Sharepoint 2013 Workflow loses Content Type RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've tried several times now and this keeps happening.

    I create a 2013 workflow.  I start by using File > Reusable Workflow > 2013 Workflow (and choose my content type).

    This gets the workflow started and working and I'm able to see the additional metadata I've added. 

    Then at some odd time, the workflow will lose the association while I'm creating the workflow.  Then I end up with "Current Item:" and I can't reset anything.

    David Jenkins

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015 2:39 PM

All replies

  • Please... Is anyone else even using 2013 workflows with SharePoint Designer?  I feel like there is very little real world uses of 2013 workflows where users show the issues and how and why. 

    Should I give up on using SharePoint Designer?  Is it a bad product?  Are there upgrades I'm missing?  I've searched for weeks now to resolve this.

    David Jenkins

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:37 PM
  • Hi David,

    The content type association for reusable workflow has been removed for SharePoint 2013  workflow platform.You can see the statement in

    Unlike previous versions, SharePoint 2013 does not support workflows that are scoped to a content type (SPContentType).

    For a workround, you can create  reusable workflow and associate it with a content type using SharePoint 2010 workflow.


    Best Regards,


    TechNet Community Support
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:41 PM
  • Thanks for this.  I've read both of these.

    Notice at the bottom of the first link you sent.


    In SPD 2013, using the File New Workflow and picking your content type with a 2013 workflow, it works! you have to take care of then using client side scripts to find and update and automagically update the WF definition, and Subscriptions and Associations yourself but it works. SPD won't help you but you can do it despite what MSDN says and not only that, the MSDN says "but it can if you do it yourself". Create an APP with the new WF and on the installed event perform your housekeeping. We have ran into no errors so far and the object model can't deprecate subscriptions so its safe. There might be nicer ways to achieve the intent but it solves the above first sentence?


    I was using the "File > New" thing mentioned.
    I have no clue what he means by using Client Side Scripts to find and Update.

    I have to ask how anyone can go about making any workflows if they can't use content types.  I just need examples.  I kind of imagine the JSON stuff.  It just seems unfamiliar of a process.

    David Jenkins

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 3:47 PM
  • David,

    Yah, I too drove myself crazy for 1/2 a day figuring out that Designer 2013 dropped CT support; anyway, Kalmstrom has a really solid video on how to create a document template that is a content type - and it looks like you are on the right track, that File>New document would be based on that doc template/content type, and then you would associate your workflow with the list where those new docs get created.

    You might be able to do what you want with Reusable WFs, but I found them limited, and went with List Workflows.

    Oh, when you are working on the new docs (or your users are), make sure the doc gets saved AND closed, or the workflow will hang until it's closed.  The error the WF throws on that hang is just about useless.


    Thursday, April 30, 2015 4:51 PM
  • Yeah that's a 2010 Video.  Unless the interface isn't updated.

    I was trying reusable workflows because I didn't want to have to recreate the same workflow repeatedly.

    David Jenkins

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 5:43 PM
  • People mention using 2010 workflows and 2013 workflows together.  I keep trying that but don't really understand what it's good for.  I don't seem to be able to do what I want.

    David Jenkins

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 5:47 PM
  • Yah, I think it is a 2010 video, but the process definitely works for SharePoint 2013 CTs/templates and Designer 2013 workflows, I've used it repeatedly.
    Thursday, April 30, 2015 5:50 PM
  • I'm guessing as along as you create workflows directly against a list you're good to go.  I need to be able to use the same workflow on many lists. 

    David Jenkins

    Thursday, April 30, 2015 5:51 PM
  • David,

    That's correct.  As far as re-usability, that would be territory that I gave up on, reusable workflows didn't seem to offer the flexibility I wanted, but someone on this list may be able to offer some guidance.


    Thursday, April 30, 2015 5:54 PM
  • This really is very poor show on the part of Microsoft to remove support for workflows assigned to content-types in Sharepoint 2013.  Right now, I am running into more and more problems with this short sighted decision.  Yes the workaround is to use a SP 2010 workflow, but if you need 2013 version specific features like HTTP requests and loops then you have no choice.  Very very bad decision Microsoft.
    Tuesday, April 18, 2017 3:52 PM
  • I ended up getting around all of this by using REST queries in the workflows. It's a learning curve but once you get the hang of it it's okay.

    David Jenkins

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017 3:56 PM
  • I know this is an old thread, but in case someone else stumbles across this, SPD13 does in fact allow you to associate a CT with a SP13 WF.

    If you try to add via the Ribbon, under workflows, the CT selection will be grayed out. Not sure why, because the way around this is to simply click on the "File" tab in SPD, then click create "Reusable Workflow" under the Workflow section, and on the right panel it will let you choose a CT.

    Worked great for me. Here is the TechNet article that will give you step-by-step screenshots.

    Monday, May 22, 2017 6:22 PM
  • This would have been nice to know about 2 years ago. 

    David Jenkins

    Monday, May 22, 2017 7:13 PM
  • Actually, I don't think this works. I tried it and it looks to associate it with the content type but if I close and open SP designer it switch to All content type again. Very frustrating.
    Tuesday, June 13, 2017 6:38 PM
  • So it does this for you to?  It's been such a long time I thought maybe they'd fix it.  I unmarked the answer.

    David Jenkins

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017 6:39 PM
  • Hello All,

    I know it's very old, but when I tried this yesterday. am also facing the same problem. when I created yesterday it worked. then today when I tried to check same it lost the connection to the content type and showed as "Current Item:"

    is this still 2013 not supporting the content type reusable workflows? do we need to create in 2010 platform only?

    Any help is much appreciated!


    Tuesday, May 21, 2019 9:15 AM