On Monday, July 6th, Microsoft announced that SharePoint 2010 workflows will be retired for all Microsoft 365 clients on November 1, 2020.   While the technology has been deprecated for many years with the understanding that at some point in the future, Microsoft would pull the plug, the short timeline for action is taking many organizations by surprise.  Depending on the number and complexity of existing SharePoint 2010 workflows running currently in SharePoint Online/Microsoft 365, the task of identifying, analyzing, eliminating, or rebuilding these solutions could be daunting for many.

Some may assume that by the year 2020, all SharePoint 2010 workflows would have been rebuilt in the move to SharePoint Online/Microsoft 365, but that is not the case.  We know of organizations running 10’s or 100’s of these workflows.  Why?  First, SharePoint 2010 workflow platform was widely adopted, whereas SharePoint 2013 workflow platform was not.  As a consequence, SharePoint 2010 workflows that function and meet business needs are prevalent in many on-prem versions of SharePoint -2010, 2013 and 2016. As these environments were migrated to SharePoint Online, a complicated process in and of itself, many organizations lacked the appetite, bandwidth and/or budget to address each of these workflows during migration and put the effort off to a later date.  That later date is now here.

Read the Full Announcement Here

In summary:


  • August 1, 2020: SharePoint 2010 workflows will be turned off for any newly created tenants
  • November 1, 2020: SharePoint 2010 workflow services will be removed from existing tenants

Who’s affected:

All Microsoft 365/SharePoint Online customers with existing SharePoint 2010 workflows, including Government and DoD organizations.  If you have migrated from an on-prem instance of SharePoint (2010, 2013, 2016) and elected to move your workflows to the cloud as-is, you will need to quickly evaluate and decide on your path forward.  If you are in the process of migrating or planning a migration today, you should also know that SharePoint 2010 workflows will be turned off on August 1, 2020 for any newly created tenants.  Microsoft recommends migration to Power Automate (Flow) or other supported solution.

What to expect:

  • SharePoint 2010 workflows configured and published via SharePoint Designer will no longer function.
  • Built-in SharePoint 2010 workflows, including Approvals, Collect Feedback, Collect Signatures, Classic pages publishing approval, and Three-state workflows will no longer function.

Recommended action:

To understand the extent to which your organization is/may be using SharePoint 2010 workflows or to begin planning migration of SharePoint 2010 workflows in existence to Power Automate, Microsoft recommends that you run the SharePoint Modernization Scanner tool to scan your tenants for legacy workflows usage. The Workflow Report generated by the scanner tool can tell you the following:

  • Distribution of legacy workflows across SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows
  • Distribution of built-in and custom workflow usage
  • Which sites and lists use workflows
  • Power Automate upgradability score indicating how likely the detected actions can be upgraded to flows with Power Automate

From there, you will need to decide on next steps for each existing SharePoint 2010 workflow.

How Compass365 can help:

We are aware that many organizations are unprepared for this very short window to address or retire SharePoint 2010 workflows and will need assistance.  The announcement caught us off-guard as well, but we are prepared to prioritize this activity over the next few months.  Complimentary, we are offering a SharePoint 2010 Analysis and Recommendations service to include the following:

  • Run the Analysis Tool
  • Analyze Findings
  • Inventory workflows, lists and libraries that are affected
  • Work with you to prioritize-
    • High Priority/High Value – discuss options for rebuild and estimate effort as requested
    • Low Priority/Low Value – discuss impact of disabling workflow

Once you have the full picture of all solutions, business processes and users that will be affected by this change, we are available to engage with you as requested to:

  • Rebuild workflows using Power Automate (Flow) or Nintex Workflows if you are licensed or interested in purchasing
  • Work collaboratively – our team and yours – to rebuild and provide enablement services
  • Be available for architecture/design reviews as your team rebuilds

We do not recommend rebuilding in SharePoint 2013 workflows as this technology is also being deprecated

Getting Started:

To schedule a complimentary SharePoint 2010 Analysis and Recommendations session, please reach out to Cathy Ashbaugh, cashbaugh@compass365.com

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