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In SharePoint 2019, I created a SharePoint site with a publishing site with workflow template and I need to change the site template to be only a publishing site.

publishing site with workflow SharePoint 2019

How can I change the site template after it was created in SharePoint 2019?

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Change the SharePoint Site template after it was created, Is it possible?

As a Short answer, NO. Once the SharePoint site has been created, you can't change its template! Instead, you have to delete it and recreate it again with your preferred site template.

Check also Get SharePoint Site Template Name using PowerShell

In your case, you are using a Publishing site with workflow template that is considered a Publishing site template with Approval workflow enabled!
Therefore, you don't need to delete the site and recreate it again, you just need as a workaround solution to stop the approval workflow by doing the following:

1) Remove and disable publishing workflow for a specific document library

  1. Open Site contents > Click on the Page Library.
    disable workflow in sharepoint 2019
  2. Again, Click on Workflow settings and remove the approval workflow.
    remove workflow in sharepoint 2019

2) Deactivate workflow features in the SharePoint site

You can also deactivate the workflow features in the SharePoint site in site collection features by doing the following:

  1. Open Site collection.
  2. Go to Site Settings > Site Collection Administration.
  3. Click on Site collection features.
    site collection features sharepoint 2019
  4. Deactivate the following workflow features
    • Workflows
    • Publishing Approval Workflow
    • Disposition Approval Workflow

See also Install and Configure Workflow Manager SharePoint 2016 / 2019 Step by Step

If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO!