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LazyApproval in SharePoint Online (Office 365)

Nintex Newbie
7 18 11.7K

It's not often that a software feature comes along that revolutionizes the way we work and really makes our lives just a little bit easier.  One of those features is Nintex LazyApproval.  For those of you who may not be familiar with our LazyApproval feature here's some marketing speak...


The Nintex exclusive LazyApproval® System, allows task participants to respond using natural language, even when mobile and without SharePoint portal access.

This means that you can approve and reject tasks via email from anywhere (in a meeting, at an offsite event, on the golf course!), without having to log into SharePoint and completing a task form.  Our customers who utilize Nintex Workflow in SharePoint on-premise have been using this functionality to extend the power of their workflows for years and they love it!  And now, our developers have faithfully recreated this functionality for our O365 and hybrid SharePoint users!

Behold... LazyApproval for Nintex Workflow for Office 365!

Where can I find it?

Both the 'Assign a task' and 'Start a task process' actions will have the new Allow LazyApproval configuration option seen below.


When a task notification email is received and LazyApproval is enabled, the message will contain approved responses. Task responses are case-insensitive. That is, if the defined outcome is "Approved," the user can use the phrase "approved" instead an must be entered on the first line of the body of the reply email.

What responses can I use with LazyApproval in Office 365?

Below is a table that contains all of the default phrases that will be valid in LazyApproval email replies. Each phrase results in the corresponding status noted.

Default phrase for LazyApproval replyCorresponding status

What if my user responds with something else?

Keep in mind that if an invalid phrase is sent in the reply, an email will be generated and sent to the reviewer noting that the reviewer's reply could not be interpreted.

Notice how Nintex Workflow does all the heavy lifting, without any additional software, of interpreting, relaying and processing these email based task responses. It's easy, powerful and available today in Nintex Workflow for Office 365!

"Just one more thing..." - Columbo

Lastly, here are some questions I could imagine some people liking to have answered about this new functionality.

Q: What happens to my existing workflows – will this be turned on automatically?

A: Nothing. No, LazyApproval is not turned on automatically. So your existing workflows will continue functioning in the same way as before.

Q: Can I turn this off?

A: Yes! Simply make sure that the Allow LazyApproval option in the task configuration dialog is unchecked to disable this functionality.

Q: What happens if I am out of the office?

A: You will receive a task notification as you normally would but your Outlook automatic reply will trigger a "Your response to this task was not able to be interpreted..." email. You can simply reply with a valid response upon your return or navigate to the task form and record your response as you normally would.

Q: Can I respond in SharePoint still?

A: Yes, you can. The task form inside of SharePoint will still be accessible and can be used to complete the task even if LazyApproval is enabled.

Q: Can you provide me with a link to the full documentation for LazyApproval in O365?

A: I sure can! The following link to the LazyApproval help file includes a list of events that occur when using LazyApproval, valid phrases, and troubleshooting:

Automation Master
Automation Master

So happy as I have voted for this functionnality in O365

Nintex Newbie

Great functionality guys! Will this eventually be evolved to allow Skype for Business users who would like to respond by means of a chat dialog?

Nintex Newbie

Hi Brad !

So happy to get this feature active on the cloud ! However, I just tested it:

1) I recieve the email

2) I reply to the email with the following: approved

I also tried with approve, rejected etc...

Unfortunately, I don't see in the workflow history the task being fulfilled, and I recieve no feedback email about an error. Also, I can't see any error on the workflow history log. Therefore my question:

How much time in average does it take to process the replied email ? I waited 30min without any answer or result in the task.

Thanks !


Automation Master
Automation Master

I have tried also and it worked for me but I need to wait between 5 and 10 minutes, not 30 minutes.

Did you put 'approve' in the body?

Nintex Newbie

Hi Christophe,

Yes I did. I only add into the body: approve.

Should I add the "", as in 'approve' ?

Automation Master
Automation Master

No, just Approve

In my case, I have used the 'Assign a Task' action

Wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the mail (You must have the token at the end of the Subject)

Reply with approve or decline

Wait about 5 to 10 minutes and mytask was Completed and the Outcome gets the right value.

My last try was at 10:02 CET

Hope it helps,


Nintex Newbie

Hi Henri,

Was this an existing workflow that you enabled LazyApproval on or a new one? To do some basic triage, I would recommend building a new workflow, place a task action on the canvas and configure it to send the task to the Initiator, enable LazyApproval and publish. Then run the workflow and see what happens. Sometimes, when new updates drop, it may take a little time for all the tenants to catch up.

But, there could also be something else a miss inside of the SP Online tenant so if after trying the new workflow and waiting a couple of hours you still experience this issue please don't hesitate to reach out to our Support Team as they would definitely be able to look into this further.



Nintex Newbie

HI Brad,

Thanks for your reply. I actually first tested on a existing workflow - didn't work.

Then, I created exactly the workflow you described with only the task action, but then again it didn't work.

By "didn't work", I mean that I waited more than 30-40min then I gave up with the task result or email.

I hope that its related to the fact that my tenant didn't catch up yet. I will try later to do the simple workflow again, if it doesn't work, I will certainly reach the Support Team.

Best regards,


Nintex Newbie

I am sure more documentation will come in due time, but do we know if any recipient can respond to the approval request email or just the one matching the Office 365 user address ?

I am saying this because I will need it for a tenant that use email forwarding to their corporate account (hence they only use Office 365 to login and when replying an email it won't be from Office 365 address).

PS: really really great announcement indeed !

Nintex Newbie

Hey Francois,

No, you can't send notifications to to anyone outside of your domain at this point (due to some issues in O365 itself) but this is something we're looking at addressing in a future release.



Nintex Newbie

ok thank you Brad Orluk​ actually I tested last night and .. still waiting for the workflow task to move so I figured it wasn't allowed yet. 

Not applicable


Two questions;

1) Did you receive your task notification email on the new test?

2) Are you by chance using ADFS in your environment? If so, do you have an SMTP relay configured?


Andrew Beals

Nintex Newbie

Great News!

I'm sure, custom response phrases will be available soon right!?

Nintex Newbie

Custom phrases are planned for a future release, but I cannot comment on when that functionality will be introduced.

Nintex Newbie

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your answer. Actually, I don't have access to central admin, but for sure there's an ADFS configured. I asked a colleague of mine to test and it worked. I think that's because I'm not registered on the AD directly. Problem is that I can't really test it myself for implementation



Not applicable


Thanks for following up. Just as a quick note, there should be no issues with ADFS and using lazy approval on O365.


Andrew Beals

Not applicable

Is it possible to get the reply'ed email content .. like i could in Nintex Workflow 2013. So that i can get any eventually added commends in the reply email ??

Nintex Newbie

No Mark, afraid you can't. :(  Nor can you add custom responses at the moment.

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