We have a few workflow states in our 8.2 instance, including Draft, then Awaiting Content Admin Approval, then Awaiting PAO Approval. Once it's submitted by a contributor level user to the Awaiting Content Admin Approval, the content admin user can submit the item for PAO Approval, or they can edit it.

But if they lock it for edit, it shows up in their own workbox fine under the Awaiting Content Approval workflow state, however when I log in as a PAO user, it's not in the Workbox, and when I navigate to the item in the content editor, it gives me no workflow execution options, only showing that it's locked by the content admin. The PAO user needs to be able to see the item in the workbox and they need to be able to execute workflow commands, even if the item is locked, is that possible?

I've tried giving PAO users workflow state write, workflow state delete, read, write, delete, inherit, etc. access rights to the Awaiting Admin Approval workflow state, but they still don't see the item in their workbox. It seems that locking the item simply removes it from view in the Workbox for all but the user who locked it.

Is there some permission that I'm not giving that would resolve this issue?

  • This sounds like a permission thing. I'm assuming there is workflow on that item. Make sure that user has Read rights on that workflow state (you may also want to check that that have workflow state execute or they won't be able to advance that item to the next state in the workflow)
    – Mikeyp
    Jun 28, 2019 at 15:34
  • It looks like all the users experience the same thing - that as soon as an item is locked in whatever workflow state it happens to be in, it is removed from that section in the workflow for every user except the user that created it. Jun 28, 2019 at 15:37
  • I tried to recreate the scenario but could not. I have content locked by one user (it is now in draft state in the workflow). I logged in as another user, went to the workbox and that user could see the content in draft state that is locked by that other user. I have version 8.2. All users have "read" rights to that state in the workflow. What version of Sitecore do you have?
    – Mikeyp
    Jun 28, 2019 at 16:41
  • It's 8.2. When I go to the item in question in the content editor, it doesn't display any of the workflow execute items, just the notice that the other user has locked the item. When I look at the workflow state in question, the user who doesn't see the item because it is locked as read, workflow state write, and workflow state delete access to that state. Jun 28, 2019 at 19:46
  • I'll try to flesh out the details a bit more in the question content. Jun 28, 2019 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


Based on some discussion with Sitecore support, I learned that workbox items indeed are not supposed to be visible when locked unless you are an admin or the person who locked the item. Specifically in Sitecore.Shell.Applications.Workbox, the following code determines this:

ArrayList arrayList = new ArrayList(items.Length);
DataUri[] array = items;
for (int i = 0; i < array.Length; i++)
    DataUri dataUri = array[i];
    Item item = Context.ContentDatabase.GetItem(dataUri);
    if (item != null && item.Access.CanRead() && item.Access.CanReadLanguage() && item.Access.CanWriteLanguage() && (Context.IsAdministrator || item.Locking.CanLock() || item.Locking.HasLock()))
return arrayList.ToArray(typeof(DataUri)) as DataUri[];

So, if one wanted to allow for visibility of locked items for those who were not admins and not the user who locked the item, one could override this part of the Workbox code. At the current time we've decided to not customize this but to come back to it at a later date and decide whether customizing would be better than leaving it as is.

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