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Backup and Restore

Database

caution

Immich saves file paths in the database, it does not scan the library folder to update the database so backups are crucial.

info

Refer to the official postgres documentation for details about backing up and restoring a postgres database.

The recommended way to backup and restore the Immich database is to use the pg_dumpall command.

Backup
docker exec -t immich_postgres pg_dumpall -c -U postgres | gzip > "/path/to/backup/dump.sql.gz"
Restore
docker compose down -v  # CAUTION! Deletes all Immich data to start from scratch.
docker compose pull # Update to latest version of Immich (if desired)
docker compose create # Create Docker containers for Immich apps without running them.
docker start immich_postgres # Start Postgres server
sleep 10 # Wait for Postgres server to start up
gunzip < "/path/to/backup/dump.sql.gz" | docker exec -i immich_postgres psql -U postgres -d immich # Restore Backup
docker compose up -d # Start remainder of Immich apps

Note that for the database restore to proceed properly, it requires a completely fresh install (i.e. the Immich server has never run since creating the Docker containers). If the Immich app has run, Postgres conflicts may be encountered upon database restoration (relation already exists, violated foreign key constraints, multiple primary keys, etc.).

The database dumps can also be automated (using this image) by editing the docker compose file to match the following:

services:
...
backup:
container_name: immich_db_dumper
image: prodrigestivill/postgres-backup-local
env_file:
- .env
environment:
POSTGRES_HOST: database
POSTGRES_DB: ${DB_DATABASE_NAME}
POSTGRES_USER: ${DB_USERNAME}
POSTGRES_PASSWORD: ${DB_PASSWORD}
SCHEDULE: "@daily"
BACKUP_NUM_KEEP: 7
BACKUP_DIR: /db_dumps
volumes:
- ./db_dumps:/db_dumps
depends_on:
- database

Then you can restore with the same command but pointed at the latest dump.

Automated Restore
gunzip < db_dumps/last/immich-latest.sql.gz | docker exec -i immich_postgres psql -U postgres -d immich

Filesystem

Immich stores two types of content in the filesystem: (1) original, unmodified content, and (2) generated content. Only the original content needs to be backed-up, which includes the following folders:

  1. UPLOAD_LOCATION/library
  2. UPLOAD_LOCATION/upload
  3. UPLOAD_LOCATION/profile