All about cPanel backup & restore

We have two backup solutions in place on our hosting servers.

We use Jetbackup for our internal system backups and we share these backups with you to enable restoration of files, databases, CRON jobs, DNS Zones, Email, SSL Certificates and your full account. Whilst you can't take ad-hoc backups using Jetbackup, we have a separate guide on restoring data from a Jetbackup.

We also provide cPanel backups - and this functionality is available to you for ad-hoc use. cPanel backup allows you to backup your entire account, your home directory (files and email mailboxes), MySQL databases, and email forwarders and filters.

The cPanel backup & restore functionality is available in two places - Files > Backup Wizard and also Files > Backups. In this guide we will cover using the Backup Wizard, once you're familiar with the Wizard the alternative interface found under Files > Backup is quite straightforward.

We regularly search for and remove any backup files left inside your hosting plan, so please ensure you move them to other storage after you've taken them and once you've finished working with them. The only files/data that should consistently remain in your plan are those of your live and any development or staging versions of your website.
  1. You'll need to be logged in to your hosting accounts cPanel.
  2. You'll find the Backup Wizard in the Files section
  3. Click Backup Wizard and you'll see two options, Back Up or Restore

Backup Options

Clicking Back Up will then show your options - either a Full Backup (this can be used to restore this full account on another cPanel server), a Home Directory backup (all your files), MySQL Databases, and Email Forwarders & Filters.

Full Account (Migration) backup

Use this option to take a full backup of your account. This backup can be used to restore this account on another cPanel server and includes everything you have setup in cPanel - all your hosting files, databases, email accounts, forwarders, filters etc.

Select from the Backup Destination options - the default destination is your servers Home Directory, you can also choose a Remote FTP Server, Remote FTP Server (passive mode transfer) or a Secure Copy (SCP) destination - these last options can make it easy to drop your Full Account backup straight on to another server for restoration. You will need to know the appropriate detail for FTP/SCP access on the remote server.

You can enter an email address if you'd like notification when the backup completes, or check the radio button to not send a notification.

Once your backup completes it will be listed under backups available for download and you can click on it to download it to your local device.

Home Directory backup


Click the Home Directory button to take a full file backup of your account. You will see the backup download start in your browser and will continue until the backup is complete. A full file backup includes all your email / mailbox account files.

The resulting file will have the extension .tar.gz - .tar indicates the file is an archive and .gz indicates the tar file has been compressed. You will need a suitable program to both decompress the archive and extract the files should you wish to access the contents. This can be useful if you simply want to access and restore only specific files (using file manager) rather than do a full restore of all the files.

MySQL database backup

Simply click on the name of the database you'd like to download a backup for.

The resulting file will have a .sql.gz extension - should you wish to access the .sql backup you'll need a suitable application to decompress the gzip compressed file.

Email Forwarders & Email Filters backup

Simply click on the domain name of the Forwarders or Filters you'd like to download.

The resulting file will have a .gz extension - should you wish to access the forwarders or filters you'll need a suitable application to decompress the gzip compressed file.

Restore Options

Clicking Restore from the Backup Wizard will show your options. You can restore a Home Directory, a MySQL database or Email Forwarders & Filters.

Should you wish to restore a full account backup you would need to log a support ticket from your Krystal Client Area as this functionality is not available directly through cPanel.

Home Directory restore

Use Choose file to select a full Home Directory backup file to restore, click Upload to confirm and start the restoration.

Please take care - a full Home Directory restore will also restore your email accounts (mailbox files) as well as all your site/hosting files. This may result in the loss of emails from between when the backup was taken and when you complete the restore.

MySQL database restore

Use Choose file to select a MySQL backup file to restore, click Upload to confirm and start the restoration.

Email Forwarder & Filter restore

Use Choose file to select an email forwarder or filter backup file to restore, click Upload to confirm and start the restoration.


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