How to Perform a Full Backup in cPanel

cPanel Backups

In this tutorial we will show you how to do a Full cPanel Backup of your account. Backing up your website is a necessary step for all users. Before making any changes to your website, it’s best practice to always create a backup. Cpanel has a built-in backup tool to assist you with creating backups. This handy utility will create a zip file (compressed file) that you then can download to your local computer for storage.
Please be advised, we do not allow anyone to store backups in File Manager, you must store them off of the server. Creating a full backup ensures you back up everything and is the safest method to ensure all your website files and emails are safe. We recommend that all of our customers maintain their own backups. Be sure to read our Do you run backups of your servers? article for an overview of how backups are maintained for our servers.

Want more users? Check out our Reseller Hosting plans which includes WHM access to create additional cPanel users.

Performing a Complete cPanel Backup

  1. Login to your cPanel.
  2. Click the Backup button in the Files section of cPanel.
  3. In the Full Backup section, click the Download a Full Website Backup button.
    Complete Back Up in cPanel

  4. On the next screen make sure the Home Directory option is selected.
  5. If you want an email notification when the backup completes, enter your email address. If you do not want an email, check the box next to Do not send email notification of backup completion.
  6. Click the Generate Backup buton to begin the Full cPanel Backup.
    Create a Complete Back Up

    You will then see a message stating “Full Backup in Progress…” Allow some time for the backup to complete, you will receive an email notification upon completion (if you entered your email address in the last step).

  7. Download the file from your cPanel. It will be located in your /home directory, begin with backup, and include the date. For example: backup-10.26.2016_15-51-32_example.tar.gz

Congratulations, now you know how to perform a Full cPanel backup! We also have walk-through guide on backing up your website files, and backing up a database in cPanel.

Thoughts on “How to Perform a Full Backup in cPanel

  • How do I remove the full backup from my InMotion server? I’ve already downloaded it to a safe place. I just want to remove it so it doesn’t take up so much space on my server.

  • Hey Do the full website backup includes all the databases files ….Do the database need to be backed up separately or the full website includes those files in it…If yes where is the file located in backup folder?????

    • Yes, the cPanel Full Backup does include the databases. They will be located in the “mysql” folder in the compressed backup file.

  • “You can use this file to move your account to another server or to keep a local copy of your files.”  can someone please explain this? what to do after backup is performed?

    • Hello Elizabeth,

      The complete cPanel backup file is a copy of all your website files and databases . If you ever have to move to another hosting service, then you would be able to use that backup to move your website as long as the new location is using the cPanel system. A backup is insurance so that in case anything happens to your site, you can recover your site. You should ALWAYS have a backup of your site and not one produced by the automatic systems provided with the host. If you have your own backup, then if something happens to the server, then you will always be able to recover your website and prevent the headaches of having to rebuild your website if you didn’t have a backup.

      If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

  • I just did a full backup and then downloaded it to my local computer.  Do I have to delete it, my backup, from my VPS on InMotion server because your statement says:

    “we do not allow anyone to store backups in File Manager, you must store them off of the server:

    • If you are on a VPS you can store the backup. If you are on shared, you should delete whenever you no longer need it. It’s advisable to store backups in an offsite location, just in case there’s physical damage to the drives.

  • If I Download a Full Website Backup by Performing a Full Backup in cPanel from my home directory, then later need to restore. What happens to email that arrived in the interim between the backup and restore period??

  • please guys help me out how can i recover public_html files … mistakenly it has been deleted from trash as well … i cann’t restore from trash please help me out ..

  • Thank you, John-Paul.

    My Kaspersky Total Security wants to delete the entire gz archive when it finds malware, but if I just FTP’d the entire /home/user/ from Arvixe to my PC and then scanned that it would probably work.

    If Kaspersky flagged something I could manually go to the domain and delete anything it detected. How would I know if it was something critical? Guess it wouldn’t matter. ;D

    Can I delete the /home/user/tmp area? I am presuming that tmp really does mean temporary and won’t affect anything? If so, I can avoid having to download that.

    At this point, the cPanel says it is using around 13GB, although the gz file is just over 5GB. Since that is over the 10GB, I presume I would have to FTP it anyway. I am not sure why it is so large, as my public_html area is tiny.

    • Geckohale, please keep in mind that traditional personal computer security scanners are not intended to scan website files. Deleting the ‘tmp’ folder is not recommended. However, if you have files or folders inside that folder that you know you don’t need, you should be safe to remove those.

    • I have more problems. The shared server I am on apparently has a misconfiguration of root admin and mod_userdir protection is disabled, which lets users access their sites through other sites on the same shared host. This was what was indicated on the Google Webmaster Central Help Forum. Unfortunately, I included the Google post on my ticket about the hacking, along with the cPanel documentation link for it, but they have never responded in over 2 weeks.

      I thought I had gotten all the hacks off, but this morning I found another one in the logs, so I now have /~migps in my public_html (I had similar /~user/ ones before. I have even signed on with SSH/PuTTY, but I still cannot “see” them using ll.

      I really don’t know what to do (other than change my cPanel password yet again, which I did immediately).

      Do you have any suggestions? We desperately want to get off Arvixe since they are allowing this and don’t respond at all.

    • I must have misunderstood. I thought you recommended scanning it with my PC antivirus before uploading it to your server?

    • You can certainly scan these files, but it is unlikely to catch most of what may be considered malicious in a web hosting context.

  • Mahalo, Tim.  My problem is that I want to move my site from Arvixe as they are very insecure (and do not respond to help requests). I worry that there are hacker files in my “home” area, although the public_html is clean. I do not know much about the non-public files and directories, so am not sure what I might need from it, but we do want our email.

    I have a full backup, but I don’t really want to have you folks restore it as I fear I will get any hacker garbage that might be hiding there somewhere.  Do you have any suggestions on how I could move stuff (presuming I knew what actually needed to be moved to get all the mail)?


    • The “home” directory backup should include your email, as well as any files. The only thing it will not include is your databases.

      You could try scanning it (with your local antivirus) before uploading it to our servers. This could help clean existing hacker files.

      Thank you,

  • When you do a “Home Directory” backup, what exactly is backed up? All the public_html I would expect, but what about files/dirs in home? I presume it excludes the software? It must include the /mail folders, but is anything else included? Is that sufficient to totally restore all the files for your website?

    • Christopherm, where can I find a backup script that works with’s servers? I have a PHP script that I use to automate Cpanel backups on a different host’s server, but it doesn’t work with inmotion’s server.

    • Hello Romeo,

      If you do a full cPanel backup and you do not have root access with a VPS or Dedicated server account, then it would require a request to the live technical support team. If you’re on a business level account (shared server), any full cPanel restore can only be done by the technical support team.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  • Hi, I have tried to generate my backup since june and I can´t. I have two backups of April and May but in June and July I have had’nt. What do I can do ?

    • How large is your account? Larger accounts cannot be created by using the backup tool. You can zip the home directory files and download them and then export your databases by using the Export tab in phpmyadmin.

  • Any way to automate a full cPanel backup? I’d rather not have to go through the GUI as part of my weekly routine and would rather have a cron job or something do it for me.

    • Hello kraig,

      Thank you for contacting us. You should be able to “right-click” in the browse and choose Print, or use “Ctrl + P” at the same time to bring the print menu up.

      Thank you,

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