Associate a SharePoint 2013 workflow with a document library

Learn how you can associate a SharePoint Designer 2013 reusable workflow with a SharePoint document library.

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SharePoint Designer 2013 offers two types of workflows that you can associate with a SharePoint list or library: List workflow and Reusable workflow.

When you create a SharePoint list workflow, you must select a list or library to connect the workflow template to, so the workflow template is automatically associated with that SharePoint list or library, and do not require you to do anything after you publish the workflow to SharePoint.

When you create a SharePoint reusable workflow, you must first create the workflow template in SharePoint Designer 2013, publish it to SharePoint, and then afterwards associate the workflow template with a SharePoint list or library.

So, here I will assume that you have already created a reusable workflow in SharePoint Designer 2013 and that you already have a document library on a SharePoint 2013 site to which you want to add the workflow.

To associate a SharePoint 2013 workflow with a SharePoint document library:

  1. In SharePoint 2013, navigate to the SharePoint document library with which you want to associate the SharePoint Designer 2013 workflow.
  2. Click Library > Settings > Workflow Settings and then select Add a Workflow from the drop-down menu that appears.
  3. On the Add a Workflow page, select the workflow template you want to associate with the library in the Select a workflow template list box, type a name for the workflow in the Enter a unique name for this workflow text box, select the appropriate check boxes for the workflow under the Start Options section, and then click OK.

You should now be able to start the workflow on a document in the SharePoint document library manually, by adding a new document to the library, or by updating an existing document in the library, depending on the check boxes you selected under the Start Options section when configuring the workflow.

Still unclear? Watch the SharePoint 2013 video below.

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