How to restore your VPS

Time to Read: 10 minutes Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Tools Needed: root logins for your VPS Last Updated:

Restore your VPS

This guide shows you how to restore your entire VPS using a full container backup via the Plesk Power Panel. It should be stressed that using this method will mean that ALL files, databases, sites, domain configurations and emails stored on the server will go back to their state at the time the backup was created. Using one of these backups will mean that passwords for the server get reset to the time at which the backup was taken too. If you have more than one site on your server, a full container rollback may not be the best option for you. There are many situations where this is the best option available to you but you should be aware that you will almost always lose data as part of the restore. For example, you’ll lose any orders taken by your store from after the backup was taken.If you’re unsure, please contact our Support team to enquire about your options.

Before you begin working through this guide you should also be aware that all of your sites and services on your server will be unavailable whilst the restore is in progress. There is no option to place up a holding page for your sites because the server itself will be down. This downtime could last for several hours - unfortunately it’s not possible to accurately predict how long the downtime will take. As a general rule, the more data there is to restore, the longer the downtime will last.

You should also make sure that you know which changes to your sites/server you’re trying to undo and when these changes were likely to have been made. There’s nothing as frustrating as waiting several hours for a restore to finish, only to run into the same problem with your site that you began with!

Container level backups are also taken automatically so you don’t need to configure them prior to use. They’re on a rolling cycle so you should have the last 5-7 days available to you at any one point in time.

Using Plesk Power Panel
Restoring your VPS
Take a new backup of your VPS

Using Plesk Power Panel

​The first step to restoring your entire VPS is to log into your Plesk Power Panel. You may not even be aware that you have access to this interface and if your specific server is PCI compliant, then you probably have this access disabled to allow your server to pass a scan.

The Power Panel is accessible using a similar URL to your Plesk panel, but instead it uses port 4643, as per this example:

You just need to enter in your browser, where XXXX is the 4 digit number of your VPS.Log into the Power Panel using the username root and your root user’s password. If you’re unsure of this password, contact our Support team and we can advise.

It’s completely normal to see a security warning on this page. This is because you’re accessing a HTTPS secured link but the default certificate Plesk provides for this connection is a self-signed certificate.

Once you’ve signed in, select Maintenance from the left-hand sidebar.

Restoring your VPS

​You should now see a menu with a list of all available backups. The backups you see here contain all data relating to your server, including sites, databases, files, emails and configuration settings. The incremental backups contain all changes since the last full backup and can be restored the same as a full backup. If you restore an incremental backup, you’re actually restoring the chosen increment as well as all previous increments up to the last full backup (and including the full backup too). The full backups are much bigger in size, so incremental backups are taken to ensure efficient use of disk space.

In this example, to restore my VPS back to the morning of January 21st (circa 8.57am), I would check the box next to the backup.

If you’re certain this is the backup you wish to restore, proceed to click on Restore Virtual Environment.

In the next screen, you’ll have to confirm that you wish to proceed with this restore - one last chance to double check you’re restoring the correct data! Click Restore when you want to proceed.

As per the above, this can take several hours to complete. There’s not a lot to do now but wait - time to put the kettle on (and then some).

Take a new backup of your VPS

You can use Power Panel to create a new container backup if you need to. It’s rare that you’ll need to do this because your server backups are generated nightly anyway by default. In the event that you do need to this, you would have to remove all existing container backups from within Power Panel first before creating a fresh backup. We would strongly advise against deleting all of your backups for the purpose of taking a new one because it is not possible to recover these backups once they have been removed.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you require an up-to-date container level backup, please contact our Support team and we may be able to advise further.