Step by step instructions on how to configure backups in cPanel/WHM server.

Learn to create backups in a few easy steps.

Backup Configuration for a cPanel/WHM Server

One of the key factors in keeping the website data intact is to keep regular backups of website files and databases. cPanel/WHM offer excellent options to create and restore backups of your server or Virtual Private Server (VPS). One of the options to scedule regular backup of files and databases is WHM >> >> Backup >> Backup Configuration. This is a WHM option with which we can scedule auto backups of all accounts and databases.

Other option to create automatic backups is Legacy Backup Configuration option but cPanel/WHM is planning to remove Legacy Backup Configuration in their future releases, so it is recommended to use Backup Configuration option for configuring backups of your server.

In this tutorial we will go through the Backup Configuration option in WHM and its extra features like remote FTP backup etc.

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How to Access the cPanel/WHM Backup Configuration

To access Backup Configuration option, go to WHM -> Backup -> Backup Configuration.

You need to enable Backup Configuration in the Global Settings for this option to work.

There are three backup types: Compressed, Uncompressed and Incremental. It is recommended to keep Compressed backups to save disk space and for quick and efficient data storage.

Another option in global settings is ‘Maximum destination timeout‘. In case backup process stops or is unsuccessful, it will stop retiries after the limit set with this option.



Scheduling and Retention of Backups

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.


Files and Databases

This option allows us to specify the files and databases that we need to backup. We can also specify users for which we need to take backups incase if we don’t wish to take backups of all the users/accounts in the server.

We can also choose to eable or disable backups of files like:

Suspended Accounts

Access Logs

Bandwidth Data

Local DNS

System Files


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.


Configure Backup Directory

This option is very important as we need to know where these backups are getting stored. We can customize the backup location or directory in this option.

By default the backup directory location is ‘/backup’ in the local server (same server). You can change it if you want it to move the backups to some other directory.


As you can see in the screenshot, you can mount a separate backup drive on other mount point also.

One important feature is that we can create and store backups to external backup servers if we enable the Additional Destinations options.

Additional Backup Destinations

With this option enabled, WHM will create the backups in the intervals we choose and these created backups will be moved to the location in the external server that we specify here. For this we just need to provide the FTP login credentials (FTP hostname, port, username, password etc.) to the external backup server and specify the location of backup directory.


Once you specify all these options asked for, just click on ‘Save Configuration‘ and you’ll have the backups ready in your desired location.

There you are. Now you know how to set up and configure your back up. For belt and braces you should also consider our off server continuous server back up service.

We hope you have found this tutorial useful on how to configure backups on cPanel/WHM.

Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.


  1. Andrew

    Can WHM backup options allow MySL backups only? Ie, not account files like html and php, just the MySQL database(s)?

    1. Support Article Author

      Yes it is possible you can configure this by enabling only the “Databases” option as mentioned in the blog.

      There are 3 options under “Databases”

      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.

  2. Andrew

    Not sure it is actually!

    Under Backup options – > ‘Files’ you have to choose one of the following:
    Backup Accounts
    Backup System Files

    If you choose Backup Accounts, then it backs up the non MySQL files as well, which is what I don’t want. You *have* to choose one of the ‘Files’ options however so the only other option is Backup System Files. But… when you do, no backup appears.

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