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MT5 Documentation

Backing Up and Restoring Blogs

A backup will contain all the data from a blog at the time the backup is created. Changes made after the backup is created will not be in the backup.

Backup and restore functions allow the creattion a full archive of the following items from one or more blogs:

  • entries
  • pages
  • categories
  • folders
  • custom fields
  • assets
  • comments & trackbacks
  • templates & template mappins
  • tags
  • authors, roles, & permissions
  • log data
  • object scores
  • and varoius blog settings...

The archive can be created as one or more files and those files can be restored to the system where they were created or to any other Movable Type install for data recovery purposes.

Note: The object ids are updated during the restore process. If the blog templates are hard-coded to refer to any object (such as entries, pages, folders, categories, authors, etc) by id then the template code will need to to be updated with the new id after restore.


Note: Movable Type's backup and restore function use a different format than the import/export format in the system. If trying to create an export file for use with older versions of Movable Type or with other software, consult the documentation for Importing and Exporting Content.

  1. Go to System Overview > Tools > Backup (or if backing up a single blog: Tools > Backup).
  2. What to backup defaults to "Everything" which will backup the entire installation. Click "Choose blogs..." to display the Select Blog dialog where one or more blogs can be selected. After selecting a custom set of blogs, they will each be displayed with their blog ids and the option to "reset" back to "Everything" will be available.
  3. Choose the desired Archive Format:
    • zip archive compression (most common).
    • tar.gz archive compression.
    • Don't compress if the system where data will be restored does not support zip or tar.gz compression. This will yield a larger backup file. Not recommended for blogs with lots of assets.
  4. Target File Size will break the XML backup file (containing the text-based data) into multiple files based upon the selected file size. Select Don't divide (default) to create a single file containing all backup data. (Separating the backup data into multiple files is only useful when selecting the option to not compress the backup in an archive such that during restore smaller files can be uploaded.)
  5. Click the "Make Backup" button to have Movable Type collect data from selected blogs and all non-blog-specific system templates.
  6. If an archive format was selected, backup files will be compressed into a single archive file which will be automatically download from the browser.

    If "Don't compress" was selected, a list of files will be displayed which can be clicked to download. (These files are all placed into the server's /tmp directory and can be copied directly from the server.)


  1. Create a backup of the blogs you wish to restore.
  2. Go to System Overview > Tools > Restore.
  3. If a compressed archive format was selected during the backup process, select the Backup file.

    If the backup was created with the "Don't compress" option, select the downloaded file ending in ".manifest" ...or place all the uncompressed backup files in the $MT_HOME/import directory and do not select any file; MT will look for the ".manifest" file in the import directory.

  4. Select "Overwrite global templates" current global templates should be replaced with templates with the same name in the backup file(s).

  5. Click "Restore".
  6. If a compressed archive format was uploaded, then the MT will uncompress the files contents and complete the restore.

    If a manifest file was uploaded as the "Backup file", then MT will prompt for each file to be individually uploaded as necessary during the restore process.

  7. After importing the text data, MT will prompt and allow modification of the Site Path and Site URL of the restored blogs.

  8. When complete the message "All data restored successfully!" will be displayed.