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The following details provide information for the various methods to backup your web files, databases, and emails for your DreamHost account.

Important icon.png Important: It is against DreamHost policy to store personal backups or site backups on our shared host servers. If you create a backup through any of the methods below and it’s saved to your web server, you must download that backup off the server as soon as possible. If not, you will be in violation of our Unlimited Policy:

Automatic Backups

Your DreamHost panel offers two types of backups for your domain:

  1. The domain restore option through the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’’) page.
  2. The “one-click” backup option through the (Panel > Billing & Account’ > ‘Backup Your Account’) page.

Both options will be discussed in the following sections.

Restoring your domain

Your DreamHost panel offers a domain restore option to restore your domain. You can find that option on the (‘Panel’ > 'Domains' > ‘Manage Domains’) page for each domain listed:

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  1. Click the Restore button in the far right.
    The Restore page appears:
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  2. Choose from the following sections:
    • Available Backup Dates: There are three time-frame options available for your domain’s backups:
    -1 hour to 1 day
    -1 day to 2 weeks
    -2 weeks or possibly more.
    • Restore Options: The two options allow you to either restore the selected backups to your current live site or restore the selected backups as a separate folder.
    Copy the backup files to /home/username/domain.com_TIMESTAMP
    If the restore is set to restore to a different folder, that folder will be created and named as the directory name plus the date and time it was processed.
    Make the backup copy live and backup all the current live files to: /home/username/domain.com_TIMESTAMP
    The second option keeps the current site contents live. The old live directory name will be changed to that directory name plus the date and time it was processed.
  3. Click the blue Restore now! button to complete this process. (Replace the domain name listed in the button with your own domain name being restored.)

Once you click the Restore button, you are redirected back to the ‘Manage Domains’ page where you will see a green message at the top of the page stating that the restore is being processed and will complete based on how large the backups are. You will be notified via email once that completes.

Note2 icon.png Note: As stated on the restore page for your domain, DreamHost does not guarantee the backups for your domains. It is highly advised that you always keep local backups of your site contents just in case a DreamHost backup is not available.

Using One-Click Backup

The ‘one-click’ backup option through your panel can be found on the (‘Panel’ > ‘Billing & Account’ > ‘Backup Your Account’) page. This is a very simple way to backup your entire account, including all users, databases, and mailboxes. However, it is limited to only 4GB of data per user. The backup process will skip any users that have more than 4GB of data within it.

When you open the ‘Backup Your Account’ page, you see the one-click option near the bottom of the page:

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  • Click the Back me up! button. The backup process begins and will take some time to complete based on how much content there is to backup. You will be notified via email once this completes as shown in the image below:
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  • The notification email you receive will link you back to the ‘Backup Your Account’ page where you will see the details below:
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  • Under the ‘FileName’ column, you will see everything that was backed up listed as individual links to download. The ‘Size’ column will show the size of each file. All of the backups will be listed as a ‘.tar.gz’ file for you to download locally.

Manual Backup Techniques

There are also manual methods to backing up the contents for your account. In some cases, you may need to manually process your backups due to the size of the contents since our automated process does not to backup users larger than 4GB in size. Outlined below are the various backup options for the various services set up on your account:

Backing up via FTP

If your user stores more than 4GB of content, you must manually back up that user. This is done via FTP, which you can read more about here:

Note2 icon.png Note: If you have several GB of data, we recommend compressing the directories first and then downloading the contents to speed things up. This is done by logging into your web server through your SHELL user, and then manually zipping the folders. For information on how to log into your account via SSH please visit the following wiki:

Backing up your database

There are a few methods for backing up your databases. One way is done through the phpMyAdmin interface, which would be the simplest way to complete this process. The other options for backing up the MySQL database are outlined on the following wiki:

Backing up email

If the automatic panel option doesn't work because your inbox is larger than 4GB, you can backup your email manually through an email client. This is done through a mail program that is set up as a POP connection to download the messages from our servers to your local computer. The messages are then backed up on the computer that downloaded them.

You can read more about this process in backing up emails here:

WordPress Backup

There are many popular plugins to use for backing up WordPress. You can store your backups on Amazon S3, DropBox or even DreamObjects. Whenever possible, DreamHost recommends that you limit the number of backups to a reasonable amount, as infinite backups can cause performance issues on your site.

Suggested Plugins:

For more information about the DreamObjects service, see the following category page:

Note2 icon.png Note: It is against DreamHost policy to store personal backups or site backups on the host servers. (This does not apply to VPS and Dedicated server users.) You will want to remove any backed up contents for the site so that they are stored locally instead. You can read more about the unlimited policy here:

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