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Back up site collections in SharePoint 2013

Published: July 16, 2012

Summary: Learn how to back up a single site collection in SharePoint 2013.

Applies to:  SharePoint Foundation 2013 | SharePoint Server 2013 

You can back up a site collection in SharePoint 2013 by using the SharePoint Central Administration website or Windows PowerShell.

In this article:

Before you begin

We recommend that you regularly back up the complete farm. However, IT practices might require you to also back up a site collection. For more information about what to back up, see Plan for backup and recovery in SharePoint 2013.

Before you begin this operation, review the following information:

  • You must first create a folder on the local computer or the network in which to store the backups. For better performance, we recommend that you back up to the local computer and then move the backup files to a network folder. For more information about how to create a backup folder, see Prepare to back up and restore farms in SharePoint 2013.

  • If the site collection’s Lock status is set to Not locked or Adding content prevented, SharePoint 2013 temporarily sets the site to Read-Only while the backup operation is occurring. SharePoint 2013 does this to reduce the possibilities of users changing the site collection while it is being backed up. After the backup is complete, the setting is changed back its normal status.

  • Performing a site collection backup might require resources and might slightly affect farm performance when the backup is running. You can help avoid performance issues by backing up the farm during hours when farm use is lowest, such as outside office hours.

note Note:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

Use Windows PowerShell to back up a site collection in SharePoint 2013

You can use Windows PowerShell to back up a site collection manually or as part of a script that can be run at scheduled intervals.

To back up a site collection by using Windows PowerShell

  1. Verify that you have the following memberships:

    • securityadmin fixed server role on the SQL Server instance.

    • db_owner fixed database role on all databases that are to be updated.

    • Administrators group on the server on which you are running the Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

    An administrator can use the Add-SPShellAdmin cmdlet to grant permissions to use SharePoint 2013 cmdlets.

    note Note:

    If you do not have permissions, contact your Setup administrator or SQL Server administrator to request permissions. For additional information about Windows PowerShell permissions, see Add-SPShellAdmin.

  2. Start the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • On the Start menu, click All Programs, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

        If SharePoint 2013 Management Shell is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command:

    Backup-SPSite -Identity <SiteCollectionGUIDorURL> -Path <BackupFile> [-Force] [-NoSiteLock] [-UseSqlSnapshot] [-Verbose]
    

    Where:

    • <SiteCollectionGUIDorURL> is the ID or URL for the site collection you want to back up.

    • <BackupFile> is the path to where the backup file is located.

    If you want to overwrite a previously used backup file, use the Force parameter. You can use the NoSiteLock parameter to keep the read-only lock from being set on the site collection while it is being backed up. However, using this parameter can enable users to change the site collection while it is being backed up and could lead to possible data corruption during backup. To display the site collection GUID or URL at the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command:

    Get-SPSite | format-list -property id,url
    

    If the database server is running an Enterprise Edition of SQL Server, we recommend that you also use the UseSqlSnapshot parameter for more consistent backups. You can also export sites or lists from these snapshots.

    noteNote:

    If the RBS provider that you are using does not support snapshots, you cannot use snapshots for content deployment or backup. For example, the SQL FILESTREAM provider does not support snapshots.

    For more information about how to use SQL snap-shots, see Back up databases to snapshots in SharePoint Server 2013.

For more information, see Backup-SPSite.

note Note:

We recommend that you use Windows PowerShell when performing command-line administrative tasks. The Stsadm command-line tool has been deprecated, but is included to support compatibility with previous product versions.

Use Central Administration to back up a site collection in SharePoint 2013

You can use Central Administration to back up a site collection.

To back up a site collection by using Central Administration

  1. Verify that the user account performing this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators group. Additionally, verify that the Windows SharePoint Services Timer V4 service has Full Control permissions on the backup folder.

  2. Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • Click Start, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

        If SharePoint 2013 Central Administration is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. In Central Administration, on the home page, in the Backup and Restore section, click Perform a site collection backup.

  4. On the Site collection backup page, select the site collection from the Site Collection list.

  5. Type the local path of the backup file in the Filename box.

    note Note:

    If you want to reuse a file, select the Overwrite existing file check box.

  6. Click Start Backup.

  7. You can view the general status of all backup jobs at the top of the Granular Backup Job Status page in the Readiness section. You can view the status for the current backup job in the lower part of the page in the Site Collection Backup section. The status page updates every 30 seconds automatically. You can manually update the status details by clicking Refresh. Backup and recovery are Timer service jobs. Therefore, it may take several seconds for the backup to start.

    If you receive any errors, you can review them in the Failure Message column of the Granular Backup Job Status page.

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