Protection

How to backup and restore config file on FreeNAS

If you're using FreeNAS to share files and folders with Windows 10 users, use these steps to protect the configurations that you spend countless hours setting up.

FreeNAS config file backup and restore

On FreeNAS, the config file includes all the default and custom configurations you make to the storage server, including networking and system settings, users, datasets, pools, shared folders, and more.

If the Network Attached Storage (NAS) box breaks or fails to boot, the config file can help to recover the system or quickly get up and running on another device, which is why it’s important to backup this information.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to backup and restore the config file on your FreeNAS server. In addition, we’ll look at the steps to reset the database containing the entire system configuration.

How to backup config file on FreeNAS

Use these steps to backup the config file on FreeNAS:

Warning: The configuration file only contains a copy of the database that stores the device settings, this process doesn’t backup the data that you saved from your Windows 10 computer or another device on the hard drives.
  1. Open FreeNAS in your web browser.

  2. Sign into your root account.

  3. Click on System from the left pane.

  4. Click on General.

  5. Click the Save Config button.

    FreeNAS General settings page
    FreeNAS General settings page
  6. (Optional) Check the Export Password Secret Seed option.

  7. Click the Save button.

    Backup configuration file on FreeNAS
    Backup configuration file on FreeNAS

Once you complete the steps, the configuration file will download in a “.tar” file. (You can open a .tar file on Windows 10 with these steps.)

After the download, make sure to save the file in a secure location, as it’ll not only help you to recover your original configuration if you need to rebuild the NAS or move to another server, but it’s also a file that may contain the password secret seed to allow to decrypt system passwords.

You should export a new configuration file every time you make changes to your NAS.

How to restore config file on FreeNAS

Use these steps to restore a config file on FreeNAS:

  1. Open FreeNAS in your web browser.

  2. Sign into your root account.

  3. Click on System from the left pane.

  4. Click on General.

  5. Click the Upload Config button.

    FreeNAS General settings page, upload config option
    FreeNAS General settings page, upload config option
  6. Click the Choose file button.

  7. Select the .tar configuration file.

  8. Click the Upload button.

    Restore config file FreeNAS
    Restore config file FreeNAS

After you complete the steps, the file will upload and replace any system configuration previously available on the FreeNAS box.

How to reset config file on FreeNAS

Use these steps to rest the current configuration database on FreeNAS:

  1. Open FreeNAS in your web browser.

  2. Sign into your root account.

  3. Click on System from the left pane.

  4. Click on General.

  5. Click the Reset Config button.

    FreeNAS General settings page, Reset config option
    FreeNAS General settings page, Reset config option
  6. Click the Confirm button.

    Confirm FreeNAS configuration reset
    Confirm FreeNAS configuration reset

Once you complete the steps, all the system settings will reset to default state after the reboot. It’s like starting with FreeNAS from scratch. After resetting the configurations, you can re-apply the settings manually, or you can restore settings from a config backup file.