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Engine Works

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.
22 - Nova
22 - Nova

While Alteryx continues to release new versions, there is a common scenario that I have come across in the Alteryx Community and other generic places. A person has built this amazing workflow (with macros) or an analytic app, and has shared it as a packaged workflow or an analytic app. Now with all the excitement when you try to open it, you get an error similar to below.







Now that's a bummer! 😞 


Fortunately, there is a way to fix it. And I want to share this really helpful workaround so that users can add this to their toolbelt. And version issue is no longer a major roadblock : )


Let us address the below questions:

  1. How to downgrade packaged workflows? 
  2. How to downgrade Analytic Apps, Macros and Workflows?


I will use workflows from my favorite weekly challenges as examples:

  1. challenge_244_Cats and Dogs.yxzp: Packaged workflow containing workflow and data files. Link to the challenge 
  2. challenge_246_Rectangle Tangle.yxzp: Packaged workflow containing workflow, iterative macro and data files. Link to the challenge 
  3. challenge_215_Gotta Catch 'em All.yxwz: An analytic app. Link to the challenge 


Please find the examples attached at the end of the blog.


How to downgrade packaged workflows? 

Step 1: Get to know your Alteryx version, so that you know which version the packaged workflow needs to be downgraded to. (Note: If you already know your Alteryx version you can skip this step.)


Go to the Menu bar > Help > About - a window pops up with the version number. Here I am using 2020.1.





Step 2: Browse to the location of the packaged workflow to open.


Go to the Menu bar > File > Open Workflow > Browse > Window pops up to select the packaged workflow. Here I am selecting challenge_246_Rectangle Tangle.yxzp packaged workflow and attempting to open it.




When you attempt to open it you’ll get the following prompts:




Click yes.




Click import.


You will be stopped by this version warning. Click ok.




Now through the Desktop screen browse to the file location of packaged workflow.




You will be able to see that a folder with the packaged workflow name has been created.


Explanation: Alteryx packaged workflow is kind of a zip file and when you are trying to import it, it is actually unzipping the files for you. On further look into the folder, you can see all the files that were present in the packaged workflow.




Now, since we have converted the packaged workflow to workflows and macros, let's look into the next question.


How to downgrade Analytic Apps, Macros and Workflows?

Step 1: In a file browse, navigate to your Analytic Apps/Macros/Workflows. I am browsing to the above example file location.


Step 2: Open the Analytic Apps/Macros/Workflows in a text editor such as Notepad.


Right click on the file > Open with > Notepad


If you don't see Notepad in the options, select “Choose another app” and browse for Notepad or your preferred text editor.




 Step 3: Change the version in notepad and save it.


When you open an Analytic App/Macro/Workflow in the text editor, follow the steps below. Here yxmdVer=”2021.1” is the current version of the macro and I need to downgrade it to 2020.1 so that it works in my Designer. Change “2021.1” (macro version) to “2020.1” (my Designer version), save the file and close it.








Repeat the above steps to convert any Analytic Apps/Macros/Workflows.


Step 4 / Final Step: Check the workflow in Designer to see whether all the Analytic Apps/Macros/Workflows files are working.




It's working for me! I hope it works in your scenario too. Feel free to reply to this post if you are facing any issues. I will be happy to help. Cheers and Happy Analyzing : )



Banner image by Inspired Images


22 - Nova
22 - Nova

My first blog article published on Alteryx Community super excited 🙂😊😁. This is a commonly known workaround. And this article can be shared as a guide for the workaround.


This article was inspired by a common scenario that I have seen on the discussion board where a solution author has designed this amazing solution that meets the requirement but the end-user is not able to open and use it due to the version issue. The limitation that packaged workflows cant be downgraded directly also adds to the issue. When end-users used to reply saying they were facing version issues while using the solution author's workflow, I often used to help them by downgrading the files or by sharing these 2 links (link 1link 2) with them. Here is a walk-through guide on how to resolve the version issues. You can share this with your end-user and help them resolve the version issues. And succeed in solving their problem statement by giving them a compatible solution 😀.


I took your suggestion @danilang fixed this super helpful post 🙂


@mceleavey you can share your workflow with your awesome macros as packaged workflow and share them this guide. And not worry about getting into the hassle of helping them set up the macros 😎.


I hope you find this article helpful and help others with this article

@Qiu@Emil_Kos@TheOC@apathetichell@Luke_C@AngelosPachis@DawnDuong@KarolinaRoza@Thableaus@mbarone @messi007@Maskell_Rascal@AkimasaKajitani@shreyanshrathod@vizAlter@dougperez.


15 - Aurora



Thanks for tagging me. It's really helpful  🙂


Best regards,

11 - Bolide

Hi @atcodedog05,


Thanks a lot for sharing the article!

It is very helpful as I recently struggled with this issue.


Have a good day!




17 - Castor
17 - Castor

That's some fine work, Kiran. I was wondering when you were going to get around to this 🙂


This is something that comes up a lot, and although it's probably not supported by Alteryx, it's a quick fix and very useful.

I'll certainly be linking to this when I post tools to the community.



22 - Nova
22 - Nova

Glad you found it helpful @messi007 and @KarolinaRoza 😀

22 - Nova
22 - Nova

Hi @mceleavey 


I remember the time when we were trying to solve the SQL sequence flow through the macros use case. It was a bit of turmoil while communicating with the end-user 😅

This guide should help them in making it compatible and get them working 🙂


Thanks and glad you found it helpful @mceleavey 😀



12 - Quasar

Hi @atcodedog05 — Thank you for sharing the article! 👍

It is one of the most common scenarios, especially for new Alteryx enthusiast(s).  

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Hi @atcodedog05,


Awesome work. It is very useful, and I am sure I will share a link to this article very often on the community.

The truth is it is such a big bummer for new users as they don't know how to sort it out...

I tried to search myself(I don't want to create another one as I believe there are plenty of them already), but I couldn't find a relevant idea in the idea section.

I believe you can open a workflow from the newer Alteryx version(you will get a warning message when doing so). I think this should work the same for Alteryx packages.

If anyone would be so kind as to post a link to this idea under this article, we could change it!





22 - Nova
22 - Nova

I agree with you @vizAlter glad you found it helpful 😀

22 - Nova
22 - Nova

Glad you found it helpful @Emil_Kos 😀


Posting an idea on this sounds great we should definitely do it, that would help the new version users. But there would still be a limitation for older version users since they cant use this feature to downgrade (because any new feature would be present only in the latest version).

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Hi @atcodedog05,



Taking into consideration that propably I will encounter this issue on the community. I have added this article to bookmark as propably sooner or later I can share it with someone in the community 🙂




22 - Nova
22 - Nova




19 - Altair
19 - Altair

I recall you solve this issue in one of your solutions and the snapshots were somehow gone.

This is vey nice and helpful. Thanks.

22 - Nova
22 - Nova

Yes, that's right @Qiu without the images it had become less helpful and easy to use 😅. In place of it, I posted this guide 🙂Glad you found it helpful @Qiu 😀


13 - Pulsar
13 - Pulsar

this is super @atcodedog05 !

13 - Pulsar

@atcodedog05 - this is a fantastic write up on what can be a very frustrating process for new users when sharing workflows!


I would only add that Alteryx packaged workflows can be converted to an actual zip file by changing the file extension. You can then downgrade all the workflows/macros/etc, and then change the file extension back to a .yxzp before sharing. Note that you can't use the Open With option from a zip file, so you'd have to downgrade them outside of the zip. This method is only useful if you know the version of the end user you are sharing your packed workflow with. 








Contents of zip file:




22 - Nova
22 - Nova

Hi @Maskell_Rascal 


Thank you for sharing the zip workaround 🙂. We used to follow the same workaround before in the discussion board to provide packaged workflow to end-users. Downgrade the files, zip it, and share it. But sadly Alteryx Community stopped support for zip files as attachments and we could not use this workaround anymore.


But this is definitely great a workaround to follow that can be used on other mediums if sharing as .zip file is allowed 🙂👍

10 - Fireball

Dear @atcodedog05 


Thank you for sharing ... your article is very helpful and I will try to learn it.