Two ways to remove search results in SharePoint

In this post we will take a look at two different ways to remove search results in classic and modern SharePoint.

Introduction

There may be occasions in SharePoint where you are required to remove an item, or items from the search results. When we are talking about search results, we are referring to the items that are returned when a user initiates a search in SharePoint.

Search results in modern SharePoint.

Click on one of the buttons below to find out more about how you can remove search results in both classic and modern SharePoint:

This page is not using a valid page layout – how to fix

This post describes an issue when trying to view classic publishing pages in SharePoint Online and how to resolve.


The issue

After migrating publishing sites from SharePoint 2010 – SharePoint Online, I encountered an issue with classic SharePoint Server publishing pages. Post-migration, some publishing pages wouldn’t open and displayed this error message:

Fix publishing pages with custom page layouts created from template - HANDS  ON SharePoint
Now another issue with this was that quite often the publishing pages affected were the migrated sites’ homepage – rendering the whole site inoperable! Microsoft have an article on the issue here and state that the cause is that “The .aspx page is using an invalid page layout, or the current layout is corrupt”.

Resolution

The Microsoft documentation on how to resolve this is pretty good, but I found it didn’t quite get me to fix my issue. Here’s what I did:

  • Navigate to Site Content & Structure: /_layouts/sitemanager.aspx. NOTE: You need to be a SharePoint admin to access
  • Open the Pages library > find your broken page > click on the drop-down button and press edit page settings
  • Select the (Welcome Page) Blank Web Part Page layout
  • Press OK

When I had to do this for my broken pages, there was a warning message above the page layout that said “Current page layout is not valid. Please select a valid page layout from the drop down list below”. I just selected the (Welcome Page) Blank Web Part Page layout anyway, pressed OK and it worked.


The URL is invalid. It may refer to a nonexistent file or folder, or refer to a valid file or folder that is not in the current Web – how to fix

In this post we describe an issue observed within a SharePoint 2010 environment where files could not be uploaded or edited and users received a “nonexistent file or folder” message, plus explain how to resolve.

The problem

Reports started coming in from users that when they tried to upload files or edit properties within a single site collection they received the following error message:

The URL is invalid. It may refer to a nonexistent file or folder, or refer to a valid file or folder that is not in the current Web.

Over the course of a couple of days, the changed and instead of seeing the above error the window would just hang when uploading files/ editing properties and users would see a “processing” message:

Processing message appears and does nothing when users upload files/ edit properties.

In this example, there is one, very large document library that was most affected by this issue within the site collection. So the first thing I did was take a look at the files with no checked in version within the document library settings.

I found that there was close to 1000 files with no checked in version. When trying to open the checked out files page it took an age until finally opening. I was unable to take ownership of all of the files and check them in, but this didn’t make any difference to the issue.

We have set up nightly IIS resets on our web front end servers so overnight this took place in the hopes restarting the web services might help, but this also didn’t fix anything.

The solution

After the IIS reset, I began looking into the SQL server too see if space was the issue. Sure enough I found that one of the drives that hosted the content database related to the site collection in question had less than 10MB free space!

So for us the solution was a simple one, we increased the space on the full drive and the issue went away. Users are once again able to upload files/ edit properties within the site collection.

Other common suggested fixes to try

In writing this post, I researched many of the other suggested fixes for this issue – so here’s a list:


Useful SharePoint URLs

This post is to serve as a reference point for all the useful shortcut URLs in SharePoint that help admins and super users get their jobs done much easier.

There are several blog posts by others with these URLs in them, but I wanted to preserve them in my own blog for future generations! Most of these links have come from SharePoint 2010, so if you want them to work in differing versions just add a 14, 15 or 16 after the layouts folder to work in 2010, 2013, 2016 or SharePoint Online.

Frequently used

TitleURL
Remove nav bar, header & command bar ?env=WebView (after .aspx)
Remove nav bar & header?env=Embedded
Open list/ library in Microsoft Lists?env=WebViewList
Site contents/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx
/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx?view=14 (old style view)
Manage content & structure/_layouts/sitemanager.aspx
Audit log reports /_layouts/Reporting.aspx?Category=Auditing
Shared with us/Shared%20Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx?view=3

Users and permissions

TitleURL
People/_layouts/people.aspx
Groups/_layouts/groups.aspx
Site Collection Admins /_layouts/mngsiteadmin.aspx
Advanced Permissions /_layouts/user.aspx

Galleries

TitleURL
Site Columns/_layouts/mngfield.aspx
Site content types/_layouts/mngctype.aspx
Web parts/_catalogs/wp/Forms/AllItems.aspx
List templates/_catalogs/lt/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Master Pages/_layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Themes/_catalogs/theme/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Solutions/_catalogs/solutions/Forms/AllItems.aspx

Site administration

TitleURL
Regional settings/_layouts/regionalsetng.aspx
Content and structure/_Layouts/sitemanager.aspx?Source={WebUrl}_layouts/settings.aspx
Content and structure logs/_Layouts/SiteManager.aspx?lro=all
Site libraries and lists/_layouts/mcontent.aspx
User alerts/_layouts/sitesubs.aspx
RSS/_layouts/siterss.aspx
Search and offline availability/_layouts/srchvis.aspx
Sites and workspaces/_layouts/mngsubwebs.aspx
Workflows/_layouts/wrkmng.aspx
Workflow settings/_layouts/wrksetng.aspx
Related Links scope settings/_layouts/RelLinksScopeSettings.aspx
Content Organizer Settings/_layouts/DocumentRouterSettings.aspx?Source=settings.aspx
Content Organizer Rules/RoutingRules/Group%20by%20Content%20Type.aspx
Site output cache/_Layouts/areacachesettings.aspx
Term store management/_Layouts/termstoremanager.aspx
Taxonomy Hidden List/Lists/TaxonomyHiddenList
Searchable columns/_Layouts/NoCrawlSettings.aspx

Look and feel

TitleURL
Welcome page/_Layouts/AreaWelcomePage.aspx
Title, description and icon/_layouts/prjsetng.aspx
Master page/_Layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Page layouts and site templates/_Layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Tree view/_layouts/navoptions.aspx
Site theme/_layouts/themeweb.aspx
Navigation/_layouts/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx

Site actions

TitleURL
Manage site features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx
Reset to site definition/_layouts/reghost.aspx
Delete this site/_layouts/deleteweb.aspx
Site web analytics reports/_layouts/WebAnalytics/Report.aspx?t=SummaryReport&l=s
Site collection web analytics reports/_layouts/WebAnalytics/Report.aspx?t=SummaryReport&l=sc

Site collection administration

TitleURL
Search settings/_layouts/enhancedSearch.aspx
Search scopes/_layouts/viewscopes.aspx
Search keywords/_layouts/listkeywords.aspx
Site level recycle bin/_layouts/RecycleBin.aspx
Site collection recycle bin/_layouts/AdminRecycleBin.aspx
Site collection features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx?Scope=Site
Site directory settings/_layouts/SiteDirectorySettings.aspx
Site hierarchy/_layouts/vsubwebs.aspx
Site collection navigation/_layouts/SiteNavigationSettings.aspx
Site collection audit settings/_layouts/AuditSettings.aspx
Audit log reports/_layouts/Reporting.aspx?Category=Auditing
Portal site connection/_layouts/portal.aspx
Site collection policies/_layouts/Policylist.aspx
Storage Metrics/_layouts/storman.aspx
Record declaration settings/_layouts/InPlaceRecordsSettings.aspx?Source=settings.aspx
Content type publishing/_Layouts/contenttypesyndicationhubs.aspx
Site collection cache profiles/_Layouts/RedirectPage.aspx?Target={SiteCollectionUrl}cache profiles
Site collection object cache/_Layouts/objectcachesettings.aspx
Content type service application error log/Lists/ContentTypeAppLog
Site collection output cache/_Layouts/sitecachesettings.aspx
Variations/_Layouts/VariationSettings.aspx
Variation labels/_Layouts/VariationLabels.aspx
Translatable columns/_Layouts/TranslatableSettings.aspx
Variation logs/_Layouts/VariationLogs.aspx
Suggested Content Browser Locations/PublishedLinks/
Document ID settings/_Layouts/DocIdSettings.aspx
SharePoint Designer Settings/_layouts/SharePointDesignerSettings.aspx
Visual Upgrade/_layouts/suppux.aspx
Help settings/_layouts/HelpSettings.aspx

Central administration

TitleURL
Manage web applications/_admin/WebApplicationList.aspx
Create site collections/_admin/createsite.aspx
Manage service applications/_admin/ServiceApplications.aspx
Manage content databases/_admin/CNTDBADM.aspx
Check job status/_admin/Timer.aspx
Manage farm administrators group/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=3
Configure service accounts/_admin/FarmCredentialManagement.aspx
Configure send to connections/_admin/OfficialFileAdmin.aspx
Configure content deployment paths and jobs/_admin/Deployment.aspx
Manage form templates_admin/ManageFormTemplates.aspx
Manage servers in farm/_admin/FarmServers.aspx
Manage services on server/_admin/Server.aspx
Manage farm features/_admin/ManageFarmFeatures.aspx
Configure alternate access mappings/_admin/AlternateUrlCollections.aspx
Perform a backup/_admin/Backup.aspx
Restore from backup/_admin/BackupHistory.aspx?restore=1&filter=1
Perform site collection backup/_admin/SiteCollectionBackup.aspx
Convert farm license type/_admin/Conversion.aspx
Check product and patch installation status/_admin/PatchStatus.aspx
Check upgrade status/_admin/UpgradeStatus.aspx

Common actions

TitleURL
Create new_layouts/spscreate.aspx
_layouts/create.aspx
View lists_layouts/viewlsts.aspx
Create site groups _layouts/permsetup.aspx
Quick launch_layouts/quiklnch.aspx
Workflow history list/lists/Workflow History
SharePoint server version + patch level/_vti_pvt/Service.cnf (run at site collection level)
Web part maintenance mode?Contents=1 (classic)
?maintenancemode=true (modern)
Save as site template_layouts/savetmpl.aspx
Manage user alerts_layouts/AlertsAdmin.aspx

REST API examples

OperationSharePoint REST API endpoint
Site
Get a SharePoint Site Collectionhttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/site
Get a specific site or webhttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/web
Get a sites titlehttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/title
List
Get all lists from a sitehttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/web/lists
Get all items from a listhttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/web/lists/getbytitle(‘listname’)/items
Get a lists titlehttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/web/lists/getbytitle(‘listname’)?select=Title
Get all columns within a listhttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/web/lists/getbytitle(‘listname’)/Fields
Get list from GUIDhttps://%5Byour site ur]}/_api/Web/Lists(‘list GUID here’)
Get list item by IDhttps://%5Byour site ur]}/_api/Web/Lists/GetByTitle/(‘listtitle’)/GetItemById(2)
Get selected fields for list itemshttps://%5Byour site ur]}/_api/Web/Lists/GetByTitle/(‘listtitle’)/Items?select=ID,Title
User
Get current user informationhttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/web/currentUser
Get all site usershttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/Web/siteusers
Group
Get all groups from the sitehttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/Web/siteusers/sitegroups
Get group by group IDhttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/Web/sitegroups/GetById(GroupId)
Get all users from grouphttps://%5Byour site url]/_api/Web/sitegroups(Id)/users
Source: SP guides

How to add best bets or promoted search results in SharePoint

In this post we will look at how you can add, edit or remove best bet keywords in classic SharePoint and how to do the same with promoted results in modern SharePoint.

Classic SharePoint

In classic SharePoint you are able to highlight search results you wish to make more prominent by using keywords and best bets. Best bets appear at the top of the search results page with a yellow star ⭐ next to them.

Best bets will appear at the top of the search results page in classic SharePoint.

Keywords and best bets are all managed centrally via the Search keywords under Site Collection Administration section within your top-level site.

How to add keywords in classic SharePoint

A keyword is a definition for common terms or phrases that are used within an organisation. Keywords are what search queries will match to return a keyword result. Before you get started, you must have Site Collection Administrator permissions to manage keywords.

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • On the Manage Keywords page, click Add Keyword
Add Keyword from the Manage Keywords page in classic SharePoint.

Enter the following information for each keyword you create:

  • Keyword phrase: what the search queries will match to return a keyword result
  • Synonyms: additional words that users might type when searching for the keyword, separated by semicolons. Synonyms must be shorter or equal to 100 characters
  • Best bets: the recommended results for the keyword. Best bets will appear in the order listed
  • Keyword definition: optional text that will appear with the keyword (optional)
  • Contact: the person to inform when the keyword is past its review date (optional)
  • Start date: the date you want this keyword to appear in search results
  • End date: the date you want this keyword to no longer appear in search results (optional, leave blank for no expiry)
  • Review date: the date you want this keyword to be reviewed by the contact (optional)
How to add a keyword best bet in classic SharePoint.

How to edit/ delete keywords in classic SharePoint

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • Click on the keyword you wish to edit and press Edit. When editing a keyword you are able to update all of the information listed above, plus:
    • Add additional best bets
    • Change the properties of a best bet
    • Change the order of best bets by updating the number of the Title next to the best bet
How to edit keywords in classic SharePoint.

How to delete keywords in classic SharePoint

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • Click on the keyword you wish to delete and press Delete
How to delete keywords in classic SharePoint.

Modern SharePoint

Promoted results

Although a lot has changed with the advent of the modern search experience in SharePoint, you can still create and configure keywords and best bets – now called Promoted Results! Microsoft have published comprehensive guidance on how to manage query rules and add promoted results here, but summarise the steps myself below.

First you will need to consider whether you want your promoted results to appear across the tenant, a site collection or site within SharePoint before beginning. In this example I am creating a tenant-wide promoted result.

  • Navigate to the SharePoint admin center > More features > Search. Press Open
  • Within the search administration page, select Manage Query Rules
Open Manage Query Rules from within the SharePoint admin center.
  • On the Manage Query Rules page, select a result source for the new query rule (you can change this later)
  • Select New Query Rule. The new query rule has the following configuration options:
    • Rule name: enter the name for the new query rule
    • Context: restrict the rule to queries performed on a particular result source, from a particular category of topic page, or by a user matching a particular user segment
    • Query Conditions: define when a user’s search box query makes this rule fire. You can specify multiple conditions of different types, or remove all conditions to fire for any query text. Every query condition becomes false if the query is not a simple keyword query, such as if it has quotes, property filters, parentheses, or special operators
    • Actions: actions can add promoted results above the ranked results, add blocks of additional results promoted to always appear above ranked results or ranked so they only appear if highly relevant, or change ranked results, such as tuning their ordering
    • Publishing: make the query rule active during a particular time period
  • Add all the relevant information, then under Actions press Add Promoted Result
  • Add a Title, URL and Description for your promoted results
  • Make sure Render the URL as a banner instead of as a hyperlink is checked
  • Press Save
Create a new Query Rule and Promoted Result in modern SharePoint.

Now, when you search across Microsoft 365, you will be able to see your promoted result!

The newly created promoted result shows across Microsoft 365 search.

How to edit or delete promoted results in modern SharePoint

You can manage your query rules and promoted results through the Manage Query Rules page much like creating a new rule. To edit or delete a query rule/ promoted result:

  • Navigate to the SharePoint admin center > More features > Search. Press Open
  • Within the search administration page, select Manage Query Rules
  • Select the result source for the query rule you wish to edit
  • Click on the drop-down arrow next to the name of the query rule you want to change. From here you can:
    • View, edit, copy, delete or make the query rule inactive
  • If you are deleting a rule, once you press Delete you will be prompted with a message to confirm you want to delete the query rule. Press OK

Additional resources

Bonus! Use promoted results in PnP modern search solution

A nice little addition to this post is that if you have deployed the PnP Modern Search solution in your tenant then you can use best bets, or promoted results in the search results web part for this in the same way too!

NOTE: Best bets or promoted links are only supported in v3 of the PnP modern search solution.

Best Bets

How to open SharePoint pages in maintenance mode

This post demonstrates how to access the web part maintenance page for a classic and modern SharePoint site to delete any problem web parts.

Classic SharePoint

Recently I came across an issue with a SharePoint 2010 publishing site. The site had a page on it that was being edited and after a series of web parts were added, crashed and would no longer load. An additional issue here was that there wasn’t another, recent version of the page to restore to.

So, in the steps below detail how I was able to access the page using web part maintenance mode and delete the problem web part:

  • Navigate to the problem page’s URL
  • At the end of the URL add ?contents=1
  • This will then open the problem page up in web part maintenance mode. From here you are able to close, restore defaults or delete web parts from your page

NOTE: make sure you page is checked out before trying this else you won’t be able to make any changes.

  • Select the web part(s) which you think are causing the issue
  • Now select to either close, reset or delete the web part. I chose delete
  • A warning message will appear > press OK

Modern SharePoint

When writing this post I wondered if this method of accessing web part maintenance mode still worked for modern SharePoint – the answer was no! When you try to open a modern page using ?contents=1 you get this:

Opening modern SharePoint pages in classic maintenance mode won’t work.

However, after reading this handy article from Microsoft about maintenance for client-side web parts in SharePoint Online I just switched my query to ?maintenancemode=true and it worked!

Modern web parts have there own query to append to the page URL to access maintenance mode.

Different to the classic example, modern web parts when in maintenance mode show summary, manifest and data tabs with information about each web part.

If you wish to delete a web part from this view you will need to edit the page and delete it from there, then republish like in the example below:

Deleting web parts in maintenance mode within a modern SharePoint page.

SharePoint URL’s

There are loads of URL’s that either I can never remember or haven’t come across that are listed here. However I wanted to keep a list of them on my site just for reference:

DestinationURL
Site Settings/_layouts/settings.aspx
Site Contents/_layouts/viewlsts.apx
Save Site as a Template/_layouts/savetmpl.aspx
View All People/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=0
View People and Groups/_layouts/groups.aspx
Workflows/_layouts/wrkmng.aspx
Workflow Health/_layouts/15/workflowservicehealth.aspx
Workflow History (Hidden)/lists/Workflow%20History
Create New Site items/_layouts/create.aspx
Manage Site Collection Admin Permissions/_layouts/mngsiteadmin.aspx
View Sites and Workspaces/_layouts/mngsubwebs.aspx
Manage User Permissions/_layouts/user.aspx
Recycle Bin/_layouts/RecycleBin.aspx
Second-Stage Recycle Bin (w/ Admin Permissions)/_layouts/AdminRecycleBin.aspx
Manage Site Content and Structure/_layouts/sitemanager.aspx
Manage Site Content Types/_layouts/mngctype.aspx
Manage Site Columns/_layouts/mngfield.aspx
Quick Launch Settings/_layouts/quiklnch.aspx
Navigation Settings/_layouts/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx
Web Analytics Reports (Site Usage Summary)/_layouts/usage.aspx
Manage Site Collection Features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx?Scope=Site
Manage Site Features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx
Application page for registering SP Apps/_layouts/appregnew.aspx
Sign in as a different user/_layouts/closeConnection.aspx?loginasanotheruser=true
Enable SharePoint Designer/_layouts/SharePointDesignerSettings.aspx
Welcome Page/_layouts/AreaWelcomePage.aspx
Change Site Master Page/_layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Page Layouts and Site Templates/_Layouts/AreaTemplateSettings.aspx
Force Display the User Profile in the Site Collection/_layouts/userdisp.aspx?id={UserID}&Force=True
Site App Permissions/_layouts/15/appprincipals.aspx?Scope=Web
List Template Gallery/_catalogs/lt
Master Page Gallery/_catalogs/masterpage
Solution Gallery/_catalogs/solutions/
Web Part Gallery/_catalogs/wp
Get SharePoint Server Version/_vti_pvt/Service.cnf
Taxonomy List (Hidden)Lists/TaxonomyHiddenList/AllItems.aspx
Quick Deploy ItemsQuick%20Deploy%20Items/AllItems.aspx
Web Part Maintenance Page?Contents=1
Filter Toolbar (For Lists and Libraries)?Filter=1
Load Ribbon Tab (In a Document Library or List)?InitialTabId=Ribbon.Document
Show Page in a Dialog?isdlg=1
Display List in Grid View (In Document Library or List)?ShowInGrid=True
Open Page in Edit Mode?ToolPaneView=2

How to delegate or reassign a workflow task in SharePoint

(this post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)

This post details the steps involved in delegating or reassigning a workflow task to another person as part of a workflow process.

My organisation has several approval workflows in action within our SharePoint 2010 environment, but one request I get all the time is to change who the approval has been sent to.

Approval tasks can be assigned as part of a workflow process, built via SharePoint designer or Nintex workflows. Once assigned, notification message(s) are sent to the approver and can either be approved via the Workflow Tasks section of a current item or via lazy approval if you have Nintex.

As this can be done with both regular SharePoint designer workflows and Nintex workflows, I’ll detail the steps below on how to switch the approver for both types of workflows.


Reassign a workflow task in SharePoint Designer workflows

In this example I have the following components configured:

  • A custom list with two columns: Title, Assigned To
  • A SharePoint Designer workflow that starts an approval process action on the current item and sets the approver as the person listed in Assigned To
  • Approval tasks are created within the workflows associated task list
An example SharePoint Designer workflow that uses the “Start Approval Process” task action on the current item and sets the approver as the person selected in the current item’s Assigned To field.

The steps below will demonstrate how to reassign an approver inside a workflow task:

  • Open your main list (in my example the custom list)
  • Either click on the status of your workflow for the current item (if column is displayed), or highlight the current item > under List Tools > Items > Press Workflows

NOTE: In some cases, the site owners or SharePoint admins may have hidden the workflow status column that gets created when you publish your workflow. If you can’t see this column, don’t worry just follow the other method described above.

  • If you press the Workflows button > left-click on the name of your running workflow (If you pressed the workflow status from the previous step, ignore this step)
Press the name of your running workflow to access the workflow tasks.
  • Under Tasks > click on the drop-down icon next to the title or your task > Press Edit Item
Press Edit Item by opening the drop-down menu next to the title of the workflow task.
  • A new pop-up window will open, at this point you will see the properties of the workflow task which includes:
    • Status – the status of the current workflow task (not started, approved, rejected)
    • Consolidated comments – Comments of the requester and all previous participants
    • Due date – the date set for workflow tasks to be completed by
    • Comments – allows the approver to enter any comments about why the item was approved or rejected
The workflow tasks pop-up window.
  • There will be four grey buttons at the bottom of the window > Press Reassign Task
Press the reassign task button.
  • In Reassign Task To > select the person you wish to reassign the task to and press Send

Delegate workflow tasks in Nintex workflows

In this example I have the following components configured:

  • A custom list with several columns, but namely: Title, Approver
  • Nintex Workflow 2010 version (2.3.10.0)
  • A Nintex workflow that uses a flexi task action to send an approval request task to the approver as the person listed in Approver column from the custom list
  • Approval tasks are created within the workflows associated task list
Flexi task to send approval to the person set in the current items Approver field.

The steps below will demonstrate how to delegate an approver inside a workflow task:

  • Open your main list (in my example the custom list)
  • Highlight the current item > under List Tools > Items > Press Workflows
  • Left-click on the name of your running workflow
  • Under Tasks > click on the drop-down icon next to the title or your task > Press Edit Item
Press Edit Item by opening the drop-down menu next to the title of the workflow task.
  • A new pop-up window will open, at this point you will see the properties of the workflow task which includes:
    • Outcome – the status of the approval task (approved or rejected) or delegate the task to another person
    • Comment – allows the approver to enter any comments about why the item was approved or rejected
    • Item Properties – a view of some of the list item properties for the current item associated with the workflow task
Within the workflow task, press delegate this task to change the approver.
  • Press delegate this task. At this point the pop-up window will change to display the following fields:
    • Delegate – this is used to specify the user to assign the selected task to
    • Comments – this is used to provide instructions or additional information to the user the task is being delegated to
  • To delegate to a new approver, click on the address book icon on the right to select a user from the Select People or Group dialog box
  • Add any additional comments in the Comments field. This text is appended to the ‘Approval Required’ notification that is sent to the delegated user.
Use the address book within the delegate field to assign the task to another approver.

The end of SharePoint 2010 workflows

On July 6, Microsoft announced that they will be retiring SharePoint 2010 workflows from November 1, 2020. I decided when reading the news that I would hold fire on writing something just to let the dust settle a little bit.

So after being inspired by John Liu’s blog post, I’ve decided to keep my own rolling list of resources to help myself and hopefully others transition from SharePoint 2010 workflows to Power Automate.

Background

Microsoft had stated in 2016 that support would continue for SharePoint 2010 workflows until 2026, but with this month’s announced they specified that:

– Starting August 1st, 2020, SharePoint 2010 workflows will be turned off for newly created tenants.  

– Starting November 1st, 2020, Microsoft will begin to remove the ability to run or create SharePoint 2010 workflows from existing tenants.

Support update for SharePoint 2010 workflows in Microsoft 365

This applies to both out-the-box and custom SharePoint 2010 workflows, but only in Microsoft 365. If you are still on premises this does not apply to you as they are still being supported until 2026 at the time of writing, but I imagine you have your own issues to deal with!

For SharePoint 2013 workflows, Microsoft announced they will remain supported, but depreciated. So that means that SharePoint 2013 workflows will be turned off by default for new tenants starting in November 2020, but Microsoft will provide a PowerShell script to activate the workflow engine. 

What does this mean?

Unless Microsoft has a change of heart, what this means is that over the next 4 months all SharePoint 2010 workflows will need to be re-developed using Power Automate, Nintex or any other another third-party workflow solution.

Microsoft offer a modernization scanner that (amongst other things), will understand where “classic” workflow is being used and sort of grade them based on number of actions and complexity. However, this scanner only works for SharePoint Online, so if you’ve yet to migrate to Microsoft 365 you will need to use another assessment/ inventory tool to get this sort of information about your SharePoint 2010 workflows.

What I’m going to do

So for myself, my organisation has several SharePoint 2010 and Nintex workflows on premise that have yet to be migrated to Microsoft 365 and are largely still in use.

As part of discovery work conducted previously, I’ve used a combination of ShareGates site report to get the high level information about my sites(s), the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool to get information about my SharePoint workflows and a PowerShell script to get similar information about the Nintex workflows.

Even with a complete list of SharePoint 2010 workflows, there is still some documented pain points that will require some thought to overcome – this won’t be a straight copy/ paste into Power Automate 😀

However, with that said the plan is essentially the same as before; assess the active workflows, consolidate where possible and re-build the SharePoint workflows in Power Automate – only in a much shorter time frame…

Resource list

I will keep updating this list as I see new articles, or information from Microsoft and others.

Background information

Guidance and other useful info

Tools