SharePoint 2013 Workflow Impersonation step missing in Designer

Impersonation step is the concept of SharePoint 2010 and the workflow action was available in SharePoint designer 2010. But this action is not available in SharePoint 2013 designer workflow platform. Impersonation step missing in SharePoint online 2013 Workflow.

Impersonation step is replaced by App Step in SharePoint designer 2013 workflow platform types.

Impersonation step missing in SharePoint 2013 Designer workflow

A SharePoint designer workflow runs under the permission of the user who started the workflow. But in some steps, the workflow may require the user to have some more permission.

If elevated permissions are not used in those steps then the workflow will not work with access denied error. In those cases in SharePoint 2010 “Impersonation step” was helpful. But in SharePoint 2013 a similar step is available known as “App Step“.

Any actions placed inside an App Step will have Read/Write permissions to all Items in the site, such as site lists.

Let us say we have a requirement like below:

I have two document libraries and if a user uploads one document to one library, I want the document to be copied to my second document library. But as per my requirement, I can not provide contribute access to anyone except a few people into my second document library. But you need to contribute access to copy item.

In the above kind of requirement, we can use app step and we can add the copy document activity inside the App Step.

If you are not able to see the “Impersonation Step” inside SharePoint 2013 designer workflow then make sure the below feature is activated like below:

Workflows can use app permissions

Impersonation step SharePoint 2013
Impersonation step SharePoint 2013

If it is not activated, activate it and then open SharePoint 2013 designer. You should be able to see the app step.

Read some SharePoint designer 2013 tutorials:

I hope this will be helpful to resolve the SharePoint designer 2013 impersonation step greyed out or missing issue in SharePoint 2013. We can use App Step in SharePoint 2013 designer workflow.