Reverting LabVIEW Files to a Previous Version

Updated Nov 30, 2023



  • LabVIEW

When developing, debugging, updating, or sharing LabVIEW programs, it can be useful to run code compiled in a more recent edition of LabVIEW rather than in an older version. 

This document explains how to correctly save LabVIEW VIs so that they can be run in a previous version of the LabVIEW Development Engine. This will help you avoid errors when trying to open code in previous versions of LabVIEW.


Below you will find the list of functions that will be affected by the LabVIEW version revert, so please be sure you have considered all possible options.
  • New VI Functionality: VIs that have functionality introduced in a later version of LabVIEW cannot fully function in a previous version of LabVIEW where the new functionality does not exist. In this case, when you save the new VI for a previous version, the new functionality will be missing in the older version of the VI. The VIs that do not work will be replaced with VIs containing question marks on the block diagram. 
  • VIs from Toolkits: You cannot save VIs in toolkits for previous versions. This is because toolkits have their own versions, and you can only have a toolkit installed for one version of LabVIEW at a time on a machine.
  • Functions from vi.lib: VIs in vi.lib are also not saved for previous versions. There is no need to save a VI to a previous version when that VI already exists in that version. When you save a VI for a previous version of LabVIEW, the vi.lib VIs are not converted, but the reference to that VI will remain. When the VI is then opened up in the previous version of LabVIEW, the newly converted VI links to the vi.lib VI of that version of LabVIEW. This process saves time and disk space. The newly converted VI will function the same using the previous version of the vi.lib VI.

The procedure to revert your LabVIEW code to previous versions varies depending on: the version of LabVIEW the code was originally written in, the version you are looking to revert to, and what versions of LabVIEW you have access to.

  • If you are looking to revert code to LabVIEW 8.0 or prior versions, continue to the Archived: Reverting Legacy LabVIEW Code section below.
  • If you do not have access to the version(s) required to completely revert to your desired version, see the Version Conversion Community Forum section below.

Reverting LabVIEW Files

  1. Launch LabVIEW. You will need to open a version of LabVIEW greater than or equal to the version the LabVIEW file was initially saved in.
    • For example, to revert a VI created in LabVIEW 2017, you will need to use LabVIEW 2017 or later in order to initially open the VI.
  2. Open your VI(s), LabVIEW project, or project library in LabVIEW.
  3. Follow instructions from LabVIEW Help to Save for a Previous Version
    • Steps may vary slightly depending on your LabVIEW version. Follow the Help steps written for your LabVIEW version.
    • Using this method, you can save as far back as LabVIEW 8.0.
    • If you need to revert back to before LabVIEW 8.0, you will need access to multiple versions of LabVIEW to completely revert your VI. Follow the steps in the Archived: Reverting Legacy LabVIEW Code section below

Archived: Reverting Legacy LabVIEW Code

If you are looking to revert code to LabVIEW 8.0 or prior versions, your destination version will not directly available in your current version.

In LabVIEW 8.0 and earlier versions, you are able to save for a single revision prior; therefore, you will require the use of multiple versions of LabVIEW to revert back beyond version 8.0.

In these legacy versions of LabVIEW, use the following steps to save for a previous version. This information is also available in the LabVIEW Help, available by selecting Help » Contents and Index.
  1. For the top-level VI in your hierarchy of VIs, select File»Save with Options to display the Save with Options dialog box.
  2. Select Save for Previous to save the VI hierarchy for the previous version.
  3. Click the Save button to display the Choose a Directory dialog box.
  4. Select the directory where you want to save the VI hierarchy.
  5. Click the Save button.
Depending on your version destination, you may be required to repeat this process multiple times in various versions of LabVIEW.


Version Conversion Community Forum

Alternatively, the Version Conversion section of our forum is an effective way to reach out to the community for help in reverting VI's. This is a great option if you do not have the version(s) of LabVIEW capable of opening the VI you want to revert. 

See the conversion board rules, posted at the top of the Community board, for guidance on how to have your code converted.