SharePoint workflow that uses the "Replace List Item Permissions" action fails

Problem

Consider the following scenario:

  • You have a SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server site collection that contains complex permissions. For example, you have more than 200 SharePoint groups.

  • You have a workflow that uses the SharePoint 2010 Workflow Platform Type.

  • The workflow uses the Replace List Item Permissions action.

In this scenario, the workflow fails.

Solution/Workaround

To work around this issue, do one of the following:

  • Break inherited permissions and remove unique permissions for the list or library where you're running the workflow. Also remove any unnecessary permissions from the list. This limits the number of operations that are required when you use Replace List Item Permissions in the workflow.

  • Use Active Directory or Office 365 Security groups to manage permissions. Add the SharePoint groups to the security group instead of using individual SharePoint groups to manage permissions. You can manage the users in the group by using Active Directory or the Microsoft 365 admin center, depending on your configuration.

More information

This issue occurs because the Replace List Item Permissions action causes the workflow to terminate when the site collection contains complex permissions, such as 200 SharePoint groups. This is a known limitation in SharePoint.

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