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SharePoint Designer (SPD) Workflow is not Updating

I have seen this come up twice within the last few months on the MSDN forums, so I thought I’d write a note about it. My problem was with SharePoint Designer 2007;a few years ago, but the issue seems to present in SharePoint Designer 2010 also.

Problem:

Modifications to a workflow in SharePoint Designer (SPD) does not get reflected on the server when publishing. After publishing the changes, the SharePoint site seems to still be using the “old” workflow. However, when you open the workflow in SPD, the changes are reflected.

An example of how it manifested to me was that updates to email wording did not change. In my case, I moved the text with the link to the task below the link to the request, and published the workflow.

Example of Sent Email

But on the server, the workflow was still using the “old” workflow. The test email sent still has the link to the task above the link to the request.

Example of Sent Email

Solution:

For me, clearing the SPD cache on my local machine worked.

  1. Close SPD.
  2. Go to
    %System Drive%\Users\%user%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebSiteCache (If you are running XP, that path is different – look for
    %System Drive%\Documents and Settings\%user%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\WebSiteCache).
  3. Go to a directory that looks similar to the name of the website you were connecting to. (Alternatively, you can just delete all the underlying directories and everything should work when you open SPD).
  4. Delete the assembly with the name similar to the one you are changing.
  5. Open SPD.
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