SharePoint 2010 workflow backup and restore

I'm on on premises SP 2013 but limited to SP 2010 workflows.
I have a long complicated workflow that I'm working on.  I need to backup it periodiocally so that I can restore it to its previous configuration if the workflow becomes corrupted (which it can during designer editing on rare occasion).
I can see the workflow detailed files under all files in the workflow library but can't download these directly from Designer.
You can't view this library as a normal library with views and it has special behind the scenes handling evidently even if you make that library visible to the browser.  
Since it's not a 2013 workflow, you can't save as a template.
Does anyone have the DETAILED steps for backing up the workflow files and then restoring them over top of a more recent change if needed.  I've attempted to download the contents of the workflow files themselves and then restore them but this doesn't work as SP keeps track of the the saved copy and the published copy separately.
I' ve read the blogs - please only answer if you have actually successfully and have restored a 2010 workflow back to a previous configuration.  
I've searched on the Internet blogs and here but can't quite get it to backup and restore properly on the same list.

If it matters - I don't care about preserving the state of previously running copies of the workflow.  It runs within a few minutes and finishes so there's no active workflows running under normal conditions.
Keyboard CowboyAsked:
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Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
Sorry, I don't have a solution for you, but I have had similar situations. From my experience, I would say there is not a good solution that improves this situation. If another expert has a solution, I would love to learn it.

What I do to improve the situation however are take a few extra steps in my development process that help me. Maybe they will help you.

I use site workflows as a basis for workflows. When ever I am ready to step up to a new phase of the workflow development, I use SharePoint designer to make a copy of the workflow, using a new version number, (for example going from SuperWorkflow1.0 to Superworkflow2.0). Then associate the site workflow with the object I am working with, a list or library. Of course that means I have multiple workflows associated with the object, but upon completion I disassociate or delete the workflow from the object.

A few other things to think about. Although buggy, SharePoint Designer 2013 supports cut and paste so you can cut and paste your workflow in to a different workflow if you have two instances of SPD open. I am not sure if that works with 2010 workflows, but it does with 2013 workflows.

One last comment, I have not had any luck backing up workflows via the file method your describe. I have the same results. Wish it worked though.

Hope that helps...

Happy New Year!

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Keyboard CowboyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Walter for your thoughtful response.  I too use site workflows like you - however I inherited this list I'm working with with 1,300 records and about 125 pre-existing fields.  I'd have to convert all of those fields to site columns which was really a non-starter considering the migration effort and of courses it's a live system with updates going on all day  I've done the whole copy/paste routine to another workflow but it has problems with 2010 workflows - you have to re-declare every workflow variable, frequently constants have to be redone, and there are other issues.  I once had a corrupted workflow (refused to publish) and had to re-create the workflow through copy/paste.  Perhaps it works better on 2013 style workflows but I'm stuck with 2010 workflows on this server unfortunately.    As a tip, you've probably discovered already, you can make a WF non-publishable by moving a condition block up or down especially if it would combine two conditions into a if-else block.  So I only copy/paste things around - never move up or down if there's a condition involved.  That seems to work properly.   But I treat SPD with kid gloves when working on this workflow - it's about 12 pages long at this point with 40 or so variables, etc etc.   I would like to split it up into mulitple workflows but that invites over complications since the order of processing is important.
sigh - oh well, you'd think there would be a way to backup/restore and stage releases with WFs but I can't find a way to reliably do it.
Thanks for your helpful response regardless.   I've leave the question open for a bit to see if anyone else has any clever ideas..
Happy holidays
Keyboard CowboyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Walter for your helpful tips... I don't' think we have a really good solution to this problem however.  But I'll go ahead and close the question at this point.  Happy Holidays
Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
Thanks and Happy Holidays to you too.

I hope one day workflows are improved!
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