Approval Flow - Approval Status - why can't this be updated?

Steel Contributor
I am hoping i am missing something! Just looking at moving approval workflows from SharePoint workflows to Microsoft Flow. From what i have read the flow cannot update the standard 'Approval Status' field in a library. Is this right? Does this mean that when the Approver receives a lovely email with Approve | Reject call to actions, that when they select either, this cannot reflect in the 'Approval Status' field? This would mean an Approver would have to approve/reject the document from the library?
27 Replies

that is not the case, here is an example of a library I just created using a tutorial from edX and it has the workflow status. it was correctly updated by clicking on the button/link in an email message



Tanya, you can absolutely update the approval status field.
OK, thanks i will give it another go.

let me know if you need any help

Any help would be appreciated folks. All examples of flow approvals i have found relate to Lists, not Documents. @DeanGross, thanks for reminding me of the edX resource, i had forgotten about that. However the example you have given is a list and as far as i can tell your Status field is a hand crafted field with options?!?. I am referring to a document library with Approval turned on, which obviously then automatically produces the [Approval Status] field. This [Approval Status] field is the one i cannot change in a flow, and as far as others have posted, as of yet you cannot update the [Approval Status] with a flow. Hope someone can point me in the right directions.

I have the same problem. The approval flow is not very useful it it does not update Approval status and thus makes the document avaliable to users :( Solutions?

I have exactly the same problem, this seems like a small glitch that hopefully Microsoft can solve ASAP because i have clients waiting to use this process for their ISO 9001 compliance.

This has been an issue for 2 years or more. Unfortunately the "the start approval  when new item is added" is useless.  

Having the same issue.  Also using library for ISO compliance.  I cannot read the value in the Approval Status either which makes it much harder to send emails.  Can someone from MS reply to when this basic functionality may be available in Flow?


Any updates on this issue?

Having the same issue, document library with "Required approval" turned on and major and Minor versions.
I need ONLY when a user Publish the document as Major approval that the flow will update the approval status accordingly.


Hi all,


I'm dealing with the same. Is there any update regarding this issue?




As far as i am aware Flow does work with standard Approval but not in the same way as SharePoint Workflows in other words like for like does not seem to work. We use minor major versioning with approvals and I cannot see a way of replicating Approvals with Flow. If anyone out there has clear instructions on how to achieve this, then I would be eternally grateful for them.

I would recommend asking this question over in the "main" Flow Community at that is where the product team and many Flow MVPs participate.


The fact that there are 2 communities is beyond annoying (:

Flow has a "Set Content Approval Status" which is responsible on the approve or reject "Approval Status" 
the trick is to get the approval status of the Pending, this can be achieved only with API call, as for now FLOW doesn't have  a built in function to do it.

HI Tanya, thank you for reply. If I find a solution, I'll let you knwo. Let me know also if you have any news on this. Thx.
Thx, I was not aware of the other group. I've posted there also.



So how can we now if the document is approved or rejected? Only by the email response?

I am super excited! Finally, this now works. I can now set up a flow to use the standard 'document' Content Approval. Well done Team Flow!

Hi there @Tanya Denton...can you provide in some detail how you got this to work?  I've been pulling my hair out trying to get the Approval Status flag to change depending on the response sent out from the Flow approval e-mail, and I can't seem to get it to work.  I am using the 'Set content approval status' that @Michal Golan mentioned, but it doesn't seem to work.


What am I doing wrong?!?! :)