Restore farm configurations in SharePoint 2013


Applies to: SharePoint Foundation 2013, SharePoint Server 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2016-12-16

Summary: Learn how to restore configuration information (such as antivirus, IRM, outbound email, and some customizations) for SharePoint 2013.

You can restore a farm configuration in SharePoint 2013 by using the SharePoint Central Administration website or Windows PowerShell. Which backup tool you use depends on what kind of environment you have deployed, what your backup schedule requires, and what service level agreements you have made with your organization.

In this article:

Farm-level configuration recovery is performed only after a failure that involves the configuration database but does not involve other farm data, such as a content database or Web application. If restoring the farm configuration does not solve the problems, you must restore the complete farm. For more information about how to restore the complete farm, see Restore farms in SharePoint 2013. You can restore the configuration from a farm backup that used either the Backup content and configuration settings option or the Backup only configuration settings option.

In earlier versions of SharePoint 2013, you could not restore the configuration database and, therefore, you could not restore the configuration of a farm. In this version of SharePoint 2013, you do not have to restore the configuration database because you can restore the farm configuration directly.
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:

You can use Windows PowerShell to restore a farm’s configuration.

To restore a farm's configuration 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.

    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. On the Start menu, click All Programs .

  3. Click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products.

  4. Click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

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

    Restore-SPFarm -Directory <RestoreShare> -RestoreMethod Overwrite -ConfigurationOnly


    • <RestoreShare> is network location where the backup file is stored.

    For more information, see Restore-SPFarm.

    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.

You can use Central Administration to restore a farm’s configuration.

To restore a farm's configuration by using Central Administration
  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group on the computer that is running Central Administration.

  2. Verification: Optionally, include steps that users should perform to verify that the operation was successful.

    You must also be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role on the database server where each database is stored.

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

  4. On the Restore from Backup — Step 1 of 3: Select Backup to Restore page, select the backup job that contains the farm backup from the list of backups, and then click Next.

    You can view additional information about the backups by expanding the row that contains the backup.
    If the correct backup job does not appear, in the Backup Directory Location text box, enter the UNC path of the correct backup folder, and then click Refresh.
  5. On the Restore from Backup  — Step 2 of 3: Select Component to Restore page, select the check box that is next to the farm, and then click Next.

  6. On the Restore from Backup  — Step 3 of 3: Select Restore Options page, in the Restore Component section, make sure that "Farm" appears in the Restore the following content list.

    In the Restore Only Configuration Settings section, make sure that the Restore content and configuration settings option is selected.

    In the Restore Options section, select the Type of Restore option. Use the Same configuration setting. A dialog box will appear that asks you to confirm the operation. Click OK.

    If the Restore Only Configuration Settings section does not appear, then the backup that you selected is a configuration-only backup.

    Click Start Restore.

  7. You can view the general status of all recovery jobs at the top of the Backup and Restore Status page in the Readiness section. You can view the status of the current recovery job in the lower part of the page in the Restore 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 recovery to start.

    If you receive any errors, you can review them in the Failure Message column of the Backup and Restore Job Status page. You can also find more details in the Sprestore.log file at the UNC path that you specified in step 2.