How to Restore Your cPanel Account - A Guide for New System Administrators

Valid for versions 88 through the latest version



Last modified: July 19, 2022


This document explains how to restore your website in WHM.


This document is intended for cPanel users who have recently become system administrators.

About cPanel

The cPanel & WHM product package contains two distinct interfaces. Each interface controls a different aspect of web hosting. It is important that you understand the differences between the two interfaces:

  • WHM (WebHost Manager) — WHM allows you to manage your server and the websites on it. It also allows you to manage your server’s settings and configuration. WHM is often considered our product package’s “backend.”

  • cPanel — cPanel allows website owners to manage their sites. Website owners can use cPanel to create their websites’ email addresses, FTP accounts, web applications, and databases. cPanel is often considered our product package’s “frontend.”


If you plan to restore your cPanel account, do not create the account in WHM before you attempt to restore it.

How do I access cPanel?

To access cPanel & WHM services through a web browser, follow the directions in our How to Log in to Your Server or Account documentation.

What is the root user?

The root user is the highest-level system user. As the root user, you can access and make changes to anything on the system.


We strongly recommend that you do not share or expose your root password.

How do I restore my old cPanel account?


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 restorations. This setting will also cause issues with phpMyAdmin.

To restore your cPanel account, obtain a backup archive or a cpmove file of the old account. Either generate the backup archive in cPanel’s Backup interface (cPanel » Home » Files » Backup), or obtain a cpmove archive from your hosting provider.

  • Do not create the cPanel account that you plan to restore. WHM’s Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account interface (WHM » Home » Backup » Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account) creates the cPanel account for you.
  • Do not change the name of your cPanel backup archive or cpmove file.

To begin, place your backup archive or cpmove file in the /home directory. Use an SFTP client to transfer the file to your server.

For more information about SFTP, read our How to Configure Your SFTP Client documentation.


If you do not already have an SFTP client, you can download Cyberduck™ for evaluation purposes.

After you install your SFTP client, open an SFTP connection to your server with your root login information. For example, if you use Cyberduck, perform the following steps to open an SFTP connection:

  1. Select SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) from the top menu.

  2. Enter your server’s IP address or hostname in the Server text box.

  3. If your server uses a port other than 22 for SSH, enter it in the Port text box.

  4. Enter root in the Username text box.

  5. Enter the root user’s password in the Password text box.

  6. Click Connect to open an SFTP connection to your server.

After you open an SFTP connection to your server, transfer the backup archive or cpmove file to the server’s /home directory.

To transfer the file with Cyberduck, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the / directory.

  2. Double-click the home folder.

  3. Click Action.

  4. Click Upload.

  5. Navigate to the directory with the backup archive file and select it. The system will transfer your file to the server’s /home directory.


The amount of time that the SFTP client requires to transfer a file depends on the file’s size and your connection speed.

After you move your backup archive or cpmove file to the correct location, access WHM’s Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account interface (WHM » Home » Transfers » Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account). You can use this interface to restore the backup archive or cpmove file with the Restore from a local cpmove file. setting.

Additional Documentation