Documentation for JIRA 4.3. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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JIRA can be configured to automatically create an XML backup of JIRA data on a routine basis.


The XML backup includes all data in the database. However, it does not include your attachments directory, JIRA Home Directory or JIRA Installation Directory, which are on the filesystem.


For production use, it is strongly recommended that you use native database-specific tools instead of the XML backup service. XML backups are not guaranteed to be consistent, as the database may be updated during the backup process. Inconsistent backups are created successfully without any warnings or error messages, but fail during the restore process. Database-native tools offer a much more consistent and reliable means of storing data.

After installing JIRA, step 1 of the Setup Wizard prompts you to enable automated backups. If you chose Use Default Directory, a default backup service will be available, generating XML backups of your JIRA site (as ZIP files) every 12 hours. If you chose Disable Automated Backups or you want to set up a different backup service, follow the steps below.

(info) You can also perform XML backups manually - see Backing up data.

To set up automated backups:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA System Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. Under the 'System' sub-menu in the left-hand navigation column, click the 'Services' link.
  4. This will display the 'Services' page. It lists the current services running on this system. By default there should be one service running: 'Mail Queue Service'. You cannot delete this service.
  5. Fill in the 'Add Service' form as follows:
    • For 'Name', enter a descriptive name, e.g. Backup Service
    • For 'Class', enter the appropriate class text string for the 'Backup service' using either of the following methods:
      • Select the 'Backup service' from the list of JIRA's 'built-in services'. To do this,
        1. Click the 'Built-in Services' link below the 'Class' field to expand the list of JIRA's 'built-in services'.
        2. Click the 'Backup Service' link. The 'Class' field will automatically be populated with the following class text string ''.
      • Type the class text string '' into the 'Class' field.
    • For 'Delay', enter the number of minutes between backups. A good default for this would be 720 minutes (12 hours).

      The interval specified in the Backup Service Delay (mins) is the time when the next backup job will run since the last server restart. Backup services cannot be scheduled to run at a specific time of day - please see JRA-1865 for more on this.

  6. Click the 'Add Service' button.
  7. The 'Edit Service' page will be displayed. Fill in the following fields:
    • Select the 'Use Default Directory' check box.
    • For 'Date format', specify the format which JIRA will use to name the individual backup files. This format can be anything that SimpleDateFormat can parse. A good default is 'yyyy-MMM-dd-HHmm', which would generate files named like this: '2007-Mar-05-1322'.
    • For 'Backup as:', either:
      • Select 'XML' to have JIRA store your data as an XML file; or
      • Select Zip' to have JIRA to compress your backup and store it as a ZIP file.
  8. Click the 'Update' button.
    Your backup service is now configured. XML backups will be performed according to the schedule you specified in the Delay field (above).
    • For every successful backup, an XML (or ZIP) file will be saved in the backup directory that you specified in the Directory Name field (above).
    • If a scheduled backup fails for any reason, the XML (or ZIP) file will be saved into the 'corrupted' directory, which is directly under your nominated backup directory. A file explaining the reason for the failure will be written to the 'corrupted' directory. This file will have the same name as the backup file, but with the extension '.failure.txt'.
      (info) JIRA will create the 'corrupted' directory if required - you do not need to create it.

Choosing a custom Backup Directory:


If you upgraded JIRA with an XML backup from a JIRA version prior to 4.2 and are editing an existing backup service which used a custom directory, you can choose between using that custom directory (which cannot be edited) or the default directory for this backup service. However, once you switch to using the default directory, you can no longer choose the custom directory option.

(The default directory location is the export subdirectory of the JIRA home directory.)