Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File

Valid for versions 88 through the latest version






We removed this interface in cPanel & WHM version 90. Use WHM’s Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account interface (WHM >> Home >> Transfers >> Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account). For more information, read our cPanel Deprecation Plan documentation.

This feature performs a full restoration of a single cPanel account from a selected backup file. You can also recreate an account from a remote server with a cpmove file.

  • The restore system uses multiple applications, such as MySQL®. Do not shut down or restart any processes on the server during the restore process.

  • Do not use the skip-name-resolve setting in your server’s MySQL® configuration. This setting will cause serious issues with server operations. If you are not an advanced MySQL administrator, expect issues with this setting. For example, you will see issues with account transfers and restoring backups. This setting will also cause issues with phpMyAdmin.

File formats and locations

The filename of the backup must use one of the following formats:

  • cpmove-{USER}
  • cpmove-{USER}.tar
  • cpmove-{USER}.tar.gz
  • {USER}.tar
  • {USER}.tar.gz
  • backup-{MM.DD.YYYY}{HH-MM-SS}{USER}.tar
  • backup-{MM.DD.YYYY}{HH-MM-SS}{USER}.tar.gz
  • backup-{MM.DD.YYYY}_{HH-MM-SS}_{USER}.tar
  • backup-{MM.DD.YYYY}_{HH-MM-SS}_{USER}.tar.gz

In order for this feature to work, the backup or cpmove file must reside in one of the following directories:

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

You may also select a file from your local filesystem.


When you restore a backup, the system expands the backup or cpmove file in its current directory. Make certain that the backup file’s directory contains at least double the backup file’s space. The system uses this extra space for the temporary files when it extracts the backups.

How to restore a cpmove file

To begin a full restoration from the backup file of the account, perform the following steps:

  1. If you wish to use Restricted Restore, select the Restricted Restore checkbox. The Restricted Restore feature lets the system perform extra security checks on the archive file. If part of the file has a security issue, the system will not restore that part of the archive file. This helps mitigate the risk of transfers from unfamiliar sources. The system enables this feature by default.

    • This feature is experimental. Do not consider it an effective security control. Exercise extreme caution when using the Restricted Restore feature.
    • Before using this feature, read the Warnings about the Restricted Restore feature section below.
  2. Select whether to restore the backup file by username or by filename.

    • If you select Restore with Username, select the username that is associated with the cPanel account that you wish to restore.

    • If you select Restore with File, click Choose file and select the backup file from your local filesystem.

  3. Select whether to replace all instances of the original server’s IP address with the new address or to only replace basic cPanel-provided A records in zone files.

  4. If you wish to overwrite the account with the data in the backup file, select the Overwrite existing user checkbox.

  5. Click Restore.

After you click Restore, the Account Restore interface will appear.

Warnings about the Restricted Restore feature


This feature is experimental. Do not consider it an effective security control. Exercise extreme caution when using the Restricted Restore feature.

If you use the Restricted Restore feature, be advised that:

  • When you restore an account with this feature, the system may leave behind unnecessary account data. This can cause conflicts and leave the account in a broken state. You must remove the account and then restore it without using the Restricted Restore feature.
  • This feature will not restore parked (aliased) or addon domains.
  • This feature only allows restored accounts to use noshell or jailshell environments. If the restored account uses another shell, the system will set the account to use noshell environment.
  • If you use this feature to restore an account that contains PostgreSQL® databases, the target server must use PostgreSQL version 8.4 or newer.

Compatibility issues

Because of changes to the backup system and other system features (for example, Horde), there are several compatibility issues in the restoration process.

PostgreSQL database passwords

In cPanel & WHM version 11.42 and later, the system restores PostgreSQL databases to the account, but does not restore the user’s password. This action locks the user out of the databases.

The next time the user manages a database with the phpPgAdmin program, the system refreshes the user’s privileges and restores their access.


You cannot restore Horde data from cPanel & WHM version 11.50 and later to a earlier version of cPanel & WHM version.


Horde data is not backwards compatible for cPanel and WHM version 11.50 and later.


In cPanel & WHM version 11.48 or earlier, Horde uses MySQL.

Also, backups do not include some global Horde files. For more information, read our Backup Tarball Contents and Guide to Horde Data Behavior documentation.

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