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How to Do a Backup in Salesforce

Salesforce runs in a cloud environment where large amounts of data are often kept. Even though data stored in the cloud is kept safe and secured, it is still a good idea to have backup copies of your org data to always be ready in case anything happens to your org’s Salesforce platform.

This short article will guide you on how to do data backups within your Salesforce platform.

Procedure in Backing Up Data

  • Go to Setup > Quick Find Box. Type in Data Export.
  • Select Data Export.
  • Choose from the two available options:
    • Schedule Export if you want an automatic scheduled backup, or
    • Export Now if you want to immediately export files now.
  • Choose which encoding you would like to use:
    • Unicode UTF 8
    • Unicode Little Endian
    • Unicode UTF-16, Big Endian
  • Select the Replace carriage returns with spaces option if you want spaces instead of line breaks on your files.
  • For scheduled reports, choose the frequency, time of day, and start-end dates
  • Go to Exported Data and select the data types you’d like to backup. Select Include all data if you want everything to be covered.
  • Finally, click either the Start Export or the Save button.

The system will now start creating the backup files. An email containing the download link to the backup files will be sent to the user who initiated the backup. The zip files are usually erased after 48 hours from the time the email was sent, for security purposes.

Considerations Before and After Backing Up Data

Keep these things in mind before and after doing your backups.

  • Salesforce lets you create scheduled backing-up of files. You may choose to backup weekly (once every 7 days) or monthly (once every 29 days).
  • Developer and Professional Editions only allow monthly backups of data.
  • The backup files will be exported once all the files are ready. You may choose to schedule your exports on weekly or monthly intervals, or you may also immediately export backup files granted that enough time already passed since your last export.
  • CSV files are generated once a backup starts. The capacity of a single CSV file is approximately until 512 MB. If the data size exceeds this cap, multiple .zip files will automatically be created.
  • You may view your backup files in:
    • Microsoft Excel 2003 – for Unicode UTF 8 and Unicode Little Endian files
    • Text Editor programs – for Unicode UTF-16 Big Endian files
  • Backing-up files in a sandbox is not yet supported by this feature.
  • CAPTCHA user verification may sometimes be used by Salesforce when one attempts to backup data.


Org data can easily be backed up in Salesforce by using the Data Export feature. Backups can be created immediately or on a scheduled basis. Files are created in CSV formats and are placed in zip files for larger amounts of data. An email with the data download link is sent once the entire backup process is completed.

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