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How to Generate & Download a Website Backup

 All of our accounts can and keep a full backup of their hosting package. This is advised as a best practice in case your content needs to be replaced or restored. The method necessary for creating a backup depends on your hosting type:

  • Full cPanel Backups: Shared, Cloud Sites, Resellers, VPS, or Linux Dedicated ServersCode
  • Guard Backups: Optimized WordPress and packages with CodeGuard
  • Plesk Control Panel Backup: Shared and Dedicated Windows Servers
  • Third-Party Backup Services: All account types

Third-Party Backup Services

Customers with critical business information or critical data are STRONGLY encouraged to seek a 3rd party backup service such as CodeGuard to protect against unforeseen circumstances. Such services provide more fine-grained control over backup and restore operations, allowing them to tailor the process to suit their specific requirements. These services will also allow customers to backup cPanel accounts over the backup limits imposed by HostGator.

cPanel Backups

A full cPanel backup makes a copy of all of your files, email, databases, etc. Once initiated, you must allow the backup time to perform. The server can send you an email to an address you specify once the backup is ready to download. The steps for generating, downloading, and restoring a full backup are explained in detail below.

Note: Shared, Cloud Sites, and Reseller plans may only create cPanel backups up to 10 GB with 150,000 inodes or less. If your backup is larger than 10GB or has more than 150,000 inodes, you must contact HostGator support via phone or Live Chat for help to bypass the limit.

To generate a full backup in cPanel:

1. Log in to cPanel.

2. In the Files section, click on the Backups icon.

3. Under Full Backup, click Download a Full Account Backup.

4. On the next page, select the Home Directory option from the Backup Destination drop-down menu.

5. For Email Addresses, select whether you wish to receive an email notification once the backup is complete. (You may also change the notification email address in the provided field if you want.)

6. Click Generate Backup.

This will generate the backup for you and place the tar.gz file inside of your home directory. You can then download the backup via cPanel, FTP, or SSH.

How to Download Full Backup

To download the backup from cPanel:

1. Log in to cPanel.In the Files section, click on the Backups icon.

2. Under Full Backup, click Download a Full Account Backup.

3. Under Backups Available for Download, click the link for the backup file you wish to download.

5. Select a destination on your PC where you would like to save the backup.

How to Restore Full Backup

The root user must restore a full backup for the server. We will restore your full backup as long as the back was for an account previously existing on the server and you have provided the backup in the user home directory.

Suppose you have root access to your server (which will be the case with VPS & Dedicated Server customers only) and wish to restore your cPanel yourself. In that case,  the instructions below will walk you through the prerequisites and the steps to perform the installation:

  • cPanel Restore Prerequisites
  • cPanel Restore with Root Access

cPanel Restore Prerequisites

To restore a cPanel account, the filename of the backup must use one of the following formats:



cpmove--{USER}.tar. gz







Additionally, the file must reside in one of the following locations:

  • /home
  • /usr/home
  • /web
  • /home2
  • /home3
  • /root
  • /usr

The file may also be selected from your local file system at the time of restore.

cPanel Restore with Root Access

 To begin the full restoration of a cPanel account on both KVM and Legacy VPS accounts. 

1. Log in to WHM as root.

2. Search Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account at the search function on the left-hand side.

3. Select either Restore from a local cpmove file or Upload a file to restore based on where you have the file stored:

  • Restore from a local cpmove file: This option if the cpmove file already exists on the server in one of the predefined locations.
  • Upload a file to restore: This option if you want to upload the cpmove file to the server.

4. Place a checkmark next to Overwrite the existing user to allow cPanel to overwrite the existing cPanel account.

6. Select whether to replace all instances of the original server's IP address with the new address or only replace basic cPanel-provided A records in zone files (Either option should be sufficient if you are not attempting to migrate data).

7. Click the Restore button.

The restoration process will now begin. Please be aware that the process requires the active use of multiple applications, such as MySQL. Do NOT shut down or restart any processes on the server during the restore process.


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