I just migrated a Sharepoint subsite to its own site collection. The site has Sharepoint designer workflows that send emails in certain conditions. In the new site collection, none of my designer workflows will send emails. They always fail with the message

"The e-mail message cannot be sent. Make sure the e-mail has a valid recipient".

Any idea what might be causing this? I even created a new workflow directly for the new site collection with only one email action and it also fails with the same error.

Also, in the workflow email action dialog, when selecting the email recipient, the list box of available recipients shows a very small list of people and groups. What drives this list? In the old subsite, this list was very large, containing all users in my company.

Edit: Not sure if this is a clue or not, but in the old subsite, site permissions, there is an account listed here called "System Account (SHAREPOINT\system)" with limited access. This is the only difference I can find between the two sites. I tried to add this account to the new site, but sharepoint can't find that user.

2 Answers 2


Check your outgoing email settings. They may not be configured. Steps Go to Central Admin --> System Settings --> Email and Text Messages--> Configure Outgoing Email settings--> check From Address and Reply to Address fields. (They should not be empty).They should have your service account email id like [email protected]

  • Thanks it was worth a try, but I did verify that the email settings are configured. As I mentioned above, the workflows email without issue from one site, and its parent site collection, but not from the new site collection.
    – dave823
    Feb 15, 2013 at 20:52

It turns out the problem was that the site users of the new site collection did not have any email addresses. When we create a new site collection, we have to run a powershell script which updates all of the email addresses, pulling from active directory. After running the script, all is well!

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.