LazyApproval in SharePoint Online (Office 365)

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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: