how to move SharePoint 2010 workflows build using sp designer 2010 from dev to production ? until now I have alwasy recreated that in prod environment , is there a better way to do it

2 Answers 2


Try to export to visio then import it to poruction by following the mentioned steps below :

  • In SharePoint Designer 2010, click on your completed List Workflow.
  • Click on “Save” and “Publish” for the completed List Workflow.
  • Next, click on “Export to Visio”. Save the file as CompletedWorkflow.vwi or any preferred name.
  • Then create a new “similar” list on the current site or on a new site collection.
  • There is no way to import the exported visio into this new list.
  • In SharePoint Designer 2010, click on this new list and then click on “List Workflow” to create a new workflow for this new list.
  • Please make sure that you do not add any workflow steps!
  • Click on “Save” and “Publish” for this empty List Workflow.
  • Then, click on “Export to Visio” and save this as EmptyWorkflow.vwi or any preferred name.
  • Rename both the vwi files by adding “.zip” extension. The files should be CompletedWorkflow.vwi.zip and EmptyWorkflow.vwi.zip.
  • The objective is to replace the “workflow.xoml.wfconfig.xml” file from the EmptyWorkflow.vwi.zip into the CompletedWorkflow.vwi.zip.
  • It is likely that you cannot replace it directly. Copy the file out to the desktop and then copy the file into the other zipped folder.
  • Remove the “.zip” extension from the CompletedWorkflow.vwi.
  • With this, we have a working importable visio List Workflow.
  • Back in the SharePoint Designer 2010, close all the workflow tabs.
  • Click on the “Import from Visio” and select the CompletedWorkflow.vwi.

You have successfully export and import the List Workflow! Ref


There's not a simple way out of the box. There are articles about how to movie them with Visio. The answer to this question goes through moving it and then replacing the List GUIDs. This is the tutorial I usually refer to.

There are also 3rd party tools that make this easier. We've used DocAve.

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