Backup and Archive Tool

In the Manage Module, click Backup.

Use Open Dental's built-in tool to back up data, restore data, or archive data. Also see Backups. This tool can back up the following data:

Note: Backups should be run from the server that hosts your MySQL database. Running the tool from a workstation will likely result in an error, or the incorrect data being copied.

This tool does not encrypt data, so consider an encrypted device or encryption software to ensure data is protected while in storage. See Encryption of Data at Rest and in Transit To use the backup tool, you must have the security permission Backup.

Backup Tab

The Backup tab is used to backup or restore data. To backup your data connect the backup device (e.g. USB encrypted flash drive) to the server.

By default, the A to Z Folder are backed up and restored. To change this and NOT include the A to Z folders in the backup/restore, check the Exclude image folder from backup or restore box.

Verify the database path to back up (Backup database FROM this folder). Typically it is C:\mysql\data\. Click Browse to select a different path.

Verify the drive or folder to back up the data to (Backup TO this folder). The letter will differ depending on your computer's drives. In the simplest case, it would be D:\. Click Browse to select a different drive.

Click Backup. A message will display when the backup is complete. If the destination drive does not have enough space for a complete backup, a notification appears and backup stops.

Managed Backups: Central Data Storage is a preferred online backup service. Click the button to see more information; you will not be charged. To remove this button, disable the Central Data Storage CDS Bridge then check Hide Unused Button.

Restore Data

You should test backups regularly to make sure they will restore correctly when needed. The location of the restore will depend on your practice. For many, at home will be a practical choice. The name of the backed up database must match the name of the restored database.

Note: What not to do:
  • Do not restore a backup over your live production database. Data loss can occur and will be irreversible.
  • Do not replace tables within a database with tables from another database. You will have foreign key issues.


  1. On the restore computer, make sure you have a working copy of Open Dental that runs. If not, install the Trial version and make sure it is working properly.
  2. Insert the flash drive in the restore computer.
  3. Start Open Dental by running as an administrator, then open the Manage Module.
  4. Click Backup.
  5. In the Backup window, there are three lines for restore options (below backup options). Click Browse to locate correct paths if needed.
    1. Restore FROM: The letter of the flash drive. It is not necessarily the same as the one at the office. In the simplest case, it is D:\.
    2. Restore database TO: The path to restore the database to.
    3. Restore A-Z images to this folder: The path to restore the A to Z Folders to
  6. Click Restore. A message will ask if you want to restore from the backup on the flash drive (with date).
  7. Click OK and the restore process begins.
  8. As soon as the restore is finished, close Open Dental.
  9. Start Open Dental again.
  10. The Data Paths window will open. In the first line you will see the name of your office server. Change it to the name of your restore computer (C:\OpenDentImages). Leave the other options as they are.
  11. Click OK and your Open Dental software should finish opening.

  • If the restored database version does not match the current version of Open Dental, Open Dental will automatically close and you will have to relaunch.
  • If you changed the name of the database from opendental, you must also change it on the new computer before attempting the restore.
  • Archive Tab

    The Archive Tool takes historical data from the securitylog and securityloghash tables out of your live database and archives them in a separate database. This is useful for offices with large databases that experience slowness when running queries or when using the Audit Trail.

    Both tables hold basic information such as switching modules, or opening a window. It does not affect other data and is accessible at all times. Information from the archived database can be accessed via the Audit Trail when selecting the checkbox for Show Archived.

    Archived databases can reside on any workstation, however it will typically reside on the main Open Dental server. Archived databases will use the current name of your database with _archive at the end. Unless you have renamed your database, you will typically see opendental_archive. If an archived database does not exist, a new database will be created. If the archived database already exists, it will be updated when the tool is ran. Once the tool is ran, the entries from the live database will be deleted.

    • Do not stop the process once it has been started. If it fails, it may cause data loss.
    • This tool will not work with replication of any kind.

    To archive data enter the date for Archive entries on or before. This will archive all information from this date prior. It will default to three years ago if it has never been ran. Enter the Archive Sever Settings:

    Server Name: The name of the computer where the archived database is located.

    User: Your MySQL user name (Typically Root).

    Password: Your MySQL password (Typically blank).


    Click Save Defaults to save these settings.