Site Backup and Restore

Atlassian recommends establishing a backup strategy using a native database tool for production installations of Confluence.

By default, Confluence backs up all data and attachments once a day to an XML backup file. These files are called XML site backups, and are stored in the backups directory of Confluence home. You can also create XML site backups manually. This mechanism is intended for small to medium-sized deployments of Confluence. It is not intended for use with large deployments with lots of pages and attachments (see below).

XML site backups are fine for most small to medium-sized instances of Confluence, containing a few thousand pages and attachments. However, large instances of Confluence may find that backups become slow to create and use large amounts of disk space.

Note: 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.)

(warning) The information on this page does not apply to Confluence Cloud.

Backups for large installations

XML site backups are unsuitable for installations of Confluence that contain thousands of pages, as XML backups take progressively longer to complete as the amount of text increases. Another issue with XML site backups is that Confluence instances with gigabytes of attachments will consume disk space rapidly. This is because each site backup contains all content needed for a site restore. For example, if a 1 GB instance of Confluence is backed up daily, it will create 30 GB of backups per month if left unattended. When administering a large instance, you can reduce disk space by setting XML site backups to exclude attachments, then manually scheduling a backup of your attachments from the Confluence home directory or database. The backup manager can save space by saving changed files instead of all content.

Creation Delay

Disk Usage

Recommended Backup Method



XML site backup with attachments



XML site backup minus attachments, plus manual backup of attachments



Manual backup of database and attachments

Creation Delay is the time it takes to create an XML site backup minus attachments.
Disk Usage can be estimated by multiplying the frequency of your XML site backups by their current size.

Manual backups

Confluence's Attachment Storage Configuration can be set to store attachments in the Confluence home directory, or in the database.

Database backup
Use your Database Administration Tool to create a backup of your Confluence database. If your database is storing your attachments, importing this later will restore all content. For instances with big attachments, please note that currently Confluence migrate attachments in a single transaction: CONF-9888.

Attachment backup
If stored on the filesystem, attachments are placed under the attachments directory of your Confluence home directory. Copy this directory to create a backup of all attachments.

To restore from these backups, please refer to Restoring Data from other Backups.

Last modified on Dec 2, 2015

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