Backing Up a Vault

The vault backup function can be used for backing up an on-premises vault or for scheduling a recurring vault backup job. For more information about scheduled backups, refer to Scheduled Backup Jobs.

Important information

  • M-Files Cloud vaults are backed up daily as a standard service. In M-Files Cloud, it is not necessary to schedule other vault backup jobs.
  • It is very important to also regularly create master database backups, not only vault backups.
  • You can restore the backup only on a server whose M-Files Server version is the same as or later than the version on the server that is used to create the backup. If you restore the backup on a server that has a later version, see Upgrading Vaults.
  • If you use Microsoft SQL Server as the database engine of your vault, see Backing Up Microsoft SQL Server Databases for instructions on how to back up and restore your vault data.
  • Do not back up an active M-Files system with a snapshot of the file system where its data is stored. This can create a damaged or unusable backup because write operations to files (most importantly, the database engine files) can be ongoing and, thus, incomplete. If you use full virtual machine (VM) snapshots for backups, make sure that the VM software fully supports creation of snapshots of an active system. This means that the software can restore the system to exactly the same state, including the memory and CPU states.

It also is important to note that M-Files stores on the hard drive of the server machine a vault-specific set of secondary data that is not included in a vault backup, but instead re-recreated after the vault backup has been restored. This data includes PDF renditions for hit-highlighting and preview, thumbnails, and most importantly, the search index of the vault. As rebuilding the search index for a large vault can take a significant amount of time, you should always consider backing up and restoring the search index as well. For instructions, see Backing Up and Restoring the Vault Search Index.

To back up a document vault, do the following steps:

  1. Open M-Files Admin.
  2. In the left-side tree view, expand a connection to M-Files server.
  3. Right-click a vault
  4. Click Operations > Back Up.
    Result:The Back Up Document Vault dialog is opened.
  5. Using the Backup type drop-down menu, select either Full backup or Differential backup.
    A full backup is the most complete copy that can be produced with M-Files. It contains, for example, the history information of all documents. You cannot make a differential backup if you have not made a full backup first. A differential backup contains all data that has been changed after the last full backup.
  6. Click the ... button to select the destination of the M-Files backup file (MFB).
  7. Optional: Click Set Account... to run the task with another account than the Local System account. If the file location is on a network drive that the Local System account cannot get access to, you must set another account. On the Set Account dialog:
    1. Select This account.
    2. In This account, enter the name of the user account.
    3. In Password and Confirm password, enter the password of the user account.
    4. Click OK to close the Set Account dialog.
  8. Optional: If you want to divide the vault backup into multiple files, check the Divide to multiple files check box and set the file size limit.
    The names of the backup files should not be modified as they might no longer be recognized during a backup operation later on.
  9. Optional: Check the Overwrite existing files check box if you want your new backup files to replace any existing files with the same file name.
  10. Select either:
    • Run immediately to start the backup job right away.
    • Add to scheduled jobs and click the ... button to schedule the backup job as a recurring task.
      Note: For more information about scheduled jobs, see Scheduled Jobs.
  11. Click OK to either start the backup process or to add the scheduled task to the list of scheduled jobs.
The vault backup should now be run or added to the list of scheduled jobs, depending on your choice under the Scheduling header of the dialog.