I'm using SharePoint Designer 2010 with a List workflow and I'm receiving the following error.

Description: "The workflow could not update the item, possibly because one or more columns for the item require a different type of information."

Outcome: "Unknown Error"

In order to determine which line exactly was causing this issue, I added logs in different places, including the first line. However, the workflow doesn't even attempt to start, or at least the first comment does not appear in the WF history.

I then added a "Pause for 1 min" at the beginning and this appears in the history log, but then the same error is shown.

Any ideas what can I do in order to determine the cause of this error?

  • Did you check the ULS log? Nov 28, 2013 at 13:05
  • I did. There's not much more information other than the description :(
    – Gonzalo
    Nov 28, 2013 at 13:29

3 Answers 3


I was finally able to fix it. It was indeed an error when trying to populate a column. More precisely, a SharePoint group has been renamed. But the main problem was I wasn't able to find exactly where the problem was as the workflow history wasn't working. What I had to do in order to make this work, was to Pause the workflow after every Log. Once I added this, then the logs began to appear in the workflow history. Hope this helps someone!


Some columns might received data of different data type than the expected one.

Example: Number type column receiving a text and this will create an error.

You must search for the different column...

maybe your workflow has modified any data type, check this too.


My issues appears to be related to item-level permissions that our workflow applies. When using the Replace List Item Permissions Action you need to use an Impersonation Step that runs as the workflow author/last modified user.

However, despite being a Site Collection Administrator, this didn't seem sufficient. Instead I added myself to an Owners group that is given explicit permission to the list item and it appears to work now.

This is a partial record from the ULS log:

SharePoint Foundation           Legacy Workflow Infrastructure  72fe    High        Error in commiting pending workflow batch items: System.UnauthorizedAccessException: <nativehr>0x80070005</nativehr><nativestack></nativestack>     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPGlobal.HandleUnauthorizedAccessException(UnauthorizedAccessException ex) 

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