This article describes how to export your UniFi Network Controller from one UniFi device to another. It is applicable for UniFi Network Controller migrations regardless of type of host: between Cloud Keys of different generations, same generation, from Cloud Keys to UniFi Dream Machines, etc.
Table of Contents
- How to Migrate with Backup and Restore
- Troubleshooting Duplicate Controllers
- Troubleshooting Incompatible Versions
- Related Articles
The Controller migration procedure is the same regardless of the device used (UCK or UDM), Cloud Key generation or method of hosting the Controller, as long as the new Controller version (the one you will be migrating to) is the same or newer than the original Controller's.
How to Migrate with Backup and Restore
Follow these steps to download a backup of the original Cloud Key's Controller and migrate it to a new Cloud Key. The Backup and Restore method will migrate settings and historical data (if selected), as well as all sites and devices.
1. In the original Cloud Key's UniFi Network Controller go to Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore section (or in new settings: Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore). Use the drop down to modify the data retention to include historical data, or only save your Settings before downloading, then click Download to generate and save a new UniFi backup file (
2. To avoid having duplicate Controllers shut down the old Cloud Key once the backup download is complete. Scroll down in the Controller Settings > Maintenance > Cloud Key Operations and click the Shut Down Cloud Key button.
3. The backup can be uploaded to the new host in two different ways: either by setting up the new device first (use this method when migrating to a UniFi Dream Machine); or by starting the Setup Wizard and selecting "Restore from a previous backup" option. Both methods are described below.
Method 3A: Setting Up Host Device First (for UniFi Dream Machines)
Set up the new device as you usually would, following initial setup instructions and installing a new Controller instance. Once installed, in the new controller go to Settings > Controller Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore and click Choose File (or Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore in classic settings view). Select your recently downloaded .unf file. Note that this will also restore the Controller credentials from your original Cloud Key.
After the system has restored all configurations, it might appear as a duplicate and with the same host IP address as the old controller's in the Cloud Access Portal. Use the one that is online to launch the controller. Skip down to step 4.
Method 3B: Using the Startup Wizard to Restore
Once the Setup Wizard launches, the first page will offer the option to restore from a previous backup. Click that link and select your recently downloaded
.unf file. Note that this will also restore the Controller credentials from your original Cloud Key.
4. Wait until the backup is restored. Once UniFi finishes working, you will be presented with the login screen for the new Controller. Remember to use the username and password from the old Controller.
5. Once you have confirmed that all devices and settings have migrated successfully to the new Cloud Key, it is strongly recommended to reset the old Cloud Key to factory defaults to avoid duplicate Controllers if it is ever connected again. To reset the old Cloud Key follow these steps:
- Connect the old Cloud Key to power. Press and hold the reset button for 10 seconds.
- Release the button (the LED on the device will stop glowing).
- Do not disconnect the Cloud Key from its power source during the reboot process.
- The Cloud Key will restore factory settings.
6. Close the browser page with the Cloud Access Portal from where you launched the Controller Wizard. To open the Cloud Access Portal again, go to Settings > Remote Access and click the Dashboard link from there.
Troubleshooting Duplicate Controllers
Disconnected Devices After Migration
If after migrating the controller to its new host, the devices appear as disconnected in the Devices section, it could mean there is a duplicate controller issue, or that the devices are still adopted by the old controller.
To verify, log into the UniFi Cloud Access portal using your Ubiquiti SSO account: https://network.unifi.ui.com/ and see how many controllers appear listed.If you see something similar to the image above, where both controllers are still listed, it probably means both controllers are running on the same LAN, at the same time. This will create an adoption failure and other connectivity issues.
To address this, physically disconnect the host of the old controller to make sure there is no confusion. Refresh the new controller and after a moment, the old controller should disappear from the UniFi Cloud Access Portal list, and the devices in the new controller should begin to appear as adopted. Please see the articles below for more troubleshooting help.
UniFi Mobile App Warning: Controllers with Same UUIDs
For cases where the error "Controllers with Same UUID" is seen, please follow these instructions to solve:
1. Remove and disable Cloud Access under Settings > Remote Access > Disable and Remove Cloud Access.
2. Forget both controllers from the Cloud Access Portal list, by clicking on Forget on each controller row.
3. Enable and reconfigure Cloud Access once again in Settings > Remote Access.
4. Rename the new controller to make sure it is not confused with the old one in Settings > Controller > Controller Name.
Troubleshooting Incompatible Versions
If you cannot upgrade both Controllers to the same, latest version available this will cause the backup to fail. If upgrading via the usual methods is not possible, please create a topic on the Community's UniFi Routing & Switching section and tag (@mention) UI-Glenn so he can provide the correct method to perform this upgrade.