File restoration in cPanel & WHM Version 68

Version 68 was released this week, and I want to talk to you about one of the most exciting new features: As both an end-user and as a server administrator you can now restore individual files from an account backup! Let’s take a look at how it works as of version 68.

Step 1: Have available backups

Before you can restore from an account backup, you must first have backups already made. To enable backups, go in to WHM as the root user, or as a root-enabled reseller, and navigate to the Backup Configuration interface. From there you can select the backup schedule and define which users you want to have backups. Please note: the restoration feature does require locally stored backups, so make sure you select “Retain backups in the default backup directory.” if you are also storing your backups remotely.

Step 2: Restore a file

The interface is very similar in both WHM and in cPanel, so I’m just going to show you the cPanel interface here. To access your backups, navigate in cPanel to “File Restoration”. If you don’t see that option in cPanel, ask your server administrator to ensure that the “Backup Manager” feature has been added to your account.

Once you open that interface you are presented with the list of files in your backup. For example, if you wanted to restore a file from your public_html folder, you would click public_html.

Then select the file that you want to restore (index.html in our case) and you are then presented with the list of dates that you can restore that file from.

Once you choose one version to restore, you are asked to confirm before continuing.

You also get a confirmation message once the restore is complete!

In case it’s easier to watch for you, have a quick screen capture video:

How it works

When nightly account backups are taken, a file list is generated and stored in the backup folder for each account. Those file lists are used by the file restoration interfaces, allowing you to quickly and easily view the files available for restore.

For detailed information about the contents of that file, how to generate it, and how to read it, see the version 68 Documentation.

What’s next?

In 2018 we want to be able to update and expand this feature to include the ability to restore folders. We also have remote restorations and a more robust backup schedule on our radar. What else would you like to see? Comment below or find me on twitter and let us know what you think!


This post written almost entirely to my (admittedly heavy on Halsey) “don’t know how to treat me” playlist.

benny Vasquez

scripter, crafter, cPanel's Manager of Community Engagement. Facilitating communication between cPanel's amazing development team, and cPanel's amazing community. Find me on twitter: @cpaneldev

9 responses to “File restoration in cPanel & WHM Version 68”

  1. benny Vasquez says:

    Hi there! Currently we do expect that you’re restoring the file because you want to overwrite it, or that if you want to retain it that you’ll move the file to a backup before the restoration. I’ll pass this feedback on to the team. Thanks!

  2. Ted Spinkle says:

    This sounds like a great feature, but according to the video, it looks like the only option for restoration is overwriting the current file with the older one. You should really offer two choices here – both overwriting, and saving a copy for viewing. What if you just want to be able to view an older file to compare them to see any differences? Unless I’ve got this wrong, we shouldn’t have to overwrite the file just to be able to get an older version of it. I know we could create a copy of the current file before we do a restore, but what if you forget to do that first? Hopefully this feature will be added. Thanks!

  3. benny Vasquez says:

    That’s not currently a feature, but it does exist as a feature request here:

    I definitely recommend that you add your vote there, and that sill subscribe you to any updates that happen in the future.

  4. Nikolay Kabaivanov says:

    Is it possible to have separate user lists for different backups? Monthly backups to ALL accounts, but daily/weekly for couple of the accounts? For example I need to have backups for all accounts but only few important clients need to have daily backups.

  5. tvonthebrain says:

    The rest of the world has had this for years. Welcome to 2012!!!

  6. benny Vasquez says:

    If you’d like to do it by package, you can use this API call to do it quickly:

  7. Morten says:

    Ok, just what I thought! Then we need to disable Backup Wizard on all servers 🙁

  8. benny Vasquez says:

    Its part of the ‘Backup Wizard’ feature in the Feature Manger, so if you have that disabled it won’t be displayed to your users.

  9. Morten says:

    I really hope that you do not add “File Restoration” icon as default in features as you always do for new things.
    Please let the customers enable this if they want it or are actually using backups in WHM.

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