Knowledge Base

How to use Server Rewind to restore files and databases

This article describes how to use the Server Rewind feature in cPanel to restore files and databases on your web site. Using Server Rewind, you can restore a file, a set of files, or a database with just a few clicks. For example, you might accidentally delete a file on your web site. If you have backups enabled on your web site, you can use Server Rewind to restore the previous version of the file.

For server performance and stability reasons, Server Rewind is unavailable during scheduled maintenance periods:
  • For accounts hosted at the U.S. data center, Server Rewind is unavailable daily between 3:00 AM and 5:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (and between 3:00 AM and 5:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time, when applicable).
  • For accounts hosted at the Iceland data center, Server Rewind is unavailable daily between 3:00 AM and 5:00 AM GMT.
On Managed VPS accounts, Server Rewind only restores files. It does not restore databases. For more information, please see this article.

Backups and Server Rewind

All A2 Hosting servers have redundant hard drives for real-time RAID 1 mirrored backups. We also provide off-server backups. These server backups are stored for the last 30 days on a best-effort basis. To do a restore from one of these backups, use the Server Rewind feature in cPanel.

If you require assistance from our Guru Crew in retrieving backups, please open a support ticket on the Customer Portal at https://my.a2hosting.com. In the ticket, please specify what you want to restore, and we will make a best effort to restore your data.

We recommend that you maintain your own backups as well. If you create full or partial backups using the cPanel Backup feature, however, please do not save multiple copies of backups on your hosting account. For more information, please see section 8 of our Terms of Service.

Restoring files with Server Rewind

To restore files using Server Rewind, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files section of the cPanel home screen, click Server Rewind.
  2. Select the date that contains the version of the file or files that you want to restore. To expand a date, click the + icon.
  3. Navigate to the file or files that you want to restore. To expand a directory, click the + icon. You can select an entire directory, or specific files to restore.
  4. Under Options, select the Overwrite existing files check box to overwrite existing files with the restored files.
  5. In the Restore into this location in my home directory text box, type the location for the restored files.
    If you are restoring an account that has been compromised, make sure that you restore the files to an empty directory. Server Rewind does not delete malicious files that were uploaded after the restore date you selected.
  6. Click Restore!
    The length of time to complete the restore process depends on directory size, the number and size of the files, and so on.

Restoring databases with Server Rewind

  • For database restores, Server Rewind does not currently support usernames longer than eight (8) characters.
  • Because of how PostgreSQL stores database data, Server Rewind cannot restore PostgreSQL databases. We strongly recommend that you create your own backups of PostgreSQL databases on a regular basis.

To restore databases using Server Rewind, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files section of the cPanel home screen, click Server Rewind.
  2. Click the Restore Databases tab.
  3. Select the date that contains the database version that you want to restore. To expand a date, click the + icon.
  4. Select the database that you want to restore.
  5. Under Options, select the Overwrite existing database check box to overwrite the existing database.
  6. In the Write SQL into this location in my home directory text box, type the location for the restored database.
  7. Click Restore.