Create download and restore a backup of your Discourse database

Discourse allows site administrators to create and download a copy of the site’s database. The backup can then be uploaded and restored to any Discourse forum.

Discourse backups include the full site database, which contains everything on the site: topics, posts, users, groups, settings, themes, etc. Depending on how the backup file is created, it may or may not include uploads. See the next section for details.

Create the backup

Go to the Admin / Backups section of your site and click the Backup button.

A modal window will open asking you whether or not you would like to include the site’s uploads in the backup.

:warning: If your site is hosted by us and you would like to create a backup that includes uploads, contact the Discourse team before creating the backup.


Click either of the buttons to initiate the backup.

Download the backup

When the backup is complete, Discourse will send you a notification.

Click the link in the notification to return to your Backups page. Then click the Download button.

Discourse will then send you an email that contains a link that can be used to download the backup to your computer.

Clicking the link will open your browser’s file manager and allow you to save the backup to your computer.

Upload a backup

To upload a backup, go to the Admin / Backups section of your site and click the Upload button.

This will open your browser’s file manager. Select the backup from your file system and click the file manager’s Open button. The new backup file will be displayed in the file list.

Restore a backup

:warning: If your site is hosted by us, the Restore button in the screenshot below will be disabled. After uploading the backup file, contact the Discourse team and let us know the name of the backup file that you wish to restore. We will restore it for you.

:warning: Restoring a backup file will overwrite all data on the site. When the backup is restored, you will be logged out of the site and need to log back in with your credentials from the restored site.

If you are not one of our hosted customers, before you are able to restore your backup file you need to select the allow restore site setting. Then click the Restore button.

The restore process automatically sets the disable emails setting to “non-staff”, so emails aren’t sent to your site’s users until you’re ready.


I am a total newbie and sadly my knowledge in the area is very limited and I will appreciate any help from you guys.

I just became the admin of a Discourse forum and I wanted to backup. I created a backup file and hit Download button. System tells me that an e-mail has been sent (and I checked e-mails are sent) but I don’t get it. Checked every folder of my e-mail account and nothing.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.


It might be unrelated to the backup system, I think it could be linked to the email configuration. Check to see if there’s any tasks unfinished.

If there’s an issue with the email configuration, you’ll have some fun in the terminal.


Thank you very much for your reply @Steven.
I checked whether e-mail system is working or not and as far as I can see, the system is working as it should. But I’ll have another look. Thanks.


Oh, I’m so sorry for you. :slight_smile: I’ll be a nuisance for sure.
I am not sure what I am looking but everything seems fine there.
No dead, scheduled, retried jobs…

Only this:

1 Like

And this:

1 Like

You checked your spam folder?

If you have ssh access to the server you can get the file in /var/discourse/shared/standalone/backups/default


Thank you very much for your suggestion but I checked every folder.
I’ll have the ssh access later today, I’ll download the file manually.