SharePoint Workflow 2010 always return “Canceled” as status

Copper Contributor

In my SharePoint Online site I have created a SharePoint 2010 Workflow that starts when items are created.

I've a list, where users insert new items, then a Workflow creates a Word document and saves it in another document libray. The Word template is set as model for the document library.

Users are in a specific SharePoint group called "Sales".

So this is my scenario with permission level of the "Sales" group:


-- LIST: DATA (Contribute)


-- LIST: TASKS (Contribute)

-- LIST: WORKFLOW HISTORY (Contribute, also tried with Full Control)

Every time an users add an item in the "Data" list, the Workflow that is starting automatically returns "Canceled" as status.

If I check the details I can see "Access Denied" and a message asking to check for user permissions.

In my Workflow I've also set to save some messages during the execution, but in details page of the workflow I don't have these messages, just the error above.

My user, that is a Site Collection Administrator with Full Control on the site, can run the workflow without problem.

Any idea?

4 Replies

Hi Stefano,


Is your workflow a site workflow or a list workflow?  If it is a site workflow, then the Sales group would need to have Contribute permissions at the site level rather than just the individual lists.


The other thing to check would be if your workflow enumerates a SharePoint group for any reason, make sure the group is set to allow anyone to see the group membership.  Can't tell you how many times I've forgotten that one!

Hi Adrienne!

Thank you for your reply.


I'm using a list workflow. There is an impersonation step at the end of the workflow (after the document creation) where the workflow set permissions to the newly created item in the "Data" list.


I'll try to remove this step, if it can be the cause of the problem. 


I'll keep you updated.

I've deleted the impersonation step, but workflow still returns "Canceled".


I've tried to give "Full control" to the "Sales" users group also on the top-level site and to the specific subsite where I create the document with the workflow. Workflow still returns "Canceled".


I've really no idea how it is possible.

Some things that I've learned to do over the years when I get stuck with an issue like this is to use the write to log file action after each step in the workflow, even if it is just to write something like "step [whatever] completed".  This allows you to narrow down at least how far the workflow gets before it fails.  I'd say also check the ULS logs, but that's a little hard to do in SharePoint Online!  :(


The other thing to consider is trying to replicate the workflow using SharePoint 2013 instead of SharePoint 2010.  I know there are some serious design changes between the two, it may not be possible to duplicate it exactly - but that would be one of the things I would try if it were me, just to further eliminate that as a problem.