Introducing "Request sign-off" - an approval flow that requires no set up


We are happy to announce a new feature in SharePoint called "Request sign-off". The goal is to provide you an easy way to send an item for approval to someone else. This feature enables an open approval process that allows you to easily record whether or not a document or list item was approved or not. There is no setup required.


Request sign-off makes use of SharePoint's integration with Microsoft Flow. You can use it by selecting a file or list item (but not a folder), and then pulling down the Flow menu in the modern library or list UI, and selecting "Request sign-off". This flow will appear alongside any other custom flow that you or others may have added to the library.RequestSignOff Flow menu.png


Once it is invoked, Request sign-off will create a new text column in your library called "Sign-off status". This column will record the state of your request. It works just like any other text column, you can sort, filter or group by it to organize your library.



On invocation, this will tell you that it will send an approval request on your behalf, and ask your consent. Once this is provided, you can pick one or more approvers, and write a message to them for your approval request. If you add more than one approver, any one of them can approve your request:

The person you sent the approval to will receive an approval request.  This will be an actionable message on clients that support it (meaning you can approve it directly from within Outlook). The approver can also provide some comments along with their decision. There will also be a link included that lets the approver view the item in question:




The sign-off status column is then updated with the decision, and the person who sent the approval request will receive an email with the comments:






By saving you the trouble of setting up a flow and creating a new column to track status, we hope that this feature will make it easy to add a lightweight approval process to your libraries and lists.


We expect this feature to start rolling out to our customers in targeted release (previously called first release) after April 9. Barring any issues we will continue to roll it out to the rest of our customers in two phases late April and early May.



226 Replies
Good news. Can't wait to try it.

I have also the question whether admins have the possibility to disable the new approval flow, or how is the situation if users have no Flow license assigned? Will they start a Flow trial with the first use of "Request sign-off"? 

Question is will the ability to deploy flows to specific sites on the roadmap at all?

Would be good to share and allocate flows to specific sites.

Fantastic news! Can't wait to see this rolled out, great job guys! @eddierthomas

Excellent news. Can't wait to start using this feature for our simple approval workflows.

Hi Tanya,

‘Set Content Approval Status' action does work with Documents Libraries (at least it works for me at the moment :)) and it updates the ‘Approval Status’ accordingly if Content Approval is turned on for that specific library. You have to ‘Set Content Approval Status’ to Submit before you start an Approval and ‘Set Content Approval Status’ to Approved or Rejected based on the outcome for the Approval. Make sure you use the ETag property when setting approval status to either Approve or Rejected. I hope this helps.

@Deleted  Thank you so much for the info, I will give it another go as it would be great to move away from SharePoint Workflow's with tasks all over the place and centralize approvals into one view.

@Ovi Mocanu - I'd like to see how you're using it with major and minor versioning. I just created one within the last week and had to create a trigger column and am using just major versioning. Here's a reference page with the post and more details. Maybe you're using a trigger column and then using the workflow to set the Approval Status to "Submit" (for publishing)?

Hi @Tanya Denton, the Etag needs to be set for libraries (pages and other files) to succeed. It is a bug that we don't clearly state that, and the ETag is hidden under advanced settings. We will fix that soon. You can get the ETag using the Get file metadata action in Flow.


Feel free to send me a private message with the specifics of your flow if that doesn't work for you.

Hi @Jeremy Hancock, we are working on a model for being able to turn this flow off using the Flow admin center on a per library/list basis. I've also passed along the feedback about send by email to my colleagues who work on modern pages.

Hi @Abbie Hughes, this feature doesn't use content approval or restrict the visibility of items in a library. We find that most libraries (like group files) do not make use of read-only access or major/minor versions, so this is not optimized for those scenarios that our more savvy users make use of. 


I would recommend that you create a different flow of your own for tackling that scenario and use the set content approval status action in flow. I can follow up and help you set it up if you send me your details in a private message.

Thank you @John Wynne. That's a good idea. I will try to get that organized in the near future.

Hi @Stephanie Sachs, yes this would consume a run every time it is run. The column we add is a regular text column, it is as if you added a column to your library to record the status of an item.


I don't think we handle NonDeliveryReports. Do you mean when you send something for approval, and the person has left the company? That should be a rare occurrence because we use the people picker that should not include anyone that no longer has a mailbox.



Hi @Tobias Asböck, we will work on a management story for each library. @Philip Worrell, we are working on being able to share a flow with a site/library so that the owners of the library become owners of the flow, and members can run it. This is coming soon.


To be able to create a flow and add it to different libraries is also something we want to do, but we don't have a timeline for that yet. I'm hoping towards the end of this year.

Hello Jer,

I went over the reference page describing your Flow however my requirements are different in the sense that I use ‘For a selected item’ trigger for my Flow (e.g. only selected users can send documents for approval). Also, I’m not using a separate column to track Document Status, I’m only using Approval Status column which is updated accordingly to either Approved or Rejected by the second ‘Set content approval’ action (this action is executed after the ‘Start an approval’ action, in both branches of the condition where you check the Response for your approval). If you have major/minor versioning turned on for your document library the Approval Status column is updated accordingly (either Approved or Rejected upon successful execution of your Flow) and the version is updated to the next major version (published document).

On a total different note, great job to Kerem and Microsoft Flow team for this OOTB (aka. No-Setup :)) Flow. Keep up the great work!

Good feature. 

It may cater small flow of business process.

The document library fails to load, it comes up as a blank screen, I can see the library in other views I have created but can not upload files at all. Even the black O365 ribbon is blank .

ANy ideas


Good feature. 

It may cater small flow of business process.


 Would you please clarify what you are asking.  Where it shows the blank screen. 

I would request you to Post a question in new thread as this thread is for the new feature in flow.


Yes, sorry, I have started a new thread.
Hi @Kerem Yuceturk can you confirm Request Sign Off will be rolling out to Targeted Release from today? Thanks!