The selected user(s) may not be valid on the site this workflow is published on

Hi friends, in this SharePoint 2013 tutorial we are going to solve an issue of email error. While developing SharePoint workflow in SharePoint designer 2013, we need to send an email notifications to the user. Sometimes user may not be valid SharePoint user. These users are called as external users. When you try to add Email ID of such users, we usually get following error.

“The selected user(s) may not be valid on the site this workflow is published on. If a recipient is not a valid SharePoint user, he or she will not receive workflow emails.”


There are two methods to fix this problem. We can pass the email address through one string variable and other method is to call SharePoint 2010 workflow. We will see both these methods one by one.

Method 1: Using String Variable

Instead of adding email address directly in email setup, save it in one string variable. Here we have created one string variable named TestEmail.

create string variable

Now add this string variable in email setup as shown below. Make sure that you are using Return field as Login name.

send email via variable

sharepoint email

Now click on OK and thats it! Now SharePoint will not show any error message and it will also send email notification to the user.

Let us see another approach for solving this issue.

Method 2: By Calling SharePoint 2010 workflow

Create a separate SharePoint 2010 workflow on the same list so that you can utilise the fields for that list. SharePoint 2010 dont validate the user and you can use external users in it. Now create an action for sending email in 2010 workflow in the same way.

Once created, we can call this 2010 workflow through 2013 workflow using following action.

call sharepoint 2010 workflow

In this way we can send an email to external users using SharePoint 2013 workflow. I hope you liked this article, please share it with your friends. Like our facebook page and subscribe to our newsletter for future updates. Have a nice day!

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