How to Configure Backups in Cpanel WHM


It is a prime responsibility of a system administrator to make sure that the backups are enabled on the server. In case of disaster recovery, these backups would be essential to recover the client’s websites and data.

What you’ll need

Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:

  • Access to server with preinstalled cPanel/WHM
  • server root login details

Table of Contents

Step 1 — Configure Global Settings

The Backup configuration Manager under WHM, provides an interface for the system administrators to schedule the backups as per requirements. This interface a available under Home >> Backup >> Backup Configuration.

The structure of the interface is quite simplified and broken into sections for easy understanding.

Backup Status

This section provides you a functionality to disable as well as enable the backups on the server. You must click on the radio button ‘enable’ to turn on the backups of your server.




Backup Type

Under Global Settings, you may choose from either of the backup types as per your backup strategy.

  • Compressed

Compressed backup stores the user’s data in the compressed format as tar.gz. This procedure requires more time but uses less disk storage. Additionally, this backup process provides more restoration points than other 2 backup processes types. The restoration of users account from the compressed backups takes some time because the process has to first extract the zip files then restore it to the account.

  • Uncompressed

Uncompressed backups are quite faster than the compressed backups but take up more storage space. These backups allow fewer restore points but the restoration of accounts is done quickly because the process doesn’t have to extract the backups from the archives.

  • Incremental

Incremental backups give fewer restore points. The backups are in an uncompressed format and use the disk space approximately to that of the size of the account. The benefit of using incremental backup is that it backs up only the files on which the changes have been made and are synced each time the backup runs.

Step 2 — Choose Scheduling and Retention Options

With this option we can schedule the backup process to the desired dates and cPanel/WHM will automatically create backups and store it in the location that we provide.

WHM offers 3 backup schedules:

Backup Daily

Create and save backups in the selected days in a week.

Backup Weekly

Create a single wekly backup every week in a selected day.

Backup Monthly

Create a monthly backup every month in a selected day.

Retain backups option is to know how many backups are to be kept in the server. For example, if you retain 4 weekly backups, in the fifth week the oldest backup will be deleted.


Note: If you select both the first of the month and the 15th of the month for monthly backups to run, each will count as one monthly backup. When choosing both backup date options, you will need to retain two monthly backups for each month you wish to retain.


Step 3 — Select Account Backup Options

The Files section allows you to select which accounts to back up and choose more detailed options for each:



  • We enabled the backup system itself in Global Settings above, and now we’ll instruct cPanel to back up user accounts by checking the box next to Backup Accounts.
  • Click the Select Users to open a new browser window (or tab, depending on your browser settings) where you can select the specific cPanel accounts to back up. Simply click the ON button in the Backups column for each domain you want to back up, and ensure that the buttons in the Legacy are turned off if you’re not using the legacy backup system. Note that you can access this page directly at any time by clicking Backup User Selection in WHM’s main menu.

Choose whether you want to back up accounts that are suspended, as well as access logs and bandwidth data for the accounts, and whether you wish to back up system files as well as individual accounts (which is necessary only for server restoration; individual account can be restored regardless of your choice here).

Step 4 — Select Database Backup Options

Database backup options are:

Per Account Only

Backup of all databases per account will be taken

Entire MySQL Directory

Backup of the entire MySQL data directory will be taken

Per Account and Entire MySQL Directory

This option is concatenation of both the above options.

Step 5 — Select Backup Location

The Configure Backup Directory section allows you to choose whether you want to back up locally or externally.

  • The Default Backup Directory is pre-configured, and in most cases should not be changed.
  • If you elect to Retain backups in the default backup directory, local backups will be retained even if you configure the server to automatically transfer them to an external destination.
  • The Mount Backup Drive as Needed option should, in most cases, remain disabled, as an external drive set up by Liquid Web will be configured to mount at boot.

Step 6 — Additional Destinations

The Additional Destinations section allows you to set up a method for transferring your backups another method. To do so, select a Destination Type, click the Create new destination button and provide the requested credentials on the form.

Step 7 — Review and Save Backup Settings

Once you’re satisfied with your backup configuration, click the Save Configuration button to apply your settings.

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