It is common for merchants to regularly duplicate their themes to make backups. These copied themes can be used for reference when changes are made to the theme and as a replacement for the live theme in emergencies.
Duplicate your theme in the Online Store
Go to your Online Store to access your theme. Select Actions, then Duplicate to create a copy for that theme.
The new theme will add "Copy of" to the name to distinguish it from the original theme. You can rename this by selecting Actions > Rename.
It is helpful to rename these copies with information about the date and the purpose of this duplication. For example, rather than sticking with "Copy of Empire," rename the duplicated theme "Empire Feb2022 before FB pixel". This gives some context for this backup for future reference.
The theme name can include up to 50 characters, so be brief but aim to include as much detail as possible within this limit
Back up regularly to protect your theme
You can keep up to 20 themes in your Online Store at a time. Using this space for regular backups of your theme can protect it from common pitfalls, such as customization errors, accidental content removal, and app integration conflicts.
Back up before customizations and app integrations
Duplicate your theme before making changes to the theme files. Apps and customizations often include changes to the theme files, so copying the theme before these changes will preserve the theme files for reference or recovery later on.
From our blog:
"If you're thinking of hiring a third-party developer to customize your Shopify theme, you may want to get in touch with your theme developer first. Often, the modification you're looking for is already in the works and will be included in a future release."Read more
Publish a backup if the published theme breaks
Backups are valuable when things go wrong. Adding a new app, changing a theme file's code, removing a critical app integration—there are many ways that a published theme can be affected by seemingly minor changes. Having a backup theme is ideal for maintaining sales in tight situations like this.
Download theme limitations
In the Actions dropdown, there is also an option to Download theme file. This will export the theme to the email address set up in the Settings. This will only export the theme files, so the content added through the theme editor or Shopify admin will not be preserved in the same way that a duplicate will.