Backup Guide - Creating Manual and Automatic Backups

This section details how to create Manual and Automatic Backups on your Server computer.
A MacPractice Backup can only be created on the MacPractice Server. For automatic backups to be created on the server computer, the computer must be powered on and cannot be set to sleep. The MacPractice database must also be running. If the computer is not powered on and active, the backup will not be created.

MacPractice does not support creating backups on a Network location. If you need to store backups on the network, we advise that you write a backup to a location on the Server computer, and then once the backup is successfully created, you can then move it to a location on the Network.

Users must have the correct privileges to create a MacPractice backup. These privileges can be managed in the References ability under the User Group Privileges node. Enable the following privileges in the Database set for the selected user group:

  • Access Preferences
  • Allow Backup Database
  • Edit Backup Preferences
If any of the above privileges are not enabled, the user group will be unable to create a backup or adjust information in the Server Backup Preferences. Enable the privileges for any user group that will need to create backups. For more information on how to adjust user privileges, please refer to User Group Privileges.
To create a Manual Backup or create an Automatic Backup Scheme, navigate to the MacPractice Menu > Preferences, and locate "Server Backups" in the Preferences Sidebar.
Creating a Manual Backup 
Click on the Back Up button in the lower left of the Server Backup Preferences window. The Default Backup Directory path will be selected. From here, you can select a new location, such as an External Drive, or you can leave it at the default. When at the desired location, click the Save Backup button. This will begin creating a full backup of your MacPractice database.
Remember that MacPractice does not support creating a backup on a Network drive.
Configuring Automatic Backups
By default, MacPractice does NOT save a backup to the MacPractice Server hard drive. We strongly recommend that you configure an automatic backup. A good standard time that we initially advise is each day at 2:00 AM (provided the server computer is powered on, the MacPractice Security Password has been correctly entered, and the computer is not set to sleep). By default, backups are written in /Library/MacPracticeBackups, although you can configure automatic backups to be written to any path.

A new backup scheme can be created by clicking the plus button, or click the minus button to remove a backup scheme. With the Enabled checkbox checked, a backup will be created at the selected location according to the set times. When this box is unchecked, no backup will be created.

The Source column sets which portion of the database will be stored in the backup. To back up the entire database, select All. Create at least one complete (All) backup every day. Additional backup schemes can be created to backup either the database or attachments separately, but partial backups (data or attachments only) include only the selected portion of a backup. For example, if a database only backup is restored, no attachment information will be restored.

  • Database: All MacPractice and patient data
  • Attachments: All images files in MacPractices Digital Radiography/Imaging and Attachments/Images
  • All: All information, including data and attachments
The Backup Path is the location where automatic backup will be saved. Edit the backup path by double-clicking on the Backup Path line. Select a new location.
It is strongly recommended that you have two backup paths configured at minimum; one on the MacPractice server, and one on an External Device.
The number of backups that are automatically saved to the MacPractice Server can be controlled with the Max Backup feature. Click the Max Backups field and enter the number of backups to save in the backup path. MacPractice allows for a minimum of 2 backups to be saved in each backup location. When the backup surpassing the maximum set is started, MacPractice will delete the oldest backup, leaving only the maximum number of backups set at any time in this location. Once this backup is deleted there is no way to retrieve this backup. Always ensure you copy or move any dated backups you desire to keep outside of this location.
Warning: Make sure to set a maximum number of backups, or MacPractice will never clear out any old backup files, which could be the cause of full disk issues depending on the size of your MacPractice database.
The Days and Time fields can be adjusted so backups are created at specified times and days of the week. Adjust this information by selecting days and time from the provided fields.
Multiple backups should never run simultaneously. If multiple backup schemes are created, adjust the time to allow one backup to start and end before another backup starts. For example, if a backup starts at 6:00 PM and the backup takes at least 30 minutes to complete, set the next backup to start at 7:00 PM. This would allow the 6:00 PM backup enough time to complete before starting the next backup.
For detailed information on Server Backup Preferences, please refer to Preferences - Server Backup.
For detailed information on encrypting your backups, please refer to Backup Guide - Encrypting your Backups.
How do I fix issues with my backups? will assist with common troubleshooting steps, or you may call our technical support team with any questions. 
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