I am trying to migrate a SharePoint 2010 workflow to a SharePoint 2016 site using SharePoint Designer.

For this I have followed the steps mentioned on this blog.

Copy/Move SharePoint 2010 designer workflows

  1. In the first(source) site, create the required workflow and publish it.
  2. Now select Export to Visio option which allows you to save the workflow with a .vwi extension. (Refer this workflow hereafter as source workflow).
  3. Now go to the destination site where you want the workflow to be copied, and create a new workflow with the same name as the previous one & publish it.
  4. Now select Export to Visio option which allows you to save the workflow with a .vwi extension. (Refer this workflow hereafter as Destination workflow).
  5. Now you will be having two .vwi files (one of source workflow’s – SourceWorkflowName.vwi and other of the destination workflow’s – DestinationWorkflowName.vwi). Now add .zip extension to both the files. Now your files names should be SourceWorkflowName.vwi.zip & DestinationWorkflowName.vwi.zip.
  6. Now open both the zip files, copy workflow.xoml.wfconfig.xml from destination workflow to source workflow. (Its destination to source and not source to destination).
  7. From now on, we will not use the file DestinationWorkflowName.vwi.zip. So ignore that file.
  8. Remove the .zip extension from SourceWorkflowName.vwi.zip which gives you the SourceWorkflowName.vwi file.
  9. Now, go to the destination site, open workflows and click Import from Visio and browse to the SourceWorkflowName.vwi file.

But when I am importing it to Visio, nothing is happening.

Same thing I tried for SharePoint 2010 workflow, I am able to import a SharePoint 2010 workflow to another SharePoint 2010 site, but not in SharePoint 2016 site.


The SharePoint designer workflows created in SharePoint 2010 platforms are not directly supported in SharePoint 2016 (as this platform is deprecated in SP2016 and introduced a new workflow manager). You can use the technique that you have referred in the article Copying/Moving SharePoint 2010 Designer Workflows to migrate SPD workflows across SharePoint 2010.

In case of migrating workflows from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016, this approach works for some simple scenarios and may not work for the complex scenarios (for example, you have used the built-in approval process workflow in your SharePoint designer workflow) and it purely depends upon the nature / design and working process of your workflow.

You can also possibly use a third-party SharePoint migration tool such as Vyapin’s Dockit Migrator for SharePoint, which caters to SharePoint designer workflow migration from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016.

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