Your Roon database is full of information about the music you love. In addition to your library's metadata, it also contains any edits you've made, your play history, all of your Roon playlists, your favorites, your settings, and more.
All of this information is stored in your Roon Database. This database is designed to be extremely resilient but catastrophic events like failing hard drives, power cuts, or other unexpected disturbances can corrupt your database.
In rare cases, corrupt databases can be unrecoverable, so it's important you backup regularly to avoid losing data.
Important: Your Roon Database is not the same thing as your music library (your collection of music albums and tracks contained in your Watched Folders). It is a separate database that is maintained by Roon.
We strongly recommend that you do not set the location of Database Backups to be within any Watched Folders because Roon will try to scan that directory and scan the Database Backup itself. This can cause issues, so please keep the locations separate.
How do Roon backups work?
Automatic backup functionality of your Roon Database is built right into Roon! The best way to keep your Roon database safe is to set up a Scheduled Backup. Once you've configured a Scheduled Backup, Roon will automatically run your backup on the schedule you've set. Each backup will only save changes since the last backup.
We recommend configuring Scheduled Backups to more than one location. For example, backup to your NAS and Dropbox, or to a local hard drive and your NAS.
Roon will create a folder called `RoonBackups` wherever you choose to backup to, and you can later select this folder to restore your backup.
Because your database is constantly being updated in the background using applications like Time Capsule, CrashPlan, etc. on your live database is strongly discouraged, and can result in corrupt backups.
To configure backups in Roon, start by visiting the Backup tab of Settings.
In most cases you'll want to configure a Scheduled Backup, so you can set it once and not worry about it. Start by clicking View next to Scheduled Backups.
Click Add, and follow the instructions to set up your Scheduled Backups. You'll need to choose a few options, like how often you want Roon to backup and when you want Roon to backup.
Roon will be temporarily unavailable while the "snapshot" of your library is created, so make sure to schedule the backups for a time you're rarely listening to music, like the middle of the night. If music is playing when your backup is scheduled to kick off, Roon will retry the next day.
Once your backup is configured, you'll be able to see it on the Scheduled Backups screen. Click the "3 dots" menu to make changes to your backup, restore from your backup, or to kick off a backup immediately.
If you don't want backups to run automatically, you can also run a backup at any time by clicking Backup Now, on the Backup tab in Settings.
You can back up to the same location later, and Roon will only save the changes since the last backup. Later, you can restore any of the backups you have saved to that folder.
Restoring a backup will permanently overwrite the current database.
If need to restore a backup to a fresh install of Roon (like if you're moving your Core to a new device, or if you're restoring after a hard drive failure), you can do so from the Login screen.
This will work on any Roon Core that is not logged in.
Scheduled Backups can be restored by clicking Clean/Restore from the Scheduled Backups window.
Other Backups can be restored by clicking Find Backups and pointing Roon at your RoonBackups folder.
We do not recommend restoring a backup directly from Dropbox. The Dropbox API has some limitations in speed which can cause this process to take a very long time, and so it is best to download the backup from Dropbox to a USB drive
Other backup applications
Because the Roon database is frequently being updated in the background with new metadata, cover art, artist information, and more, backing up your "live" Roon database using external programs can result in corrupt backups. We strongly recommend against using Time Machine, Crashplan, Backblaze, or other backup applications to backup your "live" Roon database. If you would like to use any of these applications to back up Roon, set up a Scheduled Backup and tell your backup program to backup the `RoonBackups` folder.