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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'll need System Administrator permissions to do this.

Good to know:

  • We recommend you use the Production backup strategy, especially if you have a large or mission critical site, rather than relying on XML exports as your main backup method. 
  • Add-ons are not included in the XML export. After importing your site export file into a new Confluence site, you'll need to re-install all add-ons that are not bundled with Confluence as the plugindata table is not backed up in a manual backup.
  • You can't import a site export file into a version of Confluence that is earlier than the one it was exported from. 

Create the site export file

To create an XML export of your site:

  1. Go to  > General Configuration > Backup & Restore.
  2. 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.
  3. Choose Backup attachments to include attachments in your backup.
  4. Choose Backup.
    The process can take some time.

If you repeatedly experience timeout errors, try creating the export directly from Tomcat. This will speed up the process and prevent timeouts.

For example, your URL might may normally be something like http://<domain>.com. To bypass this and access Tomcat directly, use this URL: http://localhost:8090/confluence/admin/backup.action. directly from your server. 

What's included in the export?

The site export includes spaces (including pages, blogs, comments, attachments, and unpublished changes), users and groups.  Essentially everything in your site except add-ons. 

Retrieving the site export file

Confluence will create the backup as a zipped XML file in your <home-directory>/backups> directory. You'll need access to the Confluence server itself in order to retrieve this file.

Allow export files to be downloaded from within Confluence

By default, you can't retrieve the backup file from within Confluence. This feature is disabled for security reasons, but you can choose to enable it. Once enabled, Confluence will prompt you to download the backup file when the backup process finished. We recommend that you keep this feature off in production environments.

To enable download of the backup file from within Confluence:

  1. Stop Confluence.
  2. Edit the <confluence-home>\confluence.cfg.xml file.
  3. change to true.
  4. 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'.

Restoring the site export file

There are some restrictions on which Confluence versions you will be able to import this file into. The most important is that you can't import into an earlier version of Confluence. See  Restoring a Site for more information and troubleshooting tips. 

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