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Activate or deactivate a workflow (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

An administrator can check the status of a feature that contains a workflow template and then activate or deactivate the feature to meet business requirements.

By default, many of the predefined workflows that Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 includes as features are active when you create a site or site collection. Additionally, custom workflows that you create by using Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 or Visual Studio 2010 and deploy by using the one-click publishing method are automatically activated to the sites in which they are deployed. Because the features that contain workflow templates, such as the predefined workflows, can be deactivated, you can check the site or site collection to determine whether the feature that contains the workflow template that you want to use is active. Use the following procedures to determine whether the workflow that you want to use is active, and then activate the workflow as necessary.


Only activated workflows can be associated with a list, library, content type, or site.

Activate a workflow for a site collection

Use the following procedure to determine whether the feature for the workflow that you want to use is active so that you can activate it as necessary.


Workflows that are activated at the level of a site collection are available to all sites in the site collection.

To activate a workflow for a site collection

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be a member of the site collection administrators group on the site collection that you are configuring.
  2. On the top level of the site collection, on the Site Actions menu, click Site Settings.

  3. On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Site collection features.

  4. On the Features page, click Activate next to the workflow feature that you want to activate.

    The Status column displays “Active” to indicate that the feature is now active.


If you later decide that you want to deactivate a workflow feature, open the Site Features page again, click Deactivate next to the workflow feature that you want deactivate, and then click Deactivate this feature.