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Create an ArcGIS Enterprise backup

You can export the components of your ArcGIS Enterprise organization to a backup file that can later be used to restore your organization in the event of hardware failure or data loss. The file includes your portal items and settings; hosted web layers; federated and hosting server settings; and, if using ArcGIS Data Store, your hosted feature layer data and hosted scene layer caches.

The size of the backup file and the time it takes to create it vary depending on how many items are in your portal, the number and type of hosted web layers you have, how many federated servers you have, and how many ArcGIS Server machines are in your hosting and federated servers.

Use the Web GIS Disaster Recovery (WebGISDR) tool with the export operation and a properties file to create a backup of ArcGIS Enterprise. You can find the tool in the Portal for ArcGIS tools directory. Ensure you meet these criteria when using the tool:

  • The backup for each component is placed in a temporary directory on each component's machine before being moved to the shared directory you specify. Therefore, ensure that the following directories are large enough to contain the backup of each component:
    • The backup for Portal for ArcGIS will be placed in <Portal_content_directory>\temp. This location should have around 100 percent of the current size of the arcgisportal directory.
    • The backup for ArcGIS Server will be placed in the service account's local TEMP directory, by default in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Temp. This location should have around 166 percent of the current size of the arcgisserver directory.
    • The backup for ArcGIS Data Store will be placed in <ArcGIS_Data_Store_directory>\temp. This location should have around 62 percent of the current size of the arcgisdatastore directory.
  • The shared directory you specify must be large enough to contain all exported files from each site. It is recommended that this is the total of the sizes for each component determined above. Because the file size will likely increase over time, you should continue to monitor the size of these backup files and adjust storage size as needed.
  • The domain account or accounts you use to run your ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, and ArcGIS Data Store services must have write access to the shared directory you specify for the backup files.
  • The ArcGIS Data Store relational data store in your ArcGIS Enterprise deployment must have point-in-time recovery enabled if you intend to create incremental backups (BACKUP_RESTORE_MODE = incremental).


If your portal content is stored in the file system, real-time antivirus scanning can impact the performance of the backup. Consider excluding the portal content directory and your backup SHARED_LOCATION and BACKUP_LOCATION directories from your antivirus scanner.

Create a backup

Before creating a backup of your ArcGIS Enterprise organization, review Back up and restore best practices. Then follow these steps to create a backup:

  1. Make a copy of the template properties file. You can save the copy in the same directory as the template or to a new directory.

    The template properties file——is installed in C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Portal\tools\webgisdr by default.

  2. Open the copy of the properties file and edit it to include information specific to your site. See WebGISDR tool properties file for more information.
  3. Save the properties file.

    The PORTAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD value will be encrypted in the file and PORTAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD_ENCRYPTED is set to true once you run the WebGISDR tool with this file.

  4. Open a command window on the Portal for ArcGIS machine, change the directory to the location of the WebGISDR tool, and run the tool with the export option. See Runtime arguments section for more information.

    The backup file is created in the location you specified for the SHARED_LOCATION in the properties file. The file name is <timestamp>.webgissite.


    If the tool appears to stall while running, ensure the command prompt is not in QuickEdit mode. See Common problems and solutions for more information.

  5. If your ArcGIS Enterprise organization includes map service or hosted tile layer caches, manually make a backup copy of all directories where your cache tiles are stored (for example, the entire arcgiscache directory under C:\arcgisserver\directories\ or <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/usr/directories).

    These directories contain the map cache tiles and the tiling scheme file conf.xml. The cache directories may also contain a file geodatabase, status.gdb, which contains information about what tiles were built.

You can use this backup file to restore ArcGIS Enterprise.


It's recommended that you create backups on a regular basis to guard against significant data loss and reduce downtime. To schedule backups, learn more about automating backup and restore operations.

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  1. Create a backup