If you are having problems with the email-based approvals, the following troubleshooting tips may help:
1. Open the Workflow Central Administration site > Config Keys and verify the series of keys that are related to email approval. They all begin with EMailApproval.
• EMailApprovalAddress - Should an email address dedicated to only receiving approval emails. e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org
• EMailApprovalUser - Should be the account used to log in to the email account. e.g., svapproval
• EMailApprovalPassword - Should be the password for the account.
• EMailApprovalMailServer - Should be set to the hostname of the mail server.
• EMailApprovalServerPort - Should be the port to use when connecting to the email server.
• EMailApprovalServerType - Should be set to either pop3 or imap.
• EMailApprovalUseSSL - Whether or not your email server uses SSL.
2. Run connectiontest.exe (usually located at C:\Program Files\ShareVis\bin\) to make sure that you can access the email server from the SharePoint server.
• Navigate to C:\Program Files\Sharevis\bin
• Right-Click connectiontest.exe, and then click Run-as Administrator.
• Go to the POP3/IMAP tab. Fill in the fields with the relevant information for your POP3/IMAP server, and then click Retrieve.
• View results in the Results tab.
3. Configure an email client, such as Outlook Express, on your SharePoint server with all of the settings from step 1. Make sure the emails are getting to the mailbox.
4. In the Workflow Central Administration site > Manage Background Jobs, verify that the single entry with a type of EmailApproval has a status of pending.