Optimizing timeout settings: SharePoint timer service

Workflow issues can occur if the timeout setting for the SharePoint timer service is not long enough for your workflows to complete. This document provides instructions for viewing and changing the timeout setting by editing the web.config file for the web application.

Disclaimer: Consult your administrator and the referenced Microsoft articles to determine the optimal SharePoint configuration for your environment.

For more information on this timeout setting, including stsadm commands for viewing and changing the setting, see “Timeout” under “Important Workflow Configuration Settings” in the MSDN article Workflow Scalability and Performance....

For a description of the default timer jobs created by SharePoint, see the TechNet article Timer job reference (SharePoint 2013).

To view the timeout setting for a web application

  1. From IIS Manager, right-click the web application and select Explore.
    The files for the web application are displayed in Windows Explorer.
  2. Open the web.config file in a text editor.
  3. Search the file for the following string (must be within a <system.transactions> section under <configuration>):
    defaultSettings timeout
    If the string does not exist in the file, then the default timeout setting is used.

To specify the timeout setting for a web application

  1. View the web.config file as described in the previous procedure.
  2. If "defaultSettings timeout" does not exist, then add it to the file, placing it within a new <system.transactions> section at the very end of the <configuration> section.
    Example (no timeout value):
    <defaultSettings timeout=”” />
  3. If “defaultSettings timeout” exists and it is contained within a <system.transactions> section under <configuration>, then update the value as desired.
    Example set to 30 minutes:
    <defaultSettings timeout=”00:30:00” />
  4. Perform the IISReset command on all web front end servers.
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Re: Optimizing timeout settings: SharePoint timer service

Example of an issue you may encounter:

Nintex.Workflow.NWActionExecutionException: Failed to commit workflow ---> System.Workflow.Runtime.Hosting.PersistenceException: The transaction has aborted. ---> System.Transactions.TransactionAbortedException: The transaction has aborted. ---> System.TimeoutException: Transaction Timeout 

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