Has anyone ever tried to move a subsite to a new site collection and keep the workflow history? It seems a standard export/import ignores this list, even more advanced tools such as CopyMove, Codeplex Content Deployment Wizard, DPM - even a backup/restore to the new site collection doesn't bring it across (new site collection is in a separate database)

Any ideas or product suggestions welcome!


  • How did you confirm the Workflow History did not come across? Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


If backup/restore doesn't bring it over (surprises me slightly), then I can think of a possible way to bring over the Workflow History list as a separate step. I'm not sure if any links/references to it will still be in place though, you'd have to try it.

Anyway I think you might be able to bring it over with the Content Deployment Wizard (I'm the creator). You'd need to edit the SPDeploymentWizard.exe.config file and add the following key:

   <add key="ListsNotForExport" value="Cache Profiles, Content and Structure Reports, Converted Forms, Long Running Operation Status, Notification List, Quick Deploy Items, Relationships List, Reporting Metadata, Reporting Templates, User Information List, Variation Labels, Workflows, Workflow Tasks, **Workflow History**, fpdatasources" />

This is the 'default' set of lists hidden from the treeview - you can remove 'Workflow History' from the list above, which will make it selectable as an individual list. This should enable you to pick up that individual list and export/import it.

Not 100% sure this is the real problem you should be trying to solve though, seems an unusual situation.

  • Hi Chris, I have tried your tool already and had applied this config setting. It seems however to export the list but does not process any of the list items. So we effectively have an empty list. Not sure if this is a bug with your wizard or a SharePoint restriction? It is an unusual situation. The client needs to break a large site collection up but needs to retain all workflow history in the new site collections. Backup and Restore did bring the Workflow History but we could only perform this at the Site Collection level. We are trying to export just a subsite. Hope that makes sense. Commented Mar 25, 2010 at 12:15
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    In that case I think there's a restriction in SharePoint's content deployment API. In fact, the more I think of it this is definitely the case. Sorry, should have occurred to me earlier :( You'll need to try an alternative approach.. Commented Mar 25, 2010 at 14:29
  • Thanks Chris, we thought that might be the case. Hoping someone somewhere has done this already... Commented Mar 25, 2010 at 14:59

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