I'm having issues with a workflow that copies items from one document library to another after an approval process. The workflow starts automatically when an item is changed. It gets cancelled and I get an error message saying "The workflow could not copy the item. Make sure the source and destination lists have the same columns and column settings." with result Access Denied in the workflow history logs.

I also enabled the workflow to be started manually. I get no errors and it copies the item fine when I run the workflow manually.

What if the document is copied to destination library but attributes do not? I am facing this issue, can any one help.

  • Though error occurs, did you verified whether the item is copied or not? Because sometimes workflow may complete successfully and throws error like this in history logs.
    – Suren
    Apr 26, 2013 at 6:38
  • The item did not copy at all.
    – Jerome C
    Apr 29, 2013 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


in the workflow, the copy step may need to be an impersonation step to run as you. if its kicked off when item is changed, the copy will happen using the credentials of the person who made the change. that person may not have contribute permissions to the destination location.

If you know you have, and will continue to have, permissions to both locations, create the impersonation step to run as you.

Unfortunately, this will probably require that you recreate the workflow, or at least recreate the copy step manually, as workflow steps can't be copied/pasted.

  • I've temporarily elevated the privileges of the user changing the workflow but that did not work. I'm going to try the impersonation step. Thanks!
    – Jerome C
    Apr 29, 2013 at 14:05

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