Does hitting 'recreate' recreate the feature from the site's elements, or vice versa?
I tried hard looking to this in the documentation, but I couldn't find a clear explanation.
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When you recreate a feature via the UI (
admin/config/development/features/) or even by using drush (
drush fua -y or
drush fu feature_name -y) all your configuration changes regarding nodes, modules, blocks, themes etc are being extracted to the corresponding feature directory. Configurations from different modules are saved to different files. In order to apply your changes to another Drupal instance you have to do it the other way around
drush fra -y or
drush fr feature_name -y and your changes will be stored to the database.
In case that you want to revert some settings back to their initial state, before you move them to another Drupal instance you can do the following: edit and save the appropriate file that you want to revert and then use drush to apply the changes from your files to the database. Thus you'll have your site back to its former state.