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UniFi - How to Create and Restore a Backup

This article describes how to generate a backup of the UniFi Network application as well as how to restore it. This article does not cover the Auto Backup feature. You may see this article for more information on that subject: UniFi - How to Configure Auto Backup.

Note: This article is applicable to current UniFi Network application versions. Instructions on backups for older versions can be found at the bottom of this page in the "Method 3: Restoring from the /data Directory" section. As always, we suggest you update to the newest software and firmware available.


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The UniFi backup file has an extension of .unifi and contains the settings and the database for the UniFi Network application. The database is not included in a "settings only" backup. The backup also includes the and config.gateway.json advanced configuration files, maps, and any customized files in a site's portal folder. You can download a backup at any time from the Network application following the steps below.

Generate a New Backup

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To generate a new UniFi backup file (.unifi), on your UniFi OS Console:

  1. Access and log into your UniFi OS Console at or locally via its IP address.
  2. Go to System Settings Advanced and enable the Back up Device toggle if disabled.
  3. Click Download to download your backup file. 

You can also use the Backup Scheduler to schedule creating a backup at a certain occurrence and time. 


Restore a Backup

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Method 1: Restore in the UniFi Network application

To restore a backup you have previously generated:

  1. Access and log into your UniFi OS Console at or locally via its IP address.
  2. Go to System Settings > Advanced and click the Restore in the "Restore Device" section.
  3. Select the necessary settings in the Restore Backup pop-up window:
    1. Select the device on the Device Selection drop-down field which you will restore from a backup.
    2. Confirm that you will restore your device either to the latest backup or select another backup from a list by clicking on the here text button.
    3. Enter your SSO account password and click Restore to begin the restoring process. 

Once you confirm, the backup restoration will begin. This process takes a few minutes. Do not disconnect while the application is working on this. Once the new backup is restored, the application will restart.

Method 2: Restore in the UniFi Startup Wizard

If beginning a new installation, it will be easier to just use the option of restore from a previous backup as soon as the UniFi Startup Wizard launches, and select your .unf file.

Method 3: Restore from the /data Directory

Note: This method is for older Network application versions and is not recommended. For security reasons, we suggest always upgrading to the newest release available. If you still wish to use this method, click on the link below.

Click here to display Method 3: Restoring from the /data Directory.

If the original /data folder (with all subfolders and contents inclusive) is available, follow these steps (some might need to be performed via CLI):

  1. Stop the Network application.
  2. Make sure java and mongod are not running (on Windows Mongod is rather persistent, so it's best to perform the following steps in Safe Mode)
  3. Copy the new keystore (found in new /data directory) file to the old backup /data directory, overwriting the old one.
  4. Delete the new /data directory.
  5. Copy the old /data directory to the new UniFi installation.
  6. Restart the Network application.

Data folder locations:


  • Vista+: C:\Users\username\Ubiquiti UniFi\data
  • XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Ubiquiti UniFi\data


  • Actual directory: /var/lib/unifi/
  • Symlinked directory: /usr/lib/unifi/data


  • /Applications/
User Tip:If the .unf file is very large it may result in an error saying Failed to Start on import or migration. You may let this sit for a while, and then try accessing the application. It may import without a problem. If it doesn't import properly though, you may need to revert to the original version of the application, run the pruning script, make a new backup, then either purge and install then restore, or do an in-place upgrade.

Change the Inform Address for All Devices in the Network application

ATTENTION:Use this method with caution. After completing these steps the devices will be setting the inform address to the new IP address or FQDN specified.  

It may be desired to change the IP address or FQDN that the UniFi devices on multiple sites are reporting to after an application restore. This process is typically used when migrating from one functional UniFi OS Console to a new install.

  1. Download a backup file from the current UniFi OS Console.
  2. Install the Network application on the new UniFi OS Console. 
  3. Restore the backup that came from step 1 and let the upload process finish.
  4. Log into the new UniFi OS Console. 
  5. On the old UniFi OS Console's Network application, go to Settings > System Settings > Controller Configuration and enable the Override inform Host toggle.
  6. Type in the new UniFi OS Console's IP address or FQDN in the Controller Hostname/IP field. Also, tick the "Override inform host with controller hostname/IP" checkbox.
  7. Select Apply Changes.

After the changes are applied the old UniFi OS Console, will send the configuration to Connected state devices stating the inform host is now what was input in the Controller Hostname/IP field.

If this was performed correctly, the devices should start appearing in the new UniFi OS Console. The process should not take longer than 5 minutes but can be longer depending on the number of devices, the physical proximity of the devices, and new UniFi OS Console's technical specification.

Related articles

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UniFi - How to Configure Auto Backup
UniFi - Troubleshooting Issues with Application Backup Files

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