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Creating Backups

At a minimum, a backup of PhotoPrism should include the files in your originals folder and a copy of the index database. We also recommend backing up the storage folder so that you don't need to recreate any thumbnail or sidecar files, and your backup includes the complete configuration.

The easiest way to create a full backup is to first run the backup command to generate a database dump as shown below. Then back up your originals and storage folders using any standard file backup utility.

Backup Command

The easiest way to create an SQL dump from MariaDB or SQLite is to run the backup command in a terminal:

docker compose exec photoprism photoprism backup -i -f

If you are using Podman on a Red Hat-compatible Linux distribution:

podman-compose exec photoprism photoprism backup -i -f

By default, a backup is created in storage/backup/mysql/[YYYY-MM-DD].sql. A custom backup folder can be configured with PHOTOPRISM_BACKUP_PATH

Omit the -f flag if you do not want to overwrite existing files. You can also specify a custom filename as an argument (or - to write the SQL dump to stdout):

docker compose exec photoprism photoprism backup -i [filename]

Alternative ways to create SQL dumps from SQLite are shown in our advanced backup guide.

Note that our examples use the new docker compose command by default. If your server does not yet support it, you can still use docker-compose or alternatively podman-compose on Red Hat-compatible Linux distributions.

Important Folders


The originals folder contains your original photo and video files. You can back it up and restore it using any standard file backup program if you have not already set this up.


SQLite, config, cache, thumbnail and sidecar files are saved in the storage folder. As with the originals folder, the exact path on your computer depends on your configuration.

We recommend that you back up this folder as well so that you don't need to recreate the thumbnails and have a complete backup of your configuration. As for the originals folder, you can use any standard file backup utility to do this.

Depending on the resources available to us, a future version may include additional features so that you do not have to rely on external tools to perform file backups and can use a web interface.