What exactly does backing up do?

I see that the hub makes a backup file daily, and I'm able to download this file to my PC, but what exactly does this file contain? I see mentions of backing up to fix corrupted files after improper power downs, etc.

For example, in the event of a complete hub failure, will I be able to simply upload this file to a new hub and have all rules and devices restored? Including devices paired with security?

The file basically contains all your rules, but not your devices. It's a backup of the system database. HE does offer a backup service Hub Protect, that is supposed to be a complete system backup. That is a fee based service.

Here is some info on the normal backup.


I've long had a similar question. I understand that if you want to restore the same hub to a previous state, the daily backup is your friend. But from what I understand, if you buy a new hub (e.g., a replacement for one that went kaput), you can't just use your backup to create a clone of the previous (backed up) unit. Unless, that is, you have a Hub Protect backup, in which case more things can be restored, but not all. Still confuses me, and others as well, I suspect.

Think of it this way, essentially the hub has 5 regions of “data”

  1. Firmware/OS
  2. Application/Driver code
  3. Local Storage
  4. Zwave Radio Data
  5. Zigbee Radio Data

A normal backup will cover regions 2 & 5, a Hub Protect backup will cover all regions but 3 (region 4 only on C5 and C7s) but zigbee devices will need to be re-paired to become active again. Region 1 is recoverable from the diagnostics page.


@thebearmay, I like how you separate the different regions!

I understand it however, the normal backup covers Application/Driver code as well as the Zigbee Radio Data (regions 2 and 5) and the cloud backup adds Z-Wave Radio Data (region 4).

The firmware/os and local storage (regions 1 and 3) are not covered by any backups.


Correct, not enough caffeine yet. Amended my post above,

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Does this mean if I take a backup from hub 1 and restore it to hub 2 my zigbee devices should work on hub 2 without re-pairing? Or does it mean the devices will continue to work as they had before once they are re-paired?

Zigbee devices would need to be paired with the new hub but, they slide back into their old slots so all of the rules and apps that used them would not need to be changed.


I basically just did this - download hub1 to PC; soft reset to hub2; upload from PC to hub2. Zigbee devices need re-pairing but fit back where they were. However, Zigbee devices paired to Hue bridge did not need re-pairing, another argument for using the Hue bridge where possible.

I did all this because I could not resolve issues on hub1 (see earlier thread, "Defective Hub?).

Hub1 is now "inactive" but I am wondering now whether there is a good way to tes it.

Mike M

Very helpful. Thanks.

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So to confirm, if I have a C5 and want to update to a C7, then a backup and restore should carry over every ZWAVE device?

If you are using the optional Hub Protect Service and create a cloud backup it will contain the zwave radio data (at least for the US version, seem to recall that the EU version C5 may not) and can then be restored to a C7.


Download the Hubitat app