Back up apps for SharePoint in SharePoint 2013


Applies to: apps for SharePoint, SharePoint Foundation 2013, SharePoint Server 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2018-01-27

Summary: Learn how to back up apps for SharePoint in SharePoint 2013.

The apps for SharePoint is a powerful new feature for SharePoint 2013. For more information, see Overview of apps for SharePoint 2013.

We recommend that you regularly back up at the farm level. However, business or IT requirements might require you to back up the apps for SharePoint in addition to normal farm backups. If you regularly back up the apps for SharePoint environment, you reduce the possibility of data losses that might occur from hardware failures, power outages, or other problems. It is a simple process that helps make sure that data and configurations that compose the apps for SharePoint environment are available for recovery, if that is required.

The app for SharePoint content and packages are in the SharePoint 2013 content databases in individual site collections. All app for SharePoint license and security data is stored in the App Management Service and the Secure Store Service application databases. Additional app for SharePoint data is stored in the SharePoint 2013 configuration database, in the form of Internet Information Services (IIS) web sites or web applications, and Web Part packages. You must back up the following SharePoint 2013 databases at the same time:

  • Content

  • Configuration

  • Secure Store Service application

  • App Management service application

If you have to eventually restore the databases, you have to restore the same version of each database that you backed up. In other words, don't restore a content database that's six months older than the configuration database.

For more information about the SharePoint 2013 databases, see Database types and descriptions (SharePoint 2013).

You can back up an apps for SharePoint environment by using the SharePoint Central Administration website, Windows PowerShell, or SQL Server tools.

In this article:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in 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:

Content databases can store data for multiple site collections. However, if you have many site collections, we recommend that you add enough content databases to keep the size of each database below 200 GB for optimal system performance. For more information, see Back up content databases in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 content databases become very large. We recommend that you back up each content database as a separate process from other database or farm backups.

The SharePoint 2013 configuration database stores data about all SharePoint databases and Internet Information Services (IIS) web sites or web applications. This includes trusted solutions, Web Part packages, site templates, and web application settings, and farm settings that are specific to SharePoint 2013, such as default quota and blocked file types. For more information, see Back up farm configurations in SharePoint 2013.

The Secure Store Service database stores and maps credentials such as account names and passwords. To back up the Secure Store database for an apps for SharePoint environment, see Back up the Secure Store Service in SharePoint 2013.

Make sure that you record the passphrase when you back up the Secure Store database. You must have the passphrase available to restore the Secure Store database.

The App Management service application database stores the app licenses and permissions for all apps downloaded from the App Catalog site in SharePoint 2013. To back up the App Management database, follow the same procedures as most other SharePoint 2013 service applications. For more information, see Back up service applications in SharePoint 2013.

You may have multiple site collections that host apps for SharePoint in your environment. When you backup apps for SharePoint you must also back up all site collections where the apps are hosted.

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.

    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:

      1. 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 displayed 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]


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

    • <BackupFile> is the path of 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.

    If the RBS provider that you are using does not support snapshots, you can't 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 details, see Back up site collections in SharePoint 2013

For more information, see Backup-SPSite.

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.