BackupBuddy: ImportBuddy Rough Draft

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ImportBuddy is the tool that allows you to migrate or restore a site with BackupBuddy.

ImportBuddy Password

To use ImportBuddy, you'll first need to set a password. ImportBuddy requires this to protect unauthorized access to your site and backup files before you have finished restoring.

  • This password is encoded inside your importbuddy.php file when it is made, so:
    • If you share this importbuddy.php file to another for usage with a backup file you will need to provide the corresponding password.
    • If you change the password will need to download a new copy of importbuddy.php. Changing the password will NOT change it in existing importbuddy.php files.

  1. To set your password, navigate to BackupBuddy > Settings and enter the password you'd like to use in the ImportBuddy & RepairBuddy password section.


  2. You can also set a password when you download ImportBuddy. If you set a password when downloading ImportBuddy, it overrides the password you created in your BackupBuddy Settings. If you leave the option blank, it will use the default password you created in your settings.


  3. An ImportBuddy password can also be set during the Quick Setup page after first installing BackupBuddy.

Accessing ImportBuddy

After setting your ImportBuddy password, there are two ways you can access ImportBuddy:

  • Manually downloading and uploading to destination server
  • Sending to destination from within BackupBuddy

Manually Downloading and Uploading to Destination Server

Manually Downloading ImportBuddy

  1. To download ImportBuddy, navigate to the Restore/Migrate page in BackupBuddy and click the Download ImportBuddy button. This will initiate the download of the ImportBuddy file.


  2. Save the file to your computer.
  3. You will next upload this file to your destination server to begin using it.

Uploading ImportBuddy to your destination server

  1. Decide on the FTP directory that you would like to migrate or restore the backup to (using an empty directory is best) that corresponds to the web URL you want your destination site to be at. For example, if you want your new site's URL to be "" then your server directory MIGHT be something like /user/yourusername/public_html/mybuddy/. This is the directory you will then put importbuddy.php into. Note: The directory structure varies host to host but often follows a similar format.
  2. Upload importbuddy.php and your backup zip file to the FTP directory that corresponds to your desired URL.
  3. Navigate to the importbuddy.php file in your web browser after it has been uploaded. Example:
  4. To complete the migration or restoration process, visit the Manual Migration page.

Sending ImportBuddy to Destination

Instead of downloading ImportBuddy, you can send ImportBuddy directly to the location of your migration/restoration.

  1. To send ImportBuddy to a destination, navigate to the Restore/Migrate page in BackupBuddy and click the Send ImportBuddy to a Destination.


  2. In the window that opens, you be given options for where to send the ImportBuddy file. You'll find a list of your current remote destinations and an option to create a new destination.


  3. Follow the steps for Manual Migration or Magic Migration.

Advanced Troubleshooting Options

ImportBuddy automatically accounts for many server configurations and troubleshooting settings. However, when ImportBuddy cannot automatically account for some difficulty or cannot automatically assume to do so safely, you have the option to control server options and features which can aid with working around server problems or troubleshooting possible issues.


  • Skip zip file extraction.
    • If enabled then Step 2 of ImportBuddy will skip unzipping / extracting your backup ZIP file. You will need to manually unzip the file somehow, such as on your local system and then uploading all files, or with a server-side tool such as within your host's control panel file manager (if available).
  • Wipe all database tables. - Use caution.
    • This features wipes (erases / deletes) ALL tables within the database you will later select. Use extreme caution with this feature as it could release in permanent loss of data / sites / content in your database if used improperly. This is typically used to clear out a database and start fresh for this restored site. - Use caution.
  • Wipe only database tables matching prefix.
    • This feature is like the above EXCEPT it only erases tables with the same prefix you enter. Ie if you enter wp_ only tables starting with wp_ will be erased. Use caution. This is typically used to overwrite a single existing site.
  • Skip import of database.
    • Useful if you only want to restore files and not import anything into your current database. Note: Your database will still be migrated unless disabled below.
  • Skip migration of database.
    • Useful if you only want to migrate the data in the already imported database (ie: You already imported a database or have an existing one and just need things like URLs and paths migrated.) Note: Your database will still be imported unless disabled above.
  • Error Logging to importbuddy.txt
  • Ignore SQL errors & hide them. Rarely used option for hiding error messages. This can be used if your server is reporting incorrect errors/warnings caused by misconfiguration and it's preventing you from continuing the restore.
  • Skip migration of .htaccess file.
    • Rarely used for technical purposes only.
  • Force medium speed compatibility mode (ZipArchive).
    • Bypass attempting to use command line zip. Rarely needed; troubleshooting.
  • Force slow speed compatibility mode (PCLZip).
    • Bypass both high speed mode and medium speed mode, falling back all the way to PCLZip (slow speed). Rarely needed; troubleshooting.
  • Show detailed PHP warnings.
  • PHP Maximum Execution Time
    • Setting this a little lower can help force importbuddy to chunk the importing and migration of the database into multiple steps if large