Configuring approvals for lists and libraries


We are adding a new menu item under the Flow menu that will let customers configure the type of approvals they would like to use in their lists and libraries (Request sign-off, or Content approval), or turn approvals off altogether. 

We have added this feature based on the feedback that we received for the rollout of the Request sign-off feature, where some customers preferred to use the Content approval feature which changes the visibility of the current item based on the approval status, and there are fixed approvers for a given list or library, or other customers had other custom flows configured for their list or library, and did not want to have Request sign-off to become a source of confusion for their users.


To make changes, as site owner, you will be able click on Flow->Configure flows in the command bar of your list or library:ConfigureFlows.PNG




Then in the panel that appears, pick the approval method that you'd like, or turn approvals off altogether:ConfigureFlows2.PNG


The new configuration panel will become available for our Targeted Release customers in early September, and then go to the rest of our customers. We expect to complete the rollout by September 19.


Please continue to keep the feedback for our features coming, and tell us how we can make SharePoint work better for you.

11 Replies

this is great

What is the difference between Request Sign-Off and Content Approval?

Hi @Marc Laflamme


Request sign-off is a new lightweight open-ended approval process that requires no set up. We introduced this earlier this year for lists and libraries.


Content approval is an earlier feature that SharePoint had for a long time. It is more formal than Request sign-off in that the approvers can only be the people with approval permissions on the site. It also affects whether or not items/pages/files are visible to visitors of the site. It is commonly used for page approval scenarios.

Thanks. I found another document detailing page approvals that was rolled out a few months ago but have been unable to get it to work. The issue we're experiencing is that members have site edit which we want all edits to be approved by the owner. Thought this would satisfy the request but I'm not sure if it will.

I'm new to Flow and still trying to figure out how it all works, especially with SharePoint.

How does enabling Content Approval triggers the Flow provided for this? I have a custom Flow for approval and at the moment it triggers on every change of a document, and checks the approval status. Does this change with this new feature?? I see no effect what so ever by setting the new option..

The "Configure flows" option in the "Flow" drop down has disappeared. It was there when this was announced and we updated our training and support notes for our end users.


However, today we have noticed that this option has disappeared.


Can we ask what is going on?

Hi @Graham Sheeley, you are correct, we had to pull back the code that enabled this feature because we found that it was incorrectly changing some other library settings while setting the approval setting. We are working on a fix right now, and we hope it will be back at the beginning of November. 


We are sorry about this, we will do more extensive testing with the fix and roll it out, hopefully first week of November. 

Hi @Deleted, the new settings panel lets you pick between the Content Approval and Request sign-off features. Enabling Content Approval doesn't associate any flows for the library at this time. (We are working towards creating a template that you can use in the coming months). So setting Content Approval on, and associating a custom flow that you made that uses "set content approval status" action in it will work fine. We will later be adding a button to that panel that creates a flow for you that uses content approval, but for the moment, you have to create it yourself. 

@Kerem Yuceturk - Thanks for update and when it's coming back.


Just some feedback. It would have been helpful to have had this mentioned in the tenancies message center. Especially given that it was a live feature that had been removed. We will update our support notes and guidance to users, saying that its coming back in November - Thanks


Adding it to the message centre would have save both you and me time in searching, posting, reading and responding here. ;) 

Hi @Graham Sheeley, apologies about the delay here. The functionality has been restored. Please let us know if you have any issues accessing it.



You are completely correct that we should have managed this through the message center in the correct manner. We will strive to do better there in case of something unexpected like this comes up again. 

Any update on when the "content approval" flow will be working in a similar way to the request sign off workflow? As of Jan 2019 in my tenant , configure flow -> content approval does not follow through to a Flow configuration screen (like the "request sign off" one does)


In relation to "content approval" in the modern experience - I have it enabled on my library after having configure the flow, I note in the versioning settings == major only and the draft item security is that anyone with read permissions can read all items.. 

If the content approval status is "pending" , Does this enforce "draft item security" regardless of what is in the library settings? Does request sign-off flow enforce "draft item security" or again is this just setting a status flag/list column value?

the new OOTB Page approval workflow in SharePoint Online also uses Content Approval, major and minor(draft) versioning and sets the draft item security to "only people who can edit items" . This would be useful to have when the "content approval" flow is configure on a modern document library.