I have a simple SharePoint 2013 Workflow which copies a template document from one document library to another in order to update it.

If I start the workflow and navigate to the destination library, it can take around 15 to 20 seconds before the document appears. The document is a 2 page docx, no more that 40kb in size.

This seems incredibly slow to me, and will cause problems when this system goes to production and the workflow gets run in quick (probably overlapping) succession.

Is this everyone's experience? Can it be mitigated?


If you want instant updates, I don't think workflows is the way to go.

This is due to the fact that a workflow is driven by timer jobs that only executes in a given interval. Here is an extensive walk through of workflows and their architecture.

Depending on your real objective, maybe you can live with this (quite small) delays. Otherwise think if Custom Actions or an Event Receiver can be used to accomplish your goal.

  • Thanks Robert. It seems like I may have to go back to event receivers for this, as workflows just don't seem robust enough. I could have 10 users trying to use this at the same time and the workflows would be suspending all over the place. Added to the fact that you don't seem to be able to create items in document libraries with workflows in SPO! Thanks for the link to that excellent article. Duly added to favourites! – Adeybaby Jul 9 '13 at 21:02
  • @ Robert Lindgren The link you provided was broken. can you please update if you have updated link – TARUN May 26 '17 at 9:53
  • @TARUN, found a new link, from Technet Blogs. Updated the answer – Robert Lindgren May 26 '17 at 14:52

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