How to Set Up and Configure cPanel Backups

Posted on by Patrick Hawkins
Reading Time: 2 minutes

While no substitute for your own offsite backups, cPanel backups are extremely useful for recovering data in certain situations.


cPanel keeps backups on a schedule:

  • daily
  • weekly
  • monthly

Configuring backups on your dedicated server can be done in WHM, under Backup –> Configure Backup.

By default, if you check “daily”, then weekly or monthly backups are kept as well. You can choose to not keep all of those, if you wish.

Weekly and Monthly backups rotate out every week and every month from the day of the week that backups were first turned on. So if backups were first turned on on Tuesday, and if the default options are left on, weekly backups would be taken about 1 AM every Wednesday, and monthly backups would be taken about 1 AM every fourth wednesday.

There is a limitation to this method. If you need to use a cPanel backup and it happens to be that fourth wednesday, then you will only have backups going back as far as 1 AM. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly will all be from the same date. (As was mentioned earlier, cPanel backups are no substitute for your own offsite backups.)


cPanel backups are usually compressed files built on a per-cPanel user basis. Each backup will have the following:

  • Site files/home directories
  • Mail
  • Metadata that cPanel needs to restore from a backup quickly through cPanel

If the option is checked, it will also contain

  • MySQL database dumps

They can also configured to be run incrementally, in which case the files are not compressed.


Backups can be configured to be stored in two places:

  • On the server
  • On a remote server via:
    • WebDAV
    • S3 compatible object storage

If you choose to send them to a remote server you cannot run incremental backups. If you have a dedicated server with a second backup drive, cPanel backups can be configured to store on that drive directly.

cPanel backups are not good as offsite backups (unless you keep copies of them offsite). Also, they do not back up serverwide configuration files.

Now that you know what cPanel backups are, why don’t you try making your own, by following our guide: Creating a Backup for a Site in cPanel.


Liquid Web’s Heroic Support is always available to assist customers with this or any other issue. If you need our assistance please contact us:
Toll Free 1.800.580.4985
International 517.322.0434

About the Author: Patrick Hawkins

Patrick Hawkins is a former Test Engineer and Managed WordPress admin with Liquid Web

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