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Generating and downloading a full backup in cPanel

To download the files of a website on cPanel hosting platforms, we can usually choose one of the following options:

  1. Automatic Full Account Backup. This type of backup is usually offered with cPanel system and it lets you create a full account backup, including website home directory, MySQL databases, emails and DNS settings. Full cPanel backup is mainly used if you want to transfer your account fully to another hosting provider who is also using cPanel.
  2. Automatic Home Directory Backup. You should choose this option if you want to have a smaller backup that consists of your website files and emails only. It is the simplest way to download a backup of your website files.
  3. Manual Website Backup. With this option, you only save the relevant website files and nothing else. The resulting backup takes the least space compared with the other two options at the expense of being more complicated.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to use each option to download a backup to your computer.

Option 1 — Automatic Full Account Backup

  1. Start off by logging into your cPanel and follow these steps:
  2. In the Files section, click the Backup icon. 
  3. Under Full Backup, click Download a Full Website Backup.
  4. On the next page, from the Backup Destination drop-down menu select the Home Directory option.
  5. For Email Address, select whether or not you wish to receive an email notification once the backup is complete. You may also change the notification email address in the provided field if you wish.
  6. Click Generate Backup. You will see an info message stating that the backup is in progress. Click Go Back.

Depending on your account size, it may take a while for the backup to be generated. Under Backups Available for Download, you will see your backup file name with a .tar.gz extension followed by the backup creation timestamp and an [in progress] message while the backup is being generated. Simply refresh the page after a few minutes to check if the [in progress] message is gone. When the message has disappeared, click on the backup file name and download it to your computer.


Option 2 — Automatic Home Directory Backup

  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Files section, click the Backup icon.
  3. Under Partial Backups->Download a Home Directory Backup, click Home Directory, a download process should commence.

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