How do I export or duplicate a MySQL database?

The phpMyAdmin tool can be used to export and import databases (as long as they aren’t too large), providing a simple way to duplicate a copy of a database using a different name on our servers.

(Remember that we already make daily MySQL backups — you only need to follow the instructions on this page if you truly need to duplicate a database under a different name.)

On this page:

Exporting a copy of the database to your computer

  1. Login to the database that you want to duplicate using phpMyAdmin (lost your database password?)
  2. Click the database name on the left-hand side of the page
  3. Click the Export tab at the top of the screen
  4. Click Go

You'll then be prompted to save the database file on your personal computer.

Importing the copy into a new database

You'll first need to create the new, empty database on our servers using the account control panel. After the new database has been created:

  1. Login to the new database using phpMyAdmin
  2. Click the database name on the left-hand side of the page
  3. Select the Import tab
  4. Click the browse button under "File to Import", then select the database file from your computer
  5. Click Go to import the database

(If you see a "No database selected" error, it's probably because you forgot to click the database name in step 2 of the import. If you see an error mentioning “CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS”, it’s probably because you forgot to click it in step 2 of the original export.)

Using the command line for larger databases

If the database is more than a few tens of MB in size, phpMyAdmin might have problems importing the file, even though the export step works. In that case, advanced users can bypass phpMyAdmin completely using the command line shell, which is much more reliable.

For example, if you have database called customers that you want to copy to new_customers, you would first create a "database dump" file using:

mysqldump -u customers -p customers > customers.dump 

Then you'd login to the control panel and create the new MySQL database and run this command to import the dump file, specifying the login details for the new database:

mysql -u new_customers -p new_customers < customers.dump

If you're not comfortable using the shell, please contact us and we'll be glad to do it for you.