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For users to take advantage of many of the SharePoint workflow templates, you need to enable them in the site collection for the site.

Note: SharePoint 2010 workflows have been retired since August 1, 2020 for new tenants and removed from existing tenants on November 1, 2020. If you’re using SharePoint 2010 workflows, we recommend migrating to Power Automate or other supported solutions. For more info, see SharePoint 2010 workflow retirement.

Enable SharePoint workflow templates

SharePoint offers pre-build workflow templates to let you automate certain tasks, such as gathering signatures or getting approval for a document. Here's how to enable them.

  1. From the top level site in SharePoint Server, click Settings SharePoint 2016 Settings button on title bar., and then click Site settings.

    In SharePoint in Microsoft 365, click Settings SharePoint 2016 Settings button on title bar., then click Site content. From Site content, click Site settings.

  2. On the Site settings page under Site Collection Administrator, click Site collection features.

    Site Collection Feature selected on the Site Collection Administration menu under settings
  3. On the Site Collection Features page, search for Workflow. You should find several listings, such as the following.

    • Three-state Workflow

    • Workflows (this contains signature collection and several other workflow templates)

    • Disposition Approval Workflow

    • Publishing Approval Workflow

    Click Activate next to the workflows you want enabled.

    Site collection feature enabling workflows
  4. Close Site Settings when you're done.

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