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SharePoint Content Approval?

I'm hoping someone can answer some general questions or provide links to some documentation that might explain how it works. I have been trying to figure it out and it just seems like I'm missing something.


I have a basic SharePoint Document Library.  I have enabled the standard Content Approval Flow options.

Annotation 2019-04-10 140230.png

As far as I can tell, this simply sets the Comments and Status fields based on how a users interacts with the UI in the library.



Is there any way to set who the approver can be?  Is there any way to configure Email notifications?  Who can approve this, anyone with Contributor rights?   


After playing around with this OOTB feature I started to look at building my own flow.  I turned off the Approval on the Library option.  However when I use the Set Content Approval Action I get a message that "Content moderation is not enabled on the library". I re-enabled the Content Approval Flow option and no longer get the error. However, this now enables the Approve/reject option in the SharePoint UI which can conflict and override how my custom flow it running. My Flow will generate Approval Tasks for the end user in the Flow interface but the option from the ECB menu still allows users to Approve/reject.


Is this how it really works?  Am I missing some sort of configuration option, way to disable some of those menu option?  The Set Content Approval Action almost seems useless if you can't disable those UI options from the Library.



Solution Sage
Solution Sage

Hi @howitzer1972 , 

I have searched for some Docs about the Approval in SPO.

Please take a reference to the blog below:

Hople it will make help to you.

Best Regards,

Community Support Team _ Zhongys

If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Thanks for the reply.  I spent more time testing and understand the process now, should have done that before posting. Smiley Embarassed


Almost 10 years of using Content Approval in our 2010 environment and never realized that the Content Approval buttons were there as well.  Most likely because all our libraries used the OOTB 2010 Approval workflow or a custom SharePoint Designer workflow.


With the option to Start when publishing a major version


and to Enable Content Approval in the workflow.




All my users would interact with the task directly through Outlook, they almost never went to the library and never really saw the Content Approval button.


The only real difference I can see between 2010 and SharePoint Online is that there is no warning if a Flow is already running on the document.


I was getting confused because I was focusing on modern/current SharePoint functionality, instead of how it's been working since 2010.

Dear All,


I am having the same problem. I created in a flow in Microsoft Flow which is linked to a sharepoint online document library. I had to enable also content approval with minor/major versioning for the document library. This is linked with the "Set content approval status" operation in my Flow.

Now I am facing the issue oof having two approval "flows" available in the library for my users.

1- The flow created in Microsoft Flow linked to the document library and available through the ribbon/menu -> Flow -> Flow created with its specific name in Microsoft Flow

2- and also the basic Content approval for the library with buttons on the ribbon/menu like: "Approve/Reject", "Submit for approval", Cancel approval".


Obviously I do not want the users to see the second option. I want them only to use the Flow I created in point 1.

Is there a way to hide the default content approval buttons from the ribbon of the document library?


Thank you for your help.






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