Fixing User Cannot Be Found in SharePoint 2010 Workflow Settings

We started getting this error overnight on our SharePoint 2010 farm. Workflows stopped working, we couldn’t republish list workflows, and we couldn’t access the Workflow Settings page for any list or library on the entire site collection. The following error would appear:

User Cannot Be Found

Opening SharePoint Designer at the site collection level, we discovered that the Globally Reusable Workflows and Reusable Workflows were owned by user accounts that had been deleted. In order to fix this we used SharePoint Designer to open every workflow and clicked Publish with a static user account (i.e. the Farm service account or App pool service account). After republishing, all started working again.

 

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