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.

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5 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    Rob May

    I had an issue running a manual export against 5.5.3, about a 2g data footprint.

    No good errors in the logs (catalina/atlassian-confluence), just a generic 500 from the apache front-end about 2m after clicking.  I did add the log4j lines per the troubleshooting article.

    Running directly against tomcat got the job done, the whole run took about 50m.

    20 Aug 2014
  2. User avatar

    Vince Baker

    I'm getting Heap space errors when trying to backup.

    com.atlassian.core.exception.InfrastructureException: java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space
    at com.atlassian.xwork.interceptors.XWorkTransactionInterceptor.intercept(

    Can anyone help with an alternative method?
    I'm trying to back our spaces up to restore them to another server which I can upgrade and then export again to migrate the data to the Confluence Cloud. 

    12 Nov 2014
    1. User avatar

      Ryan Goodwin

      You can increase your available memory for confluence, or you can migrate the server directly. Both approaches are well documented:

      How to fix out of memory errors by increasing available memory

      Migrating Confluence Between Servers

      12 Nov 2014
  3. User avatar

    shivani angra

    On taking the manual backup I am getting this error :

    502 Proxy Error

    The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
    The proxy server could not handle the request GET /admin/dobackup.action.

    Reason: Error reading from remote server

    Can anyone support here?

    25 May 2015
    1. User avatar

      Giles Brunning [Atlassian Technical Writer]

      Hi Shivani,

      It'd be best to contact support about this one, as they'll be able to work through it with you.

      03 Jun 2015
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