I have created a very basic workflow in SPD 2007 - for testing, I've narrowed it down to 1 step: "if 1 equals 1, send an email to myself". Also tried having it just update a field on that list item. Very simple! I then save it, but when I go to a list item to run the workflow manually, I get an Access Denied error, currently signed in as myself.

This is weird because the account that access is denied is:

  1. site collection admin
  2. member of owners group
  3. the account that created and saved the workflow.

I am completely stumped! All ideas are welcome.

Thank you!!

EDIT: To give you an idea of the weirdness: I click on "start workflow", I get "access denied" with my account shown. I then click "request access", then I get an email (since I am admin) saying that I requested access. I then click the link in the email to grant (myself) access, and I'm brought to the member's group add user page with my account under 'add'. I can then click submit and 'add' myself to members group. repeat to infinity. ridiculous, yes.

  • I don't have a specific answer to help you but MS has a troubleshooting guide that might be useful: office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-designer-help/…
    – Alex Angas
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 2:36
  • I'm currently experiencing the same problem. Hope you could share the solution to this. Thanks!
    – user8177
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 15:14
  • I have the same issue with some of my workflows. In my case I have also selected "User can edit their own Items" But in this case I am sure that the users are using / editing their own items only. No one else can see any others data. This is happening intermittently. not every time. Kaushik
    – user8248
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 14:32
  • Did you ever find an answer to this question? I have the EXACT same issue (I am a site collection administrator). Get an access denied error when I try to manually start a workflow. Also, if I try to set the workflow (in SPD 2007) to run when an item is created I get a message in SPD to say I don't have permission...
    – user24649
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


Check the permissions within the library for the items. I would specifically check to see if you have set it so that no one can edit another user's list items. "Only their own" is the terminology, I think that was used. This could affect the ability of the workflow to run. The way SPD 2007 workflows run is under the context of the user who initiated the workflows. So if you are initiating these workflows and someone else has created the items, but the ability to edit other users' entries has been limited, this could affect the ability of the workflow to run. There may be other things in play, but this is the first thing I would check.

  • thanks for the suggestion. I checked, and 'all items' is selected over 'only their own'. Also, this entire test site, all list, libraries , everything here has been created only by me, and I am the admin.
    – jbv
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 18:32

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