Restoring a Site

CAUTION: Restoring a backup of an entire confluence site will:

  • Wipe out all Confluence content in the database. Please ensure that your database is backed up before you start.
  • Log you out after the restoration process. Please make sure you know the login details contained in the data that you are about to restore.

This page describes how to restore data from an XML backup file into an existing Confluence installation. If you want to restore data into a new site, follow the instructions on restoring from backup during setup.

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

Notes before you start:

  • All content replaced. Restoring a site from backup will replace all your content, as described in the warning above.
  • Selective space restoration not possible. You cannot select a single space to restore from the entire site backup when the backup contains more than one space.
  • Version compatibility. Confluence supports importing site and space backups into the same major version only. In Confluence, the major version is up to the second number, eg 5.4.3's major version is 5.4. Importing an old XML backup file to a new major version (for example, Confluence 5.5 to Confluence 5.6) is not supported.

      Import into 5.4.x Import into 5.5.x Import into 5.6.x
    Site backup from 5.5.1 (error) (tick)


    Space backup from 5.4.2 (tick) (error) (error)
  • XML backups should not be used to upgrade Confluence. Upgrade Confluence by following: Upgrading Confluence.

Restoring data from an XML backup

You can restore data from an XML backup file located somewhere on your local computer or a shared drive, or you can copy the XML file into the Confluence installation and restore it from there. The second option is recommended for large backup files. Both options are described below.

To restore data from an XML backup located outside Confluence:

  1. Choose the cog icon , then choose General Configuration under Confluence Administration
  2. Choose Backup and Restore in the left-hand panel.
  3. Choose Choose File and browse for the backup file.
  4. Uncheck Build Index if you want to create the index at a later stage.
  5. Choose Upload and Restore.

To restore data from an XML backup located in your Confluence installation:

  1. Copy your XML backup zip file into the restore directory in your Confluence home directory. For example:
    • On UNIX: /opt/java/src/confluence/deployments/
    • On Windows: C:\Program Files\Atlassian\Application Data\Confluence x.x\restore
  2. Choose the cog icon , then choose General Configuration under Confluence Administration
  3. Choose Backup and Restore in the left-hand panel.
  4. The zip file that you copied in step 1 will appear in the list of files under the heading Restore a backup from the Confluence Home Directory on your Confluence Administration Console. Select the zip file.
  5. Uncheck Build Index if you want to create the index at a later stage.
  6. Choose Restore.


  • Production backup strategy preferred. Atlassian recommends that you follow the Production Backup Strategy for your production Confluence site, because Confluence XML backups are not recommended for non-evaluation sites.
  • Restoring from other backups. If your daily backup zip files cannot be restored for some reason, but you have backups of both your database and your Confluence home directory, then it is still possible to restore from these backups.

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14 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    Private Name

    It Seems to me that backward compatibility is not fully usable :
    restoring a space from a 2.2.8 to a 2.4.4 gives : Restore denied. You can only restore space backups exported from the same major version (e.g. 2.2.x or 2.3.x).

    09 May 2007
    1. User avatar

      Rosie Jameson [Atlassian]

      Please note that backward compatibility only applies when restoring a full site, not an individual space.

      10 May 2007
  2. User avatar


    I just trying to upgrade from 2.7.1 to 3.0.0. But using the setup assistant to restore from a daily full backup archive i just got a

    [FileUnzipper] The file: could not be found in the archive: /foo/bar/

    and indeed, there isn't such a file. How to proceed?

    10 Jun 2009
    1. User avatar

      Dr. Guido Jäkel

      You may delete this thread. I discovered, that our backups are broken since about one month: The files and entities.xml are not include, just the attachements.

      This might be related with the version of the endorsed Java-XML-Libs, because currently the PDF export also fails with some XSLT-FO-exception.

      I'm testing the migration step with an older, but proper backup and this job starts running.

      10 Jun 2009
    1. User avatar



       you can use alternative way of restoring jira.

      it is very simple way to restore from database back or alternative way.

      Please let me know if you don't know how to restore using alternative way you can get in touch with from



      10 Jun 2009
  3. User avatar

    Pat Birgan

    Hi - I have an XML zipped file from a GovDex (Australian Government Confluence site) Space Export. I am trying to import into a hosted Confluence site and get the error ...

    Restore denied. You can only restore space backups exported from the same major version (e.g. 2.2.x or 2.3.x).

    Any advice on how I can get this imported? I am trying to use the wiki convertor but Confluence is not one of the option. getting very frustrated! Please help.

    18 Feb 2010
    1. User avatar

      Azwandi Aris [Atlassian]

      Hi Pat,

      The error message suggests that the space backup was created from a major version that is not as same as your Confluence version. For instance, the space backup could have been exported from Confluence 2.8.2 while your instance is Confluence 2.9.3.

      For more information on this compatibility, please refer to this page. It also suggests a workaround for this:

      You'll need to set up a test server of the same version and import the space, then upgrade your test installation so it's the right major version so that you can perform the export and import successfully. Otherwise, you can try to Change the version of the space export, but please try this on a test instance as well.

      Hope that helps.


      24 Feb 2010
  4. User avatar

    Sorin Sbarnea

    As a note the restore demo space is currently broken see/vote  CONF-29873 - Unable to restore shipped with Confluence 5.1.4 Open

    08 Jul 2013
  5. User avatar

    Siddheshwar mhetre


    I am using confluence 3.5.15 and I want to upgrade my Confluence into 5.3.2. My xml data backup size is 9GB. So is it possible to Restore of backup 9GB ?

    Best Regards,

    Siddheshwar Mhetre.

    09 Jan 2014
    1. User avatar

      Adam Laskowski [Atlassian]

      Hi Siddheshwar,

      While it may be possible to restore a 9GB XML backup with the right hardware and memory allocation, we do not recommend that you use an XML restore as an upgrade method.  Instead, please refer to our Upgrading Confluence doc for the steps to perform an in-place upgrade.  It is far more reliable, and XML restores should not be used to upgrade between major versions.

      10 Jan 2014
      1. User avatar

        Siddheshwar mhetre

        Hi Adam,

         Thanks for your answer. Because of memory size not able to restore the xml backup of confluence. Now its restoring fine.


        Siddheshwar Mhetre

        10 Jan 2014
  6. User avatar

    Patrick Hemmer

    After doing the restore, you can log in with the username 'sysadmin' and password 'sysadmin'.

    I contacted Atlassian about adding this to the documentation, but they don't want to (sad)

    24 Jul 2014
  7. User avatar

    Jositz, Michael (Allianz SE)

    Is there some possibility to selectively restore pages from a xml space backup?

    14 Oct 2014
    1. User avatar

      Rachel Robins [Atlassian Tech Writer]

      Hi Jositz,  there's no option to selectively restore pages.  

      What I have done in the past is to install a temporary Confluence instance (you can do this just with an eval license and the embedded database), import your backup, and then re-export it to XML containing only the pages you require (there's an option to select pages in the XML export).  If the spacekey in your original XML backup is still in use in your production instance, you can use something like the Copy Space add-on on the temporary instance to copy the space and give it a new name. 

      Hope this helps. 

      15 Oct 2014
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