Is there a way to backup and restore a site collection and still preserve all list workflows? I am backing up one of our production sites, but when I move it to staging all the workflows lose their list associations.

Also, I can publish new workflows to the site with no errors through SharePoint Designer, but they never appear on the new site. Other site collections created within the staging farm work with no issue.

  • How are you backing up and restoring the site collection? Can you provide more detail? A site collection backup carries with it all the sites, list and workflows so there should not be a loss of association between the workflow and lists.
    – Erik Perez
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 5:17
  • Originally I did a back/restore of site collection. All my workflow associations were lost with this method. Saving the workflow as a template and installing as a solution also did not work as the workflow themselves would not run.
    – MickB
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 15:26
  • A similar question has been answered : Global workflows will not work well on a restored site collection
    – Symon
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


So the only way I was able to move workflows over was to backup the content database and move that it to the other server. This was done via SQL server.

I then moved the restored the content database on the new server and mounted it. In my particular instance I did not need to preserve any data on my staging server, but you may take that into account when using this method.

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