Retain workflow history

In the recent times , I was involved in a migration from MOSS to SP 2013 which involved lot of challenges and learning.Between, one such important activity I would like to share is to retain the workflow history of an item when it is acted upon by the approvers.

The workflow history for an item exist only for a mere 60 days , however it is crucial for business to keep track / audit of the item whose outcome could be either approved or rejected.It becomes a challenge for a developer to tweak this OOTB feature in SharePoint.After spending lot of time investigating we came up with a strategy:

Athough the history is wiped out for an item in the list, the data do still exist in the workflow history list that is hidden by design in SharePoint.


The link will take the user to the Workflow History list – a repository of all the history data.One of the ways to track history data of an item is to filter the list by Item based on their ID . This will fetch all the relevant data.

The equivalent URL is :


Obviously, this does not serve the purpose for the end user as this is not a user friendly solution and I am sure that most the users may not be happy with this.

The workaround would be to add a calculated column to the list and pre-configure it with the URL mentoined above.This will generate a hyperlink for the user to navigate.However, to get a user friendly name it is advised to use something like :


You could try the above steps and try for yourselves.


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