How to back up your Salesforce data – automatically!

How to schedule regular back ups of your salesforce data – it's a set of files that includes ALL your data (records, reports and attachments) in salesforce. This is something we recommend all organizations do as a precautionary measure.

These files can be used to restore records after an accidental mass deletion or other kind of similar major malfunction. In my experience, I've never had a client who needed to use these backup files. You will probably never need them, but we feel that it's good to have just in case (wouldn't you rather have and not need, than the other way around?).

We recommend keeping a minimum of 4 weeks worth of back up data either on your computer, a thumb drive, or a server. If you want to keep more, that's totally fine and up to you – sometimes storage space is an issue so we think 4 weeks is sufficient. 

To set it up in Salesforce, navigate to your name in the upper right, click on Setup, then in the QuickFind Menu on the left, type in Data. Under Data Management there is an option for Data Export.

Your Name –> Setup –> Data Management –> Data Export

1. Click on Data Export

2. Click the button to Schedule Export

3. On the Schedule Export page, we recommend selecting every Monday, and choose an early start time (4 or 5am). Set the end date time as far in the future as you can (2099 for instance, we want this to continue indefinitely).

4. Ensure the box "include all data" is checked.

That's it!

This schedules creation of backup data files of all your data in Salesforce once per week. You will receive an email every week once the export is completed, prompting you to click on a link to download the backup files These back-up files will include every record and piece of data in your salesforce instance at the time the report is exported.

As an FYI, you can always get back-up files directly from if needed, however that requires logging a case (which may take 3-5 business days to be fully resolved) with them to receive the files. So having them somewhere you can access them quickly is a better practice.

Helpful tips (learn from our mistakes!)

  • Backup files are only available for download for 48 hours after the email notification is sent, after that they will be discarded. So make sure you download them within 48 hours, and make sure you choose a weekly export time that works for you (ie if you don't work on Mondays, Monday morning is not the best export time for you)
  • Each user who wants to receive the back-up file exports must set it up on their own profile, as the notifications are sent directly to the email associated with the user who sets it up. If the user who sets it up leaves that role or the company, another user must set it up on their profile.
  • If you create a custom object AFTER setting up the export, you will need to go back and update the export to include that object (remember, at the time you created the export that object didn't exist, so wasn't included when you selected all).

If you have any questions setting this up, or need help, feel free to contact Sputnik Moment – we love to help!


Larissa Neale is a Salesforce Consultant who is passionate about cloud computing and online data management. She's never been a fan of paper and filing cabinets and is excited to help organizations embrace secure online solutions, like Salesforce, to improve their processes and decrease paper in their lives!