How to Generate a Full Backup in cPanel

Backups are an essential part of the management of your hosting account. As a platform for controlling all aspects of your hosting service, cPanel has an excellent backup functionality that helps you generate and save a copy of your data quickly and easily. Let’s see how it works.

Generating a Full cPanel Backup

cPanel has quite a few backup options. The one we’ll be looking at today can generate a full backup of your hosting account, including:

  • the files in the home directory
  • the databases
  • the email accounts, forwarders, filters

To do that, you first need to log into cPanel. The login URL is usually If the domain isn’t pointed to the hosting server, you will be able to get more information on how to log in from the welcome email.

To access the full backup feature, click on the Backup button on cPanel’s homepage.

You have a few different partial backup options, including backups of your home directory, your databases, and your email forwarders and filters. However, the button you’re interested in is Download a Full Account Backup.

cPanel puts all the data in a compressed file with a .tar.gz extension.

Backing up all the data on larger cPanel accounts may take a while, so you have the option of receiving a notification of backup completion. All you need to do is enter your email in the Email Address field.


It’s up to you to decide how you’re going to save the backup file, as well. The Backup Destination drop-down menu gives you four options:

  • Home Directory

If you choose this option, the backup will be stored on your hosting account, alongside the rest of your website files. Keeping your backup in the home directory may not be the best option. It will take up disk space, and in the event of a breach, you could end up losing access to it.

That’s why cPanel gives you the option of downloading your backups to a local machine through the Backups Available for Download section.

  • Remote FTP Server

You can use the File Transfer Protocol to transfer your backup to a remote server. By saving it in a remote destination, you can ensure that a potential breach of your hosting account won’t compromise the backup’s integrity.

The only thing you need to do is enter the following information:

  • Remote Server – the remote server’s IP
  • Remote User – the username of the FTP account you want to use on the remote server
  • Remote Password – the FTP account’s password
  • Port – the port the remote server will be listening to (the default FTP port is 21)
  • Remote Dir – the folder where you’ll store your backup (e.g., home/user/backup/)

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Working in the web hosting industry for over 13 years, Rado has inevitably got some insight into the industry. A digital marketer by education, Rado is always putting himself in the client's shoes, trying to see what's best for THEM first. A man of the fine detail, you can often find him spending 10+ minutes wondering over a missing comma or slightly skewed design.