Starting a SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow within a SharePoint Designer 2013 workflow


Sometimes you’ll into situations where a SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2010 workflow is the only way to go in order to make something work. In May 2017, I gave a presentation at SharePoint Saturday Baltimore and shared the following slide of functions only possible by using a SharePoint Designer 2010 format workflow.


Unfortunately, you may have loads of conditions and stages already built in a SPD 2013 workflow by the time you realize you need some of this 2010-exclusive functionality. No need to fret, however, because we can start that necessary 2010 workflow from wherever we need to within our 2013 workflow, as if it were just another ordinary step.

  1. Create a new list workflow from within SharePoint Designer
  2. Give it a name, a description and choose 2010 as the platform type
  3. Because your scenarios will vary widely, take this step #3 to write whatever you need to that will only work in a 2010 workflow (impersonation steps, converting lookup columns to text, etc.)
  4. Go to your workflow settings now, and set it to only start manually (under “start options”)startoptions2
  5. Now go to your 2013 workflow for which you’d like to pull in that new 2010 workflow. Create a new stage, if you wish, or click where you’d like to insert it, type “Start” and enter, and select “Start a List Workflow” from the options.startaworkflow
  6. Before you click anything else, refresh (refresh2) SharePoint Designer to make sure your brand new workflow will show as an option for you. Do not overlook this step.
  7. Now click on “SharePoint 2010 list workflow”, select the list name for which it was made, then select your workflow from the second dropdown (assuming you followed step 6)
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click “parameters” and then OK (I’m assuming you didn’t set any up in your 2010 workflow, but feel free to set them here if you need to)
  10. Click “this item” then OK.

That’s it! Publish your changes. Your 2010 workflow will now run as part of your 2013 workflow as if it were just another step.


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