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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Adjusting Alteryx Files for Different Versions

Created on

Modifying this idea from another post to keep the topic fresh (I hope previous posters won’t mind!).


Alteryx has just released version 10.6.  Making Alteryx compatible with older versions comes up on the Community a lot when answering questions and a user doesn’t have the latest version of the designer. The below serves as a guide to ensure your workflow versions correspond to the designer release you have installed.


If you get an error message that looks like this one:




This means the workflow you are attempting to open was created on a version of Alteryx that is more current than the one you're using.  Alteryx is forward compatible, meaning if you developed a workflow in version 10.5 for example, it will run in version 10.6.  However, Alteryx is not backward compatible.  A workflow developed in version 10.6 will not run in version 10.5.


You have a couple of options at this point.  You can download and install the most current version of Alteryx (available here).  Alternatively, you can change the versioning of your workflow to be compatible with your current version.


There are various different file types Alteryx uses:


Standard Workflow file


Macro Workflow (all types)


Analytic App (wz stands for wizard I believe)


Workflow Package


Alteryx Database


The top three are all basically the same format – they are the XML configuration of the workflow. You can view this within Alteryx Designer in the XML View (Options >> User Settings >> Edit User Settings >> Advanced >> Display XML in Properties Window).  The first section of the XML looks like:




In Windows Explorer, navigate to where you've saved the file.  Right mouse click and select 'Edit with Notepad' option.



Look for ymdVer = "XX.X" and change the version to your version.  Afterwards, save the file.




The AlteryxDocument node is the same for Workflows, Macros and Analytic Apps. The yxmdVer attribute is the part of the file which tells Alteryx which version this came from. If you want this file to be able to be opened by an older version you can change the number. The table below gives the version number you need for different Alteryx versions:


Alteryx Versions




10, 10.1






So what are the risks? Alteryx doesn’t guarantee the serialized tool format and configuration will be consistent from version to version– though it normally is. The universe of tools that exist is continually growing.  If Alteryx can’t find the tool the designer will add an unknown tool:




This can generally be resolved by finding the missing tool and replace the unknown with the known.  If the unknown tool happens to be macro, use the same process to change the version for the .yxmc XML.  After you save it, you can replace your macro. 


What about packages? These are actually just zip files with a .yxzp extension. If you change the extension to .zip you can take a look inside.  It’s just a case of updating the files inside the zip and then saving renaming it back to yxzp.



Quite happy for my post to reposted - FWIW I correct it after the first version and I think v10.6 uses a yxmdVer is actual 10.5.


I tried this process in an attempt to run a 11.0 workflow on 10.6 and couldn't get it to work - The "This document was created by a more recent version of this application and cannot be read" error still appeared when I tried to open the altered workflow.


Does this workaround not function with 11.0?

Yes, this process works for 11.0 to 10.6. Just remember the yxmdVer for 10.6 is 10.5

Question: Given this method is available to make a tool backward compatible - which can't Alteryx be backward compatible by default? I understand that in the latest versions there may be a new tool which has been used in the workflow which was not present in previous version and Alteryx could be smart enough to identify that and prompt for the same.


Since the original posting, Alteryx has released a number of new versions of Alteryx Designer.  Thought I would update it a bit by sharing some new information.  The chart below shows which yxmdVer = XX.X value to use.










If you have developed a workflow in v11.5 and someone using v10.6 wants to run it, find v10.6 under Alteryx Version in the chart above and the yxmdVer on the left side is the value you use modify the code (in this case, it would be v10.5).

Think entry for Alteryx 11.3 and 11.5 should be yxmdVer = 11.3


Yes, @jdunkerley79 is correct:

Alteryx 11.3 and 11.5 should be yxmdVer = 11.3


Alteryx Certified Partner

I have made an "alteryx downgrader" app which basically takes a workflow/macro as input and downgrades it to 10.5. Have fun!!app/alteryx-downgrader/5a0c365af499c708d03777f5


updating somewhat...

yxmdVer Alteryx Version
10.5 10.5, 10.6
11.0 11.0
11.3 11.3, 11.5
11.7 11.7
11.8 11.8
2018.1 2018.1

Excellent work.  Easily downgraded 2018.2 to 10.5 with no issues.