We have an issue with a list that has some custom workflows we have created in SharePoint Designer.

Each list item has 3 workflows attached to them, but the workflows just seem to sit at a ‘Starting’. If you terminate the workflow it seems to kick it next time the timer service runs and then its ok. Its just when item is created automatically its not working. Any ideas what I should be looking for?

2 Answers 2


If you recently applied the CU updatd to Sharepoint it may be your problem. See http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/da-DK/sharepointadminprevious/thread/5a6e6e83-b59f-4099-a86f-a07723ff2b98

  • I saw this before, we're not running that update. I think i'm going to try and programatily re-set the status's of the outstanding jobs and see if they kick back into life
    – beakersoft
    Feb 11, 2013 at 16:43

SharePoint Designer workflows run as System Account but with their permissions trimmed down to impersonate those of the user that initiated the workflow.

We faced a similar issue to yours in our SharePoint environment and identified that it was due to workflows being fired automatically by System Account. To get around this, we created an administrative account in our environment called 'DOMAIN\SP_Workflow' and opened/re-saved/published the failing workflows while logged in under this new account. After making this change, the previously failing workflows started as expected.

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