I'm trying to find a way to have the 'Open this task' button in Outlook when a task notification from a SharePoint 2013 Workflow is sent to a user.

We have been working on upgrading our SharePoint 2010 installation to 2013. Most of our sites are easily converted, but we have one business critical workflow that is keeping us from finishing the upgrade. This workflow is a simple approval process which assigns tasks to users in sequence. If all users approve, it sends an email into our ticketing service so we can apply the change requested. I am trying to duplicate this functionality using a 2013 workflow and the Task Process action.

However, whenever the task is sent out to the users, the 'Open this task' button in Outlook does not appear. I've done some digging, and I believe it is tied to the Content-Class header of the task alert email. From SharePoint 2010, the header is MSWorkflowTasks, where from 2013 it is IPM.Note.Microsoft.Workflow.2013. No other headers are significantly different between the two emails.

Is there a way I can change the headers of those emails sent from 2013 to MSWorkflowTasks, or am I going about this the wrong way? Having this button is fairly important in our process, as it does allow us to (at least slightly) obfuscate the workflow process from the users, and the users have grown dependant on it.

  • 1
    That doesn't seem too hard or lengthy to replicate. Is there a reason why you haven't tried to start from scratch? Is this a VS or SPD workflow? BTW I'm going to ruin your 1 rep, 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze badge.
    – Mike
    Nov 19, 2013 at 16:42
  • I've made several workflows trying to get this to work correctly, but have yet to succeed. I'm down to just using a filler template ("Test", nonsense figures, etc) until I get this figured out. I'm using SharePoint Designer to generate the workflow. I think VS would be too powerful for what I need, considering SPD gives me everything I need to accomplish the original objective.
    – kingofzeal
    Nov 19, 2013 at 16:49
  • Are you giving the users the right permissions? There is a permission level that allows user to be able to connect externally to lists, and this permission level may be the cause. Otherwise, try to recreate a simple approval workflow with full permissions to see what the workflow task looks like in Outlook. What version of Outlook are you using?
    – Mike
    Dec 5, 2013 at 18:34
  • When I do my testing, I use a site that I have full control over. I have not yet checked what the task looks like under a user that does not have full control. We are using Outlook 2013, but we can see the task button with tasks from SP 2010. The only difference I can see is the SP version and the email headers.
    – kingofzeal
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:06
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    We have not been able to find a solution to this yet. Our current solution is setting up the workflow email to have embedded links to the approve/decline/reassign functions (works but not pretty). However, we would still like to have the 'Open this task' button if it would be possible to do so.
    – kingofzeal
    Jan 13, 2014 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


I faced a similar problem here, the only way to solve it was to re install a new environment with default values (out of the box) and migrate the old contents to the new servers. It seems like the old farm had a defective service (we never detected the error until today). Remember that deploying a complete farm only with scripts must be done carefully and the minimun privilege policy for accounts can be a headache.

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