add some additional information to the emails. Changing the formatting would be nice too, but not critical.

I've found a bunch of stuff on how to edit the templates used for email alerts, but these don't seem to affect the emails sent out by the Approval Workflow.

I'm not using the designer here... writing some actual code for all this (needed due to other requirements). Also, I can't just use a custom approval workflow, it needs to be the built in Approval Workflow.

Any help would be much appreciated!

--- Edit ---

Still looking for a solution to this. I have yet to find anything that actually meets my needs. I need to edit content of emails from a specific Approval Workflow that is associated with a specific list in my SharePoint site. Any tips or ideas are greatly welcome!

--- Edit ---

The proposed solution of modifying the Alert templates does not affect emails sent by the out of the box Approval Workflow. Still trying to figure this one out and losing hope.

2 Answers 2


You can edit the alerttemplates.xml file to change the style of emails sent by the Alerts system (which handles the Approval workflow emails).


  • I've seen that mentioned in a couple forums, but it's usually followed up by someone posting that it doesn't affect emails from Workflows. Maybe they meant custom workflows. I'll give this a shot. Thanks.
    – Chaulky
    Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 13:45
  • I've looked into this more and this is not what I need. I need to not only change the style, but also the content of the emails. Also, I only want to change the emails from a specific workflow, not all alert emails.
    – Chaulky
    Commented Sep 9, 2010 at 15:25
  • As i suspected, this does not affect emails sent by the built in Approval Workflow.
    – Chaulky
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 17:29
  • 1
    Ah, I was on the understanding that the approval workflow just sends an email on Task Changed for that particular workflow's Task List, when a List Item is requiring approval. My apologies.
    – James Love
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 20:11
  • No worries. SharePoint is quite the oddity...
    – Chaulky
    Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 14:01

Build a custom approval workflow. Here is a non code solution built in SharePoint Designer


  • I wish it was that easy! Unfortunately there are client requirements that require me to use the built in Approval Workflow. +1 for a good link though.
    – Chaulky
    Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 15:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.