SharePoint Content Approval and Email Alerts

Iron Contributor



I need some ideas or suggestions around email alerts that related to the out of the box approval for a document library. The goal was to use email alerts as it lets people opt in if they want to be notified for this sort of thing. I know that email alerts can point to filtered views that use supporting columns such as "choice" columns. The issue I found is that when the "Approval Status" column is used in a filter the view is not supported for email alerts. Smiley Sad


(on prem SharePoint Server 2013)

Library Settings:

Version history: ON

Approval: ON

Choice column called "Team" that has team names. for this example I'll just use (Team 1, Team 2) to keep it simple.


View Settings (Attempt 1, by team)

Filter Column: Team

Is Equal to

Team 1


Library ribbon > Email Alert > subscribe to email alert for this library > (Filtered view appears under this section) Smiley Happy



Testing the other column

View Settings (Attempt 2, by approval status)

Filter Column: Approval Status

Is Equal to



 Library ribbon > Email Alert > subscribe to email alert for this library > (Filtered view does not appear) Smiley Sad



I tried various workflows that would simulate this but I found that any document edits or columns updated by the workflow changes the Approval Status column back to its "draft" or "pending" state when the item or document is modified. I also struggled with the logic and look-ups to relate different teams and the users they want in a separate list. I wanted to make something that is re-usable and gives each team the flexibility to have approver's choose to sign up for this sort of thing on their own.


Let me know if you have any ideas around this sort of thing, I probably just need to disable the built in approval and create a simple choice column to handle it manually as that will allow me to leverage email alerts as expected.


By the way I also noticed that the Approval Status field has special data values that could also relate to this issue, views can be filtered by the number or name as well. (kinda cool) Smiley Wink



4 Replies

@Chris Gullicksen 


If an user wants to receive an alert when the Approval Status field of an item is changed, he should create an alert with the "change type" is "all changes" and the "send alerts for these changes" is "anything changes".  

This is great, except that we get an alert when the page is OPENED for editing and every time "Save as Draft" is clicked (leading to lots of unwanted alerts and confusion).

We'd like to be notified only when the page is ready to be approved (by clicking Publish).

Anyone have thoughts on how to do this?
@Chris Gullicksen
Views filtering system generated columns (like Approval Status) and Calculated columns will not appear in the Alert me page. This is by design.

I will recommend to try Power Automate for alerting. I haven't tried but here is a thought - Set another column using Flow when approval status is set. Use that other column to filter and for alert settings.

Thanks. We've been using PA, and it's not helping. The problem seems to be caused by the approval status changing the second we open the page to edit it which triggers the alert.