Restoring a Joomla website from a backup

In many situations it can be useful to return to a previous version of your site: from an unexpected crash to accidental deletion of important data, from a hack on your site to … the list is endless. In this article you’ll learn how to quickly and easily restore your Joomla from a backup and get your website back online in no time!

  • The easy way and the hard way

    As with creating backups, restoring a Joomla site from a backup done with the help of an extension or manually.

    We’ll look at both methods here, but the path you take will most likely depend on whether your backup was created with an extension or manually.

    The starting point for restoring a site is a backup: if you don’t already know how, here you can check our article on how to backup your Joomla site.

    Backup restoral with Akeeba Backup

    Akeeba Backup is the most popular extension on the JED. It’s also the easiest method to backup/restore a Joomla website. 

    Assuming you have a backup file created using Akeeba, restoring it is pretty straightforward.

    Part 1: File/directory restoral

    1. Go to Components > Akeeba Backup
    2. Click on Manage Backups
      Image showing where is Menage Backups Icon/page on Akeeba dasboard,
      Finding backups in Akeeba Backup
    3. Select the backup you wish to restore and click Restore
      Image showing how to restore a backup inside a Akeeba.
      Restoring the latest backup
    4. Click Start Restoration
    5. Wait for the archive to be extracted
      Image showing archive extraction in progress inside Akeeba.
      Extraction of the archive
    6. Once the archive has been extracted successfully, click Run the restoration script
      The extraction was completed message.
      Successful archive extraction

    Part 2: database restoral

    1. Once the archive has been extracted successfully, click Run the restoration script
      Image of Akeeba plugin in the moment just before database will be restored.
      Restoring the database
    2. The next screen requires you to enter your database credentials. If an existing Joomla installation is recognised, these fields may be prepopulated – if not you’ll need to enter the following details:
      Database type: MySQLi
      Database server host name: localhost
      User name: your database username
      Password: your database password
      Database name: your database name
      Database table name prefix: leave it as it is
      Site Setup tab on Akeeba backup restoration page.
      Entering database information
    3. Don’t touch the stuff to the right, just click on Next
    4. After a few moments, the database should be restored successfully
      The database restoration successful message.
      Successful database restoration
    5. Next up – Site Setup. Everything should be correct without any intervention. Click on Next
      Site Setup tab inside Akeeba extension.
      Site Setup
    6. Don’t worry, almost done. Click on Remove the installation directory
      Site Setup tab inside Akeeba extension.
    7. Click on Finalise Restoration
      The extraction was completed message.
    8. Congrats, you’re back in the game!

    Restoring a manual Joomla backup

    Restoring a site manually is a bit more work, but shouldn’t present a big problem. Of course, this implies you’ve made a manual backup and have all of the relevant files.

    The best way to access/edit files and folders on your server is by using an FTP client. You can read about working with an FTP client here.

    Ready for more screenshots? Let’s go!

    1. Restore your Joomla files
      Before anything, make sure you have a backup ready in case things go wrong
      Delete all current files and folders from your server
      Transfer all of the backed up Joomla files and folders from your local drive to the server
    2. Restore your database
      Go to phpMyAdmin
      Choose Databases, select the checkbox for your database and click Drop
      Image showing where choose to drop on click.
      Deleting all values from the database
      Now, select your database from the list on the left
      Click Import, select the SQL backup on your local computer and click Go
      Image from phpmyadmin showing where to import database.
      Importing values from an SQL backup
      Your database is imported and ready to use!
      'Your database is imported and ready to use!' message inside phpmyadmin.

    If the backup was created correctly, your site should now be restored. Hopefully, this is the last time you’ll have to do so.

    If none of the above worked, we recommend you ask someone else to do it for you. You can also contact us at for help.

    Requesting backup restore from your host

    If all else fails, most hosting providers also make regular server backups which they can restore for you on request. 

    To find out more, try asking the support team of your web host for more information. This solution is typically pretty painless, however often hosts charge for this service, and remember that this will affect your entire web server – not just your Joomla installation!

    If you are running out of ideas, contact us at We have lots of experience in restoring Joomla sites, repairing broken ones, updating old software version, etc. Let us know about the problems you’re facing – we’ll be glad to help!

    Further Insights