UniFi - Backups and Migration

Dedicated UniFi Consoles (Dream Machines, Cloud Keys, Network Video Recorders, etc) offer System Config Backups, which include all OS, Application, and Device configurations. Backups can be created and restored in the Console section of the UniFi OS Settings.

For users with a Gen1 Cloud Key, or those self-hosting the UniFi Network Server on a Windows/macOS/Linux machine, please see Network Application Backups.

Automated Cloud Backups

If Remote Management is enabled, a cloud backup of your UniFi Console will be automatically generated each week and prior to each major update. Manual backups and restorations are managed in the Console's UniFi OS Settings.

Only the Console Owner has permissions to manage these backups, because they are saved directly to their UI Account. Visit account.ui.com/backups to view all backups associated with your account.

UniFi Console Migration

In addition to backing up your current system's configuration, System Config Backups can be used to migrate devices or application settings to other UniFi Consoles. To do so:
  1. Create a cloud backup or download a local backup from the UniFi OS Settings.
  2. Replace your original UniFi Console with the new one. All other network connections should remain unchanged.
  3. Set up the new UniFi Console.
  4. Restore the backup file. This can be done during the setup process, or it can be done afterwards from the UniFi OS Settings.
Note: If migrating to a different model UniFi Console, the new Console must be running UniFi OS 3.1 or higher.

Network Application Backups

UniFi Network backups contain UniFi Network settings and device configurations. These are only needed by users with a Gen1 Cloud Key, or those self-hosting the UniFi Network Server on a Windows/macOS/Linux machine. All users with a dedicated UniFi Console are encouraged to use the comprehensive System Config Backup.

Network Application backups can be created and restored in the Backups section of the UniFi Network Settings.

Advanced UniFi Network Migration

If you are directly replacing two dedicated UniFi Consoles, use the migration instructions above. The following instructions are primarily for migrating self-hosted UniFi Network Servers.

Standard Migration

This is used when all UniFi devices are on the same network/VLAN as your UniFi Console managing them.

If you are a home user managing devices in a single location and have not used the set-inform command, or other advanced Layer 3 adoption methods, this is most likely the method for you.

  1. Ensure that your new Network Application is up to date
  2. Download the Network Application backup file (*.unf) from your original Network Application’s Settings > System > Backups.
  3. Connect the new UniFi Console to your network. All other UniFi devices should remain physically connected as they were previously.
  4. Restore the backup file to the new Network Application in Settings > System > Backups. If you are using a dedicated UniFi Console that runs UniFi OS, you can monitor the restoration progress from the UniFi OS Applications screen.
  5. Wait for all devices to appear as online in the new application.
    Note: If you did not remove your original UniFi Network Server during step (3), then you may have to return to the old Network Application to select each device and click "Forget." This will prevent them from reconnecting to the old console.
  6. If any device appears offline or 'Managed by Another Console,' factory reset the device and re-adopt it to the new console.

Migrating Applications That Manage Layer 3 Devices

This method is for users that have devices on a different network/VLAN than the application’s managing console. It is also useful when migrating to Official UniFi Hosting or a Cloud Key.

  1. Ensure that your new Network Application is up to date
  2. Download the Network Application backup file (*.unf) from your original Network Application’s Settings > System > Backups
  3. Connect the new UniFi Console to your network. All other UniFi devices should remain physically connected as they were previously.
  4. Restore the backup file to the new Network Application in Settings > System > Backups. If you are using a dedicated UniFi Console that runs UniFi OS, you can monitor the restoration progress from the UniFi OS Applications screen.
  5. With the restoration complete, enable the Override Inform Host toggle on the original Network Application and supply the IP address of the new console. This will tell your devices where they should establish a connection. Once entered, all devices in the original Network Application should appear as Managed by Other or offline.
    1. When migrating to Official UniFi Hosting, use the Inform URL copied from the Network Application's dashboard. You may need to remove the initial http:// and the ending :8080/inform upon pasting. 
  6. Wait for all devices to appear as online in the new Network Application. If a device is offline or 'Managed by Another Console,' factory reset the device and re-adopt it to the new console.
  7. Remove your old UniFi Console from the network, or forget the migrated devices from the original Network Application through the devices' settings.

Exporting Individual Sites from a Multi-Site Console

Certain UniFi Consoles (i.e., Cloud Key, Official UniFi Hosting, self-hosted Network Server) support multi-site UniFi Network management. Site export allows you to migrate specific sites from one multi-site console to another. To do so:

  1. Ensure that your new Network Application is up to date.
  2. Click Export Site in your original Network Application’s Settings > System > Site Management to download the site file and initiate the guided walkthrough. 
  3. Ensure your new console has been set up. All other UniFi devices should remain physically connected as they were previously.
  4. Navigate to your new Network Application in a new tab or browser.
  5. In your new Network Application, select Import Site from the site switcher (located in the upper-left corner of your dashboard*) to upload the site export file you downloaded previously. If you are using a dedicated UniFi Console that runs UniFi OS, you can monitor the restoration progress from the UniFi OS Applications screen.
    • * If no site switcher is displayed, you may need to enable Multi-Site Management in your Settings > System > Site Management.
  6. With the restoration complete, return to the guided walkthrough on the original Network Application to select the device(s) you wish to migrate to your new Network Application.
  7. Enter the Inform URL. This is the IP address of the new UniFi Console that you are moving the devices to. Once entered, all devices in the original Network Application should appear as Managed by Other or offline
    1. When migrating to Official UniFi Hosting, use the Inform URL copied from the Network Application's dashboard. You may need to remove the initial http:// and the ending :8080/inform upon pasting. 
  8. Finish the guided walkthrough by forgetting the devices from the original Network Application.
  9. Wait for all devices to appear as online in the new application. If a device is offline or 'Managed by Another Console,' factory reset the device and re-adopt it to the new console.

Camera Migration for UNVRs

Migrating cameras to a new Network Video Recorder is a simple process, but follow these steps carefully to ensure you don't lose any valuable recordings or settings.

For explanation purposes, we'll assume your cameras are adopted to a Cloud Gateway, and you wish to move them to a UNVR.

  1. Export clips that you want to keep; recordings will not migrate.
  2. Connect UNVR and ensure it is on the same VLAN as the cameras.
  3. Download a backup of the original deployment, found under Protect Settings > System > Migration. Select Download File.
  4. Stop Protect on the original console by hovering over the Protect icon in the OS Settings. See below:
    Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 4.31.05 PM.png
  5. Restore from the backup on the UNVR.
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