You run into ‘SharePoint Designer cannot display the item’ error when you are trying to edit an existing workflow setup in Designer quite often when there is a windows update or update to .NET framework installed in your computer.
In some cases it may also not allow you to create new workflows.
Clearing Designer cache will resolve the issue in most of the cases. Designer will be referencing the old .NET assemblies because of caching. Once you clear cache and load the site again in Designer, cache is regenerated with updated assemblies.
Here are the steps to clear Designer cache:
- Close SharePoint Designer 2013.
- Delete all the files from %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WebsiteCache
- Delete all the files from %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Web Server Extensions\Cache.
- Delete all the files from %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SharePoint Designer\ProxyAssemblyCache.
Once you clear these folder and open the SharePoint site back in Designer 2013 ‘SharePoint Designer cannot display the item’ will disappear and site & workflows will load as normal. Hope this helps!