How to Copy Addon Domains to a New Account


  • This document is only valid for cPanel & WHM version 54 and earlier.
  • Due to the nature of this process, cPanel Technical Support can’t help you with these instructions.
  • In cPanel & WHM version 56 and later, use WHM’s Convert Addon Domain to Account interface (WHM >> Home >> Transfers >> Convert Addon Domain to Account).
  • Because it requires that you move files, only the root user or resellers with root-level privileges can perform this action.

After you create an addon domain, you can create an entirely new account from that addon domain. To do this, copy the information from the addon domain and add it to a newly-created account. This tutorial shows you how to copy addon domains to a new account.


This document uses the following example values:
* username represents the user of the account.
* newusername represents the user of the new account.
* addonname represents the name of the addon domain.
* addondirectory represents the directory for the addon domain.

Copy addon domains to a new account

Create a backup file.

Perform a full backup of the account that contains the addon domain. To do this, use cPanel’s Backup interface (cPanel >> Home >> Files >> Backup) or run the /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/pkgacct script.

For more information about the contents of the backup file, read our Backup Tarball Contents documentation.

Create a new account.

Create a new account with a placeholder name in WHM’s Create a New Account interface (WHM >> Home >> Account Functions >> Create a New Account).


Do not use the addon domain’s name as the new account name.

Extract the backup file.

To extract the backup file, perform the following steps:

  1. Run the following commands to create the /home/backup-username directory and move the backup file into it:

    mkdir /home/backup-username
    mv cpmove-username.tar.gz /home/backup-username/
  2. Run the following commands to navigate to the /home/backup-username directory and uncompress the backup:

    tar -xzf cpmove-username.tar.gz
    cp /home/backup-username

    These commands extract the backup file’s contents to either the cpmove-username or username directories.

  3. Run the following command to add the homedir/public_html/addondirectory/ subdirectory to the /home/backup-username/public_html/ directory:

    cp -R homedir/public_html/addondirectory/* /home/newusername/public_html/

Import the databases.

Perform the following steps to import the databases:

  1. Recreate the addon domain’s databases and create the database users in cPanel’s MySQL Databases interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> MySQL Databases).


    Prepend newusername to the databases when you create them. For example, you might create the newusername_dbname file, where dbname represents the name of the database.

  2. After you create the databases and database users, import each domain’s database backups. To do this, run the following command for each backup:

    mysql newaccount_dbname < /home/backup-username/username/mysql/username_dbname.sql

Update cron job paths.

Perform the following steps to update the cron paths for the new account:

  1. Open the /home/backup-username/username/cron/username file and check for the addon domain’s cron jobs.

  2. Add the paths for the addon domain’s cron jobs to the new account in cPanel’s Cron Jobs interface (cPanel >> Home >> Advanced >> Cron Jobs).


    Ensure that the cron jobs’ paths match the new account’s paths to the same cron jobs files.

Change file ownership.

Use the chown command to grant ownership of the copied public_html files to the newusername user:

find /home/newusername/public_html -uid 0 -exec chown newusername:newusername {} +

Confirm that the account functions

After you change the files’ ownership, confirm that the account functions correctly. To do this, point your operating system’s hosts file to the temporary domain placeholder.

For information about how to set the hosts file for your operating system, read Wikipedia’s hosts file article.

Remove the addon domain.

Remove the old account’s addon domain in cPanel’s Addon Domains interface (cPanel >> Home >> Domains >> Addon Domains).

Change the placeholder domain’s name.

Navigate to WHM’s Modify an Account interface (WHM >> Home >> Account Functions >> Modify an Account) and change the new account’s main domain name to the addon domain’s name.

Copy over email account information

Change the domain name, copy the old account’s emails, forwarders, filters, and autoresponders to the new account. To do this, open the /home/backup-username/username directory and run the following commands:

cp va/addonname /etc/valiases/
cp vf/addonname /etc/vfilters/
cp homedir/.autorespond/*addonname* /home/newusername/.autorespond/
cp -R homedir/etc/addonname /home/newusername/etc/
cp -R homedir/mail/addonname /home/newusername/mail/ 

After you copy the emails, forwarders, filters and autoresponders, change the ownership of those files to the new user. To do this, run the following commands:

chown newusername:mail /etc/valiases/addonname
chown newusername:mail /etc/vfilters/addonname
chown newusername:newusername /home/newusername/.autorespond/*addonname*
find /home/newusername/etc -uid 0 -exec chown newusername:mail {} +
find /home/newusername/mail -uid 0 -exec chown newusername:mail {} +

Make certain that you append asterisks (*) on either side of addonname to ensure that it keeps the wildcards.

After you change the ownership of the files, confirm that you can log in to the user’s Webmail account.

Navigate to the /home/newusername/etc/addonname directory to find the users and email passwords for authentication to IMAP, POP3, and Webmail.

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