SharePoint Workflow Retirement

So the trending topic for SharePoint Community is that Microsoft SharePoint Designer based workflows are going to be retired in this year. And what will be impact for the customers who are heavily dependent on SharePoint Workflows and what are the alternatives.

All this started when Microsoft announced that they are going to retire the SharePoint 2010 workflow in this year, from 2020, 1st August. All the company who depend on SharePoint workflow for their business application started to be panicking, as Microsoft has another announcement on SharePoint 2013 workflow too. So what is the actual scenario here we have to understand before planning to something in this situation.

So the question is which version of SharePoint you are using?

If the answer is SharePoint On-premises (2016 or 2019), then you don’t have to be worried right now as you have enough time till 2026. But if you are using SharePoint Online, then this bad news is for you. From 1st November, 2020 Microsoft will starting to remove the remove the ability to run or create SharePoint 2010 workflows from existing tenants. SharePoint 2013 workflows will be turned off by default for new tenants. From 1st August, 2020 SharePoint 2010 workflows will be turned off for the new tenants.

Here is a visual content for understanding the SharePoint 2010 and 2013 workflow end of life in a nutshell:

Fig: Microsoft SharePoint Designer Base Workflow’s retirement timeline


So the immediate impact is on SharePoint 2010 workflows and on the following built-in workflows:

  • Approvals
  • Collect Feedback
  • Collect Signatures
  • Classic pages publishing Approval
  • Three-state

And for existing tenants SharePoint 2013 workflows are going to be remain supported. So you can relax if you have only SharePoint 2013 workflows. But for the new tenant that is not an option. As starting from this November, the new tenants won’t get the SharePoint 2013. But there is a catch as you can request Microsoft to provide a Power-Shell script which will let you activate the SharePoint 2013-based workflow engine for new environments.


Regarding this deprecation and retirement, the community has created a User Voice hoping that the dates will be delayed which will provide more time to complete the migration. It’s true that the clients were not properly warned about the Workflows retirement. And there are SPO tenants with thousands SharePoint 2010 Workflows running with no direct path of quick replacement. As all Workflow 2010 can’t be replaced with Workflow 2013 engine or Power Automate because of features differences.

But at the end, it is going to happen and if you are using SharePoint 20210 workflow and SharePoint Online tenant, you have to migrate eventually. So let’s start planning for migrating your 2010 workflows in MS Flow (power Automation) or SharePoint 2013 workflow.


Announcement on Workflow Retirement:
MS Support Update:
Migration Guidance:

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