Where is the SharePoint workflow history list (Hidden List)?

Posted on February 2, 2009

I somehow thought that the Workflow History List in SharePoint was a link under “View All Site Content”, just like the Workflow Tasks list that the system creates by default (at least for a Publishing Site). It is useful to have access to the History List as you create workflows (either built-in workflows or workflows set up with MS Designer or Visual Studio). Here are a few things to know about the Workflow History list:

Hidden List: It is not listed under “View All Site Content”, but you can manually navigate to it via http://[servername]/[sitename]/lists/Workflow%20History.
Temporary Log: By default, the logs are only kept for 60 days, because of the item limit of SharePoint lists. If you need an audit history for a longer time, the Workflow History probably won’t work for you.
Disable Cleanup Job: If you want to keep the History List for an extended time, you can upate the settings in Central Administration>Operations>Global Configuration>Timer Job Definitions. See this Microsoft Technet article for details.
Permanent Audit List: If you need a permanent audit list, you will probably have to create a custom list. Look at this endusersharepoint.com post for more.
How to use History Log in a workflow: For a good example of how to integrate history logging into a workflow created with SharePoint designer, look at this blog post.