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Backing Up a SharePoint Site

Reference Number: AA-00843 Created: 2012-09-20 13:21 Last Updated: 2012-10-05 07:54 0 Rating/ Voters

Creating a Backup in SharePoint Designer (CMP File)

Sites Less Than 25 MB

  1. Go to File then Open Site and enter your SharePoint Site Address (like and use your "WSSAdmin" user to connect.
  2. Once connected, go to Site, then Administration and finally Backup Web Site.
  3. Enter an existing directory on your site as a backup location, and enter a location on your computer to save your files locally.

Sites More Than 25 MB

Because of a bug with SharePoint Designer, if your site is more than 25 MB when backed up you will not be able to use that backup to restore your site later. The backup needs to be less than 25 MB.

You will have to backup individual documents and uploaded files to computer and delete them from your site to bring your site to less than 25 MB. Once the size of the site is down below 25 MB, use the steps above to backup your site.

Exporting a site as a Personal Web Package (FWP File)

There is also an option in SharePoint Designer to Export site as a Personal Web Package (.fwp file). From the File menu select Export and then Personal Web Package.

Please note that this will not backup all aspects of your site, including list data, sub-sites, or security and permissions settings. The Personal Web Package can be used to export uploaded files and documents, but may not be reliable when restoring full pages. Generally this method is recommended only for restoring only a site template.

Restoring a Backup using SharePoint Designer

If you are restoring a backup to a new sub-web created using SharePoint Designer, you can follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your site with SharePoint Designer by going to the File menu, selecting Open Site and entering your site address (like When prompted log in using your "WSSAadmin" user to authenticate.
  2. Go to File, then New, and finally Web Site.
  3. Select "General".
  4. Select "Empty Web Site".
  5. At the bottom of the window, enter your SharePoint site address with the new directory for sub-site (like This must be a new directory, and not an existing sub-web.
  6. Click "OK".
  7. Use steps below to restore your site.

If you are restoring a backup to a new sub-site created from your SharePoint web site, you can follow these steps to create the site:

  1. Connect to SharePoint Site in a web browser.
  2. Go to Site Actions, then Site Settings, and finally Sites and Workspaces.
  3. Click Create.
  4. Select Blank Site as the template. If you use any other templates you may receive an error when trying to complete the restoration.

And then restore your site by following these steps:

  1. If you are restoring a full site, make sure to sign up using the Blank Site template. Any other templates may give an error when trying to restore.
  2. Connect to your new site, or recently created sub-web, from SharePoint Designer.
  3. Go to Site, then Administration, and then Restore Web Site.
  4. Select your locally saved copy of your backup and Restore it to the server.
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