Manually Backing Up the Site

Confluence is configured to back up its data automatically, as a zipped XML file. You can also manually perform this backup from the Administration Console.

You need to have System Administrator permissions in order to perform this function.


  • Atlassian recommends that you follow the Production backup strategy if your Confluence site is large or you are encountering problems with your automated backup.
  • Plugins are not included in the XML backup. After importing your backup into a new Confluence site, you will need to re-install all plugins (add-ons) that are not bundled with Confluence. (The plugindata table is not backed up in a manual backup.)

Creating the site backup

To manually back up your site:

  1. Choose the cog icon , then choose General Configuration under Confluence Administration
  2. Choose Backup & Restore in the left-hand panel.
  3. Choose Archive to backups folder to store a copy of the backup in the same folder as Confluence's backups.
    If you do not archive the backup it will be made available for you to download, and then deleted from the server after 24 hours.
  4. Choose Backup attachments to include attachments in your backup.
  5. Choose Backup.
    The process will take a few minutes.

Retrieving the Backup File

Confluence stores the backup as a zipped XML file in the 'backups' directory under the Confluence Home directory on your Confluence server. To find your Confluence Home directory, see the documentation. You will need access to the Confluence server in order to retrieve this file.

Enabling the download of the backup file via the administration console

By default, it is not possible to retrieve the backup file via the Confluence Administration Console. This feature is disabled for security reasons.

Administrators can enable this functionality by updating the relevant configuration property as described below. If this functionality is enabled, Confluence will prompt you to download the backup file when the backup process finished. However, we recommend that you turn the feature off in production environments.

To enable download of the backup file from the Administration Console:

  1. Edit the confluence.cfg.xml file found in the Confluence Home and other important directories.
  2. Set the value of property to 'true' (without the quotation marks).
  3. Restart Confluence.

If the value of the above configuration property is 'true', it will be possible to download the backup file after manually backing up the site via the Confluence Administration Console. If the value of this property is 'false' or the property is not present in the configuration file, you will need to retrieve the backup file from the file system on the Confluence server. By default, the value is 'false'.


If you experience timeout errors, please consider bypassing Apache and creating the export directly from Tomcat. This will speed up the process and prevent timeouts. For example, your URL might be something like http://<domain>.com. To bypass this and access Tomcat directly, use this URL: http://localhost:8080/confluence/admin/backup.action.

Last modified on Dec 2, 2015

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