Restore web applications in SharePoint Server
APPLIES TO: 2013 2016 2019 Subscription Edition SharePoint in Microsoft 365
You can restore a web application in SharePoint Server by using the SharePoint Central Administration website, Microsoft PowerShell, or SQL Server tools. Which backup tool you use depends on what kind of environment you have deployed, what your backup schedule requires, and what service level agreements you have made with your organization.
Before you begin
When you restore a web application, you also restore the Internet Information Services (IIS) settings and all content databases that are associated with the web application.
Before you begin this operation, review the following information as you prepare to restore a web application:
You can only restore one web application at a time by using the procedures in this article. However, you can at the same time restore all the web applications in the farm by restoring the complete farm.
If a web application uses the object cache, you must manually configure two special user accounts for the web application after you restore the web application. For more information about the object cache and how to configure these user accounts, see Configure object cache user accounts in SharePoint Server.
You cannot use SQL Server tools to restore a web application.
When you restore a web application that is configured to use claims-based authentication, there are additional steps that you must follow after restoring the web application to restore claims-based authentication.
Using PowerShell to restore a web application in SharePoint Server
You can use PowerShell to restore a web application manually or as part of a script that can be run at scheduled intervals.
To restore a web application by using PowerShell
Verify that you have the following memberships:
securityadmin fixed server role on the SQL Server instance.
db_owner fixed database role on all databases that are to be updated.
Administrators group on the server on which you are running the PowerShell cmdlets.
An administrator can use the Add-SPShellAdmin cmdlet to grant permissions to use SharePoint Server cmdlets.
If you do not have permissions, contact your Setup administrator or SQL Server administrator to request permissions. For additional information about PowerShell permissions, see Add-SPShellAdmin.
Start the SharePoint Management Shell.
At the PowerShell command prompt, type the following command:
Restore-SPFarm -Directory <BackupFolderName> -RestoreMethod Overwrite -Item <WebApplicationName> [-BackupId <GUID>] [-Verbose]
<BackupFolderName> is the full path of the folder that you use for backup files.
<WebApplicationName> is the name of the web application that was backed up.
<GUID> is the identifier of the back up to use for the restore operation.
If you do not specify the value of the
BackupIDparameter, the most recent backup will be used. You cannot restore a web application by using a configuration-only backup. You can view the backups for the farm by typing the following:
Get-SPBackupHistory -Directory <BackupFolderName> -ShowBackup
For more information, see Restore-SPFarm.
We recommend that you use Microsoft PowerShell when performing command-line administrative tasks. The Stsadm command-line tool has been deprecated, but is included to support compatibility with previous product versions.
Using Central Administration to restore a web application in SharePoint Server
You can use Central Administration to restore a web application.
To restore a web application by using Central Administration
Verify that the user account performing this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators group. Additionally, verify that the SharePoint Timer service and the Farm Database Access account have Full Control permissions on the backup folder.
Start Central Administration.
In Central Administration, on the home page, in the Backup and Restore section, click Restore from a backup.
On the Restore from Backup — Step 1 of 3: Select Backup to Restore page, from the list of backups, select the backup job that contains the farm or web application backup, and then click Next. You can view more details about each backup by clicking the (+) next to the backup.
If the correct backup job does not appear, in the Current Directory Location text box, type the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the correct backup folder, and then click Refresh. > You cannot use a configuration-only backup to restore the web application.
On the Restore from Backup — Step 2 of 3: Select Component to Restore page, select the check box that is next to the web application, and then click Next.
On the Restore from Backup — Step 3 of 3: Select Restore Options page, in the Restore Component section, make sure that Farm\<Web application> appears in the Restore the following content list.
In the Restore Only Configuration Settings section, make sure that the Restore content and configuration settings option is selected.
In the Restore Options section, under Type of Restore, select the Same configuration option. A dialog appears that asks you to confirm the operation. Click OK.
If the Restore Only Configuration Settings section does not appear, the backup that you selected is a configuration-only backup. You must select another backup.
Click Start Restore.
You can view the general status of all recovery jobs at the top of the Backup and Restore Job Status page in the Readiness section. You can view the status for the current recovery job in the lower part of the page in the Restore section. The status page updates every 30 seconds automatically. You can manually update the status details by clicking Refresh. Backup and recovery are Timer service jobs. Therefore, it may take several seconds for the recovery to start.
If you receive any errors, you can review them in the Failure Message column of the Backup and Restore Job Status page. You can also find more details in the Sprestore.log file at the UNC path that you specified.
Using SQL Server tools to restore databases associated with a web application in SharePoint Server
You cannot restore the complete web application by using SQL Server tools. However, you can restore all the databases that are associated with the web application. To restore the complete web application, use either PowerShell or Central Administration.
To restore databases associated with a web application by using SQL Server tools
Verify that the user account performing this procedure is a member of the sysadmin fixed server role.
If the SharePoint Timer service is running, stop the service and wait for several minutes for any currently running stored procedures to finish. Do not restart the service until after you restore the databases.
Start SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the database server.
In Object Explorer, expand Databases.
Right-click the database that you want to restore, point to Tasks, point to Restore, and then click Database.
The database is automatically taken offline during the recovery operation and cannot be accessed by other processes.
In the Restore Database dialog, specify the destination and the source, and then select the backup set or sets that you want to restore.
The default values for destination and source are appropriate for most recovery scenarios.
In the Select a page pane, click Options.
In the Restore options section, select only Overwrite the existing database. Unless the environment or policies require otherwise, do not select the other options in this section.
In the Recovery state section:
If you have included all the transaction logs that you must restore, select RECOVER WITH RECOVERY.
If you must restore additional transaction logs, select RECOVER WITH NORECOVERY.
The third option, RECOVER WITH STANDBY is not used in this scenario.
For more information about these recovery options, see Restore Database (Options Page).
Click OK to complete the recovery operation.
Repeat steps 4 through 10 for each database that you are restoring.
Start the Windows SharePoint Services Timer service.
Additional steps to restore a web application that uses forms-based authentication in SharePoint Server
After you restore a web application that uses forms-based authentication, you must follow these steps to reconfigure the web application to use forms-based authentication.
Re-register the membership and role providers in the Web.config file.
Redeploy the providers.
Additional steps to remove duplicate claims providers after restoring a web application that uses claims-based authentication in SharePoint Server
After a web application that is configured to use claims-based authentication is restored, duplicate or additional claims providers are often visible. You must use the following process to remove the duplicate providers:
In Central Administration, click Manage Web application, select a web application that uses claims-based authentication, and then click Authentication Providers.
Select a zone that the web application is associated with to open the Edit Authentication page, and then click Save.
Repeat for each zone, and then for each web application that uses claims-based authentication.
Additional steps to re-configure object cache user accounts in SharePoint Server
If you configured object cache user accounts for the web application, the restore process will not restore these settings. You must re-configure the settings for the web application. For more information, see Configure object cache user accounts in SharePoint Server.