Backup and Restore of 3CX Phone System
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Backup and Restore of 3CX Phone System

Backup, Restore & Failover

On this topic

Backup, Restore & Failover


Backing up your System

Step 1: Choose a Location to Store Backups

Step 2: Creating a Backup

Restoring a Backup

Immediate restore

Scheduled restore

See Also


3CX Phone System has an integrated backup and restore functionality, to allow you to:

  • Create regular backups.
  • Allow for easy upgrades to newer versions of 3CX Phone System.
  • Allow hassle-free moving from one machine to another.
  • Configure a standby server for fault tolerance.

Backing up your System

To backup your system, you will need to decide where, what and when to backup your PBX.

  • Where: Choose between local drive or remote FTP
  • What: System configuration, Voice Mail, Recordings etc.
  • When: One-off or at scheduled intervals

To take backups, the services will not need to be stopped. Nonetheless we recommend doing it at off peak hours.

Step 1: Choose a Location to Store Backups

3CX will save and restore backups to a central backup location. This backup location can be remote or local.  To choose a location to store backups:

  1. Launch the 3CX Management Console and select the “Backup and Restore” node.
  2. Click on Location”, to configure the location for backups. Select the location type and configure accordingly:
  • “Local disk” - Click the browse button to choose the location.
  • “FTP” - Enter the path to the FTP server and a username and password for the account that has rights to access the FTP folder.
  1. Click “OK” to save the location.

Any backups that will be created will be stored to this location and shown in the backup repository window. You can then download or delete backups from there.

Step 2: Creating a Backup

To create a backup:

  1. Go to the “Backup and Restore” node and press the “Backup” button.
  2. Specify a name for the backup.
  3. Select the items you would like to backup.
  4. Click the “Save” button to start the backup immediately. Once the backup completes click “Close”. The new backup details will appear in the backup repository window.

To schedule a backup:

  1. Go to the “Backup and Restore” node and press the “Backup Schedule” button.
  2. Choose what to backup and then choose between Daily or Weekly specifying the time.
  3. Choose a backup rotation - this is the number of backups to keep before overwriting the oldest. For example, if you choose a weekly backup schedule and a rotation of 4, you will always have 4 backups to restore from, going back 4 weeks.
  4. Press “Save”, to schedule your backup.

Restoring a Backup

You can restore a backup immediately, in case you wish to move 3CX Phone System to another server or upgrade from an old version. Alternatively you can schedule a restore choosing whether 3CX should start the services after the restore or not. The main purpose of a scheduled restore is to keep a second system on standby with up to date configuration and user data.

TIP: If you have backups from a previous version or another installation you can put them into the location you chose to store your backups. 3CX will recognize them and you will be able to use them and restore them.

Note: Restoring a backup stops all the 3CX Phone System Services.

Immediate restore

To perform an immediate restore:

  1. Click on “Backup & Restore” node, select which backup to restore and click the “Restore” button. A window will open warning you that all the services will be stopped during the restore process. Click “Yes” to restore or “No” to cancel.
  2. The management console will logout and the restore will proceed. You will then have to log back in once the restore is complete.

Scheduled restore

A scheduled restore is used for keeping a second server on standby and up to date with the latest data and configuration.To perform a scheduled restore, click on the “Restore Schedule” toolbar button.

  1. Go to Backup & Restore node, click on the Restore Schedule” button.
  2. Select when to start the restore process (Daily or weekly) and at what time.
  3. Select whether you want to start the 3CX Services after the restore or not.
  4. The backup that you have scheduled will be restored (called Manually triggered backups are NOT restored automatically.

See Also

You might also be interested in:

Ask a Question

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  1. Stuart Hash

    there is no backup node in v12.5? my install is recent as of two days ago and it only lists “call queues, fax machines, settings, updates, links, and help” there is no backup option. where do I find it since it is missing in the latest version 12.5?

    June 24, 2015 at 10:13 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      Hi Stuart, this feature will be available in the next release of 3CX Phone System. You can look forward to being able to schedule your backups and restores directly from the management console. A technical preview of V14 will be released very shortly.

      June 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm
  2. Myron

    I would like to backup my 3cx machine because of suspect hardware components in the Windows machine and I also cannot find the backup node. It not in the 3cx manager.

    Version 12.5 How do I make a backup copy to flash drive to save programming and to save for upgrade to v14?


    September 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Myron, thanks for the question. To backup 3CX Phone System v12.5 use the backup and restore tool. Then simply choose to save the backup to your flash drive.

      September 23, 2015 at 11:05 am
  3. alan

    how do I initiate a backup i.e. what do I click on im struggling to see it although I know the moment someone tells me I will feel a proper melon

    October 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Alan, thanks for the question. Firstly check that you are saving the backup to the location that you require, within the 3CX Management console under the Backup and Restore node, then switch to the Backup tab and and click backup, choose the options you want to include and click Save. That’s all there is to it!

      October 12, 2015 at 9:56 pm
  4. Daniel

    After Updating from 12.0 to 14 SP1, the restorecmd.exe always crashes at “Finished Task `Finalization`. What has to be done after this point? 3cx stays unconfigured.

    November 10, 2015 at 3:39 am Reply
    • Daniel

      ..after installing latest updates on this 2k8r2-server the restore tool stopped in the next step: Finished task ‘Restoring Restoring old custom templates’

      Last Saturday i update another 3cx-Server, same version, same file, same updates etc. worked like a charm!

      November 10, 2015 at 7:11 am
    • @Daniel: Is this the same problem? Same server?

      November 10, 2015 at 10:42 am
    • @Daniel – Do the websites start after this? I sent you an email so we can investigate.

      November 10, 2015 at 10:37 am
  5. Zahed Kelani

    What about the inverse procedure?
    If main server is restored, Do I need to do the following manually:

    1- backup secondary server and restore it in main server.
    2- stop secondary server services.
    3- update DNS back to main server IP.

    Isn’t there a way to make secondary server make backups when it is active so main server will restore the latest one automatically when it is back?

    December 9, 2015 at 10:31 am Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Zahed. thanks for the question. The configuration allows for automatic failover and also failback using SRV records with different priorities, so no need to manually change your DNS. Although currently failover is only possible for 3CXPhone Systems that are not in the same location. We are currently working on a solution for systems being in the same location.

      December 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm
  6. Walt Draffin

    I’m in the process of doing a proof of concept using 3cx. After upgrading to 14 SP2 and I try to restore the backup from either 14 or 12.5, it says it has to restart the services and once I click ok it goes back to the login screen. No services are restarted and the installation is still a fresh install. Any suggestions?

    December 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      Hi Walt, It is very difficult to guess the issue that your having without investigation. If possible please contact your 3CX reseller/partner or distributor to open a ticket with our support team so that they can look into this for you.

      December 15, 2015 at 7:14 pm
  7. Elmar

    V14Sp2, there is the possible to start the backup via cmd or at least the backup name dynamically, eg to set backup_%

    January 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Elmar, thanks for the question. You can schedule backups directly from the backup and restore feature within the management console. You can use the backup rotation option which will increment the backup names for each backup taken within the rotation schedule. For example, if you choose a weekly backup schedule and a rotation of 4, you will always have 4 backups to restore from, going back 4 weeks. Each backup will be incremented with a number at the end of the name.

      January 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm
  8. Maris Mekss

    Previously we did backups via command line which offered more flexibility.
    Is it possible to exclude things like recording backup using bulkbackup.exe from command line?
    Just to add here, that being able to do that via WEB console is not ok for us as you cannot properly automate it via web console.

    April 28, 2016 at 2:21 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Maris, The backup feature within the management console will allow you schedule backups and choose what to backup and what to exclude. You may also configure a backup rotation to save backups of which only the oldest will be overwritten. The bulkbackup.exe is used as a last resort to backup the database and we do not provide any documentation for this.

      April 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm
  9. Maris Mekss

    Using bulkbackup.exe it is possible to set variables in filename, like $date$ and $name$. Can it be done via web console?

    April 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm Reply
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Maris, it is not possible to add variables but when you select to configure a backup rotation the name of the backup is incremented with a number. You may also post this in our feature request page: and if it gets enough votes and is technically possible it may very well get implemented.

      April 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm
  10. Mireille

    Dear All,
    Am having problems with 3CX version 12.0. The management console is inaccessible unless I use web interface, The backup tool is also not functioning. Can someone help to give another option of backing up the configuration to allow me upgrading the system. My maintenance license is valid

    August 26, 2016 at 10:24 am Reply
  11. Brian Blake

    Ugh… I just backed up v14 with the built in backup tool. I then uninstalled V14 to install V15. I can’t find the backup I just created anywhere. I see now that there is a button at the top to choose a location, but shouldn’t it ask, if it matters? Where is my backup?????????????

    October 7, 2016 at 9:58 am Reply
    • @Brian – The default backup location is in a 3CX directory.
      This means that if you did not change the backup location, and you uninstalled, the backup is deleted when the cleanup process occurred at uninstallation time. I think you lost your backup.
      Is there another way you can retrieve another copy?

      October 7, 2016 at 10:31 am
  12. Bob Duffett

    I did a backup of the customer’s system, uninstalled 3CX so I could install v15 SP2 but the STUPID, STUPID decision to put the default backup location in a path that gets wipes by the uninstall lost all of their backups. STUPID!!

    October 13, 2016 at 7:09 pm Reply
    • There is a notice telling you that all data will be wiped out when you uninstall. All data left in the default locations like recordings and Backups will be deleted.

      October 14, 2016 at 11:52 am