From WHMCS Documentation

We strongly recommend that you back up your WHMCS database regularly, so that you always have a copy of your data if a server or system failure occurs. Backing up the database is a very simply task with the built-in backup tool, and you can automate it.

Automated Database Backup

WHMCS can automatically back up your database and upload it to a SFTP/FTP location or email it to a designated email address.

To enable automatic backups, go to Configuration () > System Settings > Database Backups or, prior to WHMCS 8.0, Setup > Database Backups.

Manual Database Backup

You can manually download a backup of the WHMCS database at Utilities > System > Database Status.

Executing Backup Task Manually

The backup options configured are executed once per day via the cron. However, the task can be executed manually to check the configured backup options are working or as a separate cron command configured to execute the backup task more often:

php -q cron.php do --DatabaseBackup

For more information, refer to the Cron documentation,

Configuration.php Backup

The configuration.php file in the main whmcs directory. It contains the encryption hash value unique to your particular installation, which encrypts sensitive data. If you lose the encryption hash value, the system won't be able to decrypt your data. Because of this, it is important to keep a backup of this file in a secure location in case reinstallation is necessary.


As a database grows, it becomes too big for a PHP script like the WHMCS cron job to handle, due to the amount of data in it exceeding various server limits, usually when the database exceeds 20 MB. The size prevents the system from completing an FTP or Email backup.

In this case, we recommend switching to the cPanel Backup option instead (if you installed WHMCS on a cPanel server). By off-loading the backup tasks from PHP to the cPanel system processes, it allows you to generate much larger backups without impacting performance of your website.

When switching to cPanel or external backups, you will need to ensure that you have disabled the FTP and Email Backup features in your WHMCS installation to prevent errors with the cron due to the large database size.

If you are not on a cPanel server, you can use an external tool such as mysqldump to export your database. More information can be found in the MySQL documentation.

Optimise Tables

In normal operation, MySQL® tables can generate overhead. You can optimise your databases to reduce this problem at Utilities > System > Database Status.


The most common reason for database backups to fail is that it has grown too large and the PHP process takes too long or uses too much memory and is killed before it can complete the backup process.

For more information, see Limitations.

Onscreen Errors

A number of errors may occur onscreen when you generate a manual database backup, or in Configuration () > System Logs (or Utilities > Logs > Activity Log in WHMCS 7.x and earlier) when generating an automated database backup:

Table 'xxx' doesn't exist when using LOCK TABLES

This indicates that the named table xxx has crashed or is corrupted. Running a MySQL® repair operation will resolve this. You can repair tables via the MySQL Databases page within cPanel or using a tool such as phpMyAdmin.

Database backup unavailable due to missing required zip extension

This indicates that you need to recompile PHP after enabling the ZipArchive PHP class, which WHMCS requires to compress the backup.

Database backup error 'Please provide a valid dump path'

This indicates that WHMCS is unable to access the /tmp working directory during the backup generation process. Make sure that the open_basedir value is Off in your PHP configuration, and that the PHP /tmp directory is writeable and is not full.