Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File

Valid for versions 88 through the latest version




Last modified: October 8, 2020



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 performs additional security checks on the backup file in order to mitigate the risk of transfers from unfamiliar sources. If a component of the backup file has an issue (for instance, MySQL® grant table compromises or symbolic link attack), the system will not restore that portion of the backup and will add a warning to the log file.

    • The Restricted Restore feature is EXPERIMENTAL. Do not consider it to be an effective security control at this time. The behavior of this feature may change in a future release of cPanel & WHM. Exercise extreme caution when you use this feature.

    • If you do not trust the source of the account backup with root access to your server, use the Restricted Restore feature to protect your server.

    • If you wish to use the Restricted Restore feature to restore an account that owns PostgreSQL® databases, the target server must use PostgreSQL version 8.4 or newer.

    • The Restricted Restore feature will only allow restored accounts to use noshell or jailshell. If the restored account uses another shell, the system will set the account to use noshell. For more information, read our VirtFS - Jailed Shell documentation.

    • The Restricted Restore feature will not restore parked (aliased) or addon domains.

    • To display a sortable and searchable table of all modules and whether they are available in Restricted Restore, click Restore Module Summary. This list includes any custom modules in the /var/cpanel/perl/Whostmgr/Transfers/Systems/ directory.

  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.

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.

Additional Documentation