Using the built in cPanel backup facility


Written by Dennis Nind

Last published at: February 8th, 2019

(cPanel >> Home >> Files >> Backup)


The Backup interface allows you to download and store your files, databases, forwarders, and filters in a backup file. Please note that Brixly also offers a preferred backup facility, allowing you to restore either databases or files from recent recovery points (backed up daily) so this screen would generally be used only when backing up an entire account to either move elsewhere, or as a one-off backup. 


You do not need to create backups through this interface on a regular basis - this wastes storage and uses 'IO' throughput under your account. Please note that abuse of IO will lead to performance degradation on your account and is strictly against terms of service.

Backup contents

When you back up your /home directory, the backup file includes the following files:

  • All of the files that you own.
  • Files that you do not own but can access.


Backup files do not include files from your /home directory that you do not own and cannot access.

To exclude certain files and directories from a backup file, place a configuration file in your /home directory. For more information, read our How to Exclude Files From Backups documentation.

Download a Full Web Site Backup

Click Download a Full Web Site Backup to create, download, or store a full backup file. A full backup file includes your /home directory, databases, email forwarders, and filters.


  • You cannot use a full backup file to restore your website through the cPanel interface.
  • You must download and compress the backup file before you attempt to restore it.
  • After you decompress the backup file, you can upload and restore individual portions of your website that the full backup file contained.

Generate a Full Backup

To create a new full backup, perform the following steps:

  1. Select a storage option from the Backup Destination menu:
    • Home Directory — Select this option to save the backup file to the server.
    • Remote FTP Server — Select this option to use FTP to store the backup file on a remote server.
    • Remote FTP Server (Passive Mode Transfer) — Select this option to use passive FTP to store the backup file on a remote server.
    • SCP — Select this option to use secure copy protocol (SCP) to store the backup file on a remote server.
  2. Select a notification option:
    • To receive a notification when the backup finishes, enter your email address in the available text box.
    • If you do not wish to receive a notification, select Do not send email notification of backup completion.
  3. If you selected Remote FTP Server, Remote FTP Server (Passive Mode Transfer), or SCP from the Backup Destination menu, enter the remote destination's information in the available text boxes.
  4. Click Generate Backup.


Only advanced users should select the Remote FTP Server, Remote FTP Server (Passive Mode Transfer), or SCP destination options.

Account Backups

To download an existing full backup file to your computer, select the desired backup file's filename from the Account Backups menu.


The backup file's creation date appears in the filename, which begins with backup-MM-DD-YYYY, where:
  • MM represents the month.
  • DD represents the day.
  • YYYY represents the year.

Partial Backups

Partial backup files store individual sections of your account.

Download a partial backup

To download your entire /home directory, your SQL databases, or your email forwarders and filters, click the desired items. This method downloads the backup as a .gz file to your computer.


The Email Filters backup files only store the domain account-level email filters in the /etc/vfilters/$domain file. The backup file does not store user account-level email filters.

Restore a partial backup

To use a partial backup to restore a portion of your website, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Choose File under the appropriate heading.
    • For example, to restore a MySQL database, click Choose File under the Restore a MySQL Database heading.
  2. Select the backup file from your computer.
  3. Click Upload to restore that portion of your website.