SharePoint workflow troubleshooting: “Item does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user.”

This error message tends to reveal itself whenever you’re dealing with item-level permissions. Try the following to resolve this error.

Note: For any change to a workflow, you’ll need to start/restart your workflow to test it. Resuming a workflow will only resume the previous version of the workflow (still broken).

  • Workflow Credentials
    • In SharePoint 2010 workflows, use impersonation steps to have workflows run as the workflow creator (or the last person to publish it)
    • In SharePoint 2013 workflows, use app steps for a similar result. App steps run the steps within them as “workflow” which should be given full control permissions. See this post for more information on setting up app steps.
      • If your workflow has multiple stages, your workflow may fail if you have “conditional” transition steps such as “If status equals approved go to Stage 4 else go to Stage 3”. Try eliminating conditional transitions and using if/then statements instead within a single app step to see if the transitions were causing the error.
  • Item-level permissions
  • Make sure the item/document is checked in
  • Make sure the item does indeed exist and hasn’t, in fact, been deleted by a user or workflow
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Written by SharePoint Librarian

I'm a SharePoint Business Analyst and Jayhawk from the Kansas City Area.

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