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Disable automatic cleanup of workflow history (SharePoint Server 2007)

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

This Office product will reach end of support on October 10, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see , Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

A workflow is comprised of a sequence of events such as workflow initiation, task creation, and task completion. When you add a workflow, you specify a task list and history list that workflow instances of that workflow association will use to track the events for the workflow. The task list contains the items that users interact with and enter data into while interacting with the workflow. The workflow history contains key information about each event including date, status, participant, and description.

By default, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 runs a daily Workflow Auto Cleanup job to permanently delete workflow instances and related task entries that still exist 60 days after a workflow is completed or cancelled. Workflow history items themselves are not deleted, but the entry point to view them on the status page for a particular instance will no longer be available. You can disable the Workflow Auto Cleanup job if you want to keep workflow data available for a longer period. However, as with any SharePoint list, as the workflow history and task lists grow in size, site performance may be compromised. If you are concerned about the size of these lists, keep the Workflow Auto Cleanup job enabled. Whether or not you keep the Workflow Auto Cleanup job enabled, you can create a separate history and task list for each workflow association to distribute items across lists.


Workflow history is not intended to be used as a means of auditing workflow events and is not necessarily secure. Office SharePoint Server 2007 maintains an audit log of workflow events, but does not provide a predefined auditing report. You can develop a custom auditing report in Visual Studio by using the audit log and the SPAuditEntry class. For more information, see SPAuditEntry Class (Microsoft.SharePoint) (


You must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group to perform this procedure.

To disable automatic workflow cleanup

  1. From Central Administration, click the Operations tab on the top navigation bar.

  2. On the Operations page, in the Global Configuration section, click Timer job definitions.

  3. On the Timer Job Definitions page, click Workflow Auto Cleanup to edit the appropriate timer job.

  4. On the Edit Timer Job page, click Disable and then click OK to disable the Workflow Auto Cleanup feature.


If you later decide that you want to enable automatic workflow cleanup, access this page again and click Enable to enable automatic workflow cleanup.