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Designer Workflow 2010: Unable to load workflow actions from the server. Please contact your server administrator

Designer Workflow 2010: Unable to load workflow actions from the server. Please contact your server administrator

I needed to make some modifications to one of my sites with custom SharePoint designer workflows. I open SharePoint Designer, click Workflows, click my workflow and I get Message box that

Unable to load workflow actions from the server


  1. Turn on Failed Request Tracing on IIS – this did not show any more specific error, only 500 Internal Server Error on SharePoint web service call
  2. Checking ULS, nothing logged there
  3. Created empty site collection with Publishing feature and workflow – workflows open correctly
  4. Same site restored to another server – workflows open correctly
  5. I do not have any custom developed Workflow actions!
  6. I compared farm solution on one server and another server. I see some differences in solutions. I think, can have something to do with installed solutions. There is one suspicious looking solution there that we once tried to use to move site with workflows and forms from one farm to another (by saving site as WSP package). It is installed globally. I know we abandoned idea as it fad site backup/restore instead. I retract this solution. I go back to designer and find workflow working.

Conclusion :
Checking custom solutions is another checkpoint in investigation of this nasty error. I have read tones of msdn threads on this one, and causes can be different, but Designer will always give you same error message. My solution was generated from saving site as template (WSP package). It was site with custom workflows and some infopath forms deployed to this site as content type.

About Gokul

I am very much interested in android and Wicket framework. A core android developer and working in android native app development and responsive web mobile design. I have also worked in wicket fame work and java web development. I will keep on updating you about android and wicket framework and answer your query.


    I downloaded FeatureAdmin2010.exe from codeplex and opened it in one of the WFE servers. I selected the site which had the erroneous workflow and noticed that it has several missing features. I removed such features from the SiteCollection and the Site. This solved my issue and I was able to edit the workflows.

  • walter

    I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

    • Karthikeyan Baskaran

      @Walter: Tnx for your Feedback. I’ve faced this issue,while a creating a workflow using SharePoint Designer. Hope it helps every1..:-)