There is an existing Custom List workflow on our SharePoint 2010 Enterprise site that I can't figure out how to edit. My main goal is actually to export this workflow to be able to port it to another Site's List, but when I try to edit it, there seems to be no option to do so. Here's what it looks like in SP Designer:

enter image description here

If I click on that, it just takes me to the workflow settings in a browser

How do I edit it in SharePoint Designer? I have looked in "All Files", the List Settings->Workflow Settings, and even the Site Workflows (not there). I have also checked permissions and I am the Site Collection administrator with Full Control on this Site and the List that this workflow is on. Could this be just a renaming of a default workflow and I would need to go off of that?

  • Apologies that this is an 'answer' not a 'comment', but I've only just joined and am not yet allowed to comment! Did you ever find out what happened in your situation? The same thing's just happened to me and I'm freaking out a bit..! Thanks, Laura
    – user21535
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:31
  • Yes, so I think what happened in my case is that all the options of the workflow were there the whole time. I just needed to go to the workflow options in the browser (not Designer) and everything was configurable from there (I think I had to click "next" or something to see the detailed options).
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 19:06

6 Answers 6


It seems that in your case RFC Request Workflow is Reusable workflow (or Globally reusable workflow).

(Globally) reusable workflows

Reusable workflows - portable, declarative workflows that can be used by different lists in SharePoint sites

Globally reusable workflows - the same as Reusable workflows but can be accessed within the Site Collection

How to customize reusable workflows

You can copy and modify (recommended) or edit reusable workflows as shown below on figure

enter image description here


  • Good suggestion, but unfortunately the only Globally Reusable workflows at the Site Collection level that show in Designer are 3 defaults: Approval, Collect Feedback, and Collect Signatures.
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 21:02
  • This would create a new workflow, not modify an existing one.
    – vapcguy
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 20:32

Go to All Files > Workflows Folder. Then select the workflow you want to work with. Right Click on the "xoml" file then select "Open With" > "SharePoint Designer (open as workflow)"

Once it's opened, published it again. Then it will show up again in the Workflow tab.

  • I have the same issue as the OP. The workflow I want to edit is not listed in the Workflows folder.
    – vapcguy
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 15:54
  • THANK YOU! This has been such a frustrating issue, but your work around was perfect.
    – JLZenor
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 19:56
  • FWIW - I think I have the same issue (with a workflow I designed yesterday in SPD), and, I can tell you what I think caused it: I changed the name of my list. Not just the visually displayed name, I went into Windows Explorer and changed the actual folder name so that the URL looked how I wanted. (I have not yet tried changing it back to see if that lets me edit my workflow)
    – bkwdesign
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 17:38

Create a new workflow. Save it. Close Designer. Reopen designer. Now open the list with your original workflow and choose to edit it.

  • That just allows you to edit a new workflow - not the original one that is already in use.
    – vapcguy
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 15:54

In my case, which was similar to yours, I had a "Next" button at the bottom of the Workflow Settings page. As it was based on a generic Approval WF, it just had generic properties after that to edit, such as who it was to route to, to be approved.


This is an old question but still exists on SharePoint Designer 2010. At least to me!

This ocurred to me:

  • I had a list with 2 workflows, lets name it "List A"
  • I copied List A to another site (using Sharegate*) and created "List B"
  • List B contained the 2 workflows (lets name them Workflow X and Y). So far, so good.
  • Updated a link on one of the workflows (Workflow X) on List B and published the updated workflow
  • When I tried to update the Workflow Y on List B, SharePoint Designer launched IE to the web browser based Workflow edit page (not good)
  • Then, I tried to update the Workflow X and now SharePoint Designer launched IE as with the other Workflow X (odd)
  • I leaved to lunch like 20 minutes and came back (note that I didn't closed SharePoint Designer nor anything else)
  • I tried to edit Workflow X and Y and now both opened on SharePoint Designer with no issues at all! Even more, both workflows appeared on 'All Files > Workflows'!

So the only issue was timing... Wait for SharePoint Designer to "settle down"?

My guess is that there was something going on with the SharePoint Designer Workflow assembly cache. Here a related link: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepointdesigner/archive/2007/03/27/tip-clearing-the-spd-workflow-assembly-cache.aspx


I faced the same issue this morning and used the old-fashioned method to retrieve all my workflows back. Just close the Designer and reopen it after few minutes, you will get all your workflows back. At least it worked for me.

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