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Frequent Visitor

Set Content Approval Action failing, even though it's working as expected.


I'm creating a custom approval workflow which allows employees to use the 'Start an Approval' Action to approve or reject items on a SharePoint Online List.


My flow is always erroring out on the 'Set Content Approval Status' step.  However, it appears to be doing what it's supposed to: it properly sets the Approved/Rejected status on the SharePoint List, and it adds the comments.

However, it also starts showing that it's 'retrying' up to 4 times, and it always ends with the following error:

Outputs Details

4 Retries - Details:

1st Retry:

Duration: 1s
Start time: 2018-01-16T19:57:54.0902707Z
End time: 2018-01-16T19:57:55.2933899Z
Status: InternalServerError
Client request ID: 4ab2d389-9889-453e-b8bb-df35a746f33b
Service request ID: 4ab2d389-9889-453e-b8bb-df35a746f33b

Retry 2-4 (Start and end times differ, but same error):

Duration: 1s
Start time: 2018-01-16T19:58:32.8113726Z
End time: 2018-01-16T19:58:33.4832728Z
Status: BadGateway
Client request ID: 1c144d55-a01a-47e6-ba12-c38d0279fac5
Service request ID: 1c144d55-a01a-47e6-ba12-c38d0279fac5

Status Code: 502

DateTue, 16 Jan 2018 19:59:19 GMT
Content-Typeapplication/json; charset=utf-8


  "message": "The current state of the item is Denied and the following action Reject cannot be implemented\"\r\nclientRequestId: 331802e6-ec27-4875-94cc-3e9bd72e825d",
  "status": 502,
  "source": "https://[domain]",
  "errors": [

Anyone know why this is happening?

Community Support
Community Support

Hi @McThrustin,


Could you please share a full screenshot of your flow's configuration?

Could you please show a bit more about your SharePoint list?

Further, do you enable Content Approval in your SharePoint list?


Thanks for your feedback, the issue is confirmed on my side, I would post this issue to my product team. If the issue is solved, I would reply here.


Best regards,


Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Hey @v-xida-msft,

Regarding your questions:

  • Could you please share a full screenshot of your Flow's Configuration?
    See images below:
  • Could you please show a bit more about your SharePoint List?
    What would you like to know about it? 
    It's a custom list in a Team Site in SharePoint Online, using a Site Content Type that I created.  
    It uses all out-of-the box features.  I have checked that the service account that is running my Flow has the correct permissions to update the Content Approval Status.
  • Is Content Approval Enabled on the List?
    Yes, Content Approval is enabled on the list, and the Flow appears to be updating it correctly (though it still reports errors).

Let me know if you need anything else.

Hey @v-xida-msft,


Do you have any follow up on this issue? 

I have not heard back in almost a week since sending you the information you requested.

Did you ever find a fix to this? I am having the same issue right now. User has contribute access to two lists being used, but approval status fails. When a SharePoint owner tries, works fine

Frequent Visitor

Hey Mitch,

After a few months of no response from Microsoft, I tested my flow on a whim and the error was gone. No update from Microsoft as to if they made any fixes.

As for your issue, is the flow running as the user account with contribute rights or as a site owner?

If the flow is running as the user with contribute rights, it is likely failing because you need approver rights to set content approval status, the minimum out-of-the-box permission level needed for this is Design. I would try adding those permissions to the user account that is failing and see if that helps.


For more info.

I am an owner and another owner co worker can run it fine. So, now I'm just trying to find out what is the minimum level of permissions for someone to approve. Might have to create some custom advanced settings instead of the presets.


Edit: Whoops just read your reply more carefully, thanks for the help!

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