Back up the Zen Cart Database with phpMyAdmin

Prior to the installation of add-on modules, upgrading or moving your Zen Cart store, always remember to take a backup of the database. 

Even if you are not making changes to your store, a backup should continue to be taken on a regular basis to ensure your backup includes up-to-date customer and order information in the event you do need to restore from the back up at any stage.

How often you backup your database depends on how active your store is.  It could range from monthly, weekly, daily to even hourly if you are processing thousands of orders every day.  If you are unsure, I would recommend you start with weekly database backups.

  1. Log in to your cPanel Control Panel

    Your cPanel is located at either http://YourSitesIPAddress/cpanel (for example,, or or

    Your cPanel username and password will generally be found in a welcome email from your webhost.

    Scroll down to the section Databases and click on phpMyAdmin.
    cPanel > phpMyAdmin

  2. Select the Zen Cart database from the menu on the left hand side of phpMyAdmin.
    Select Zen Cart database in phpMyAdmin

  3. The Zen Cart database tables will now be displayed. Click on the Export tab.
    Zen Cart Database Tables

  4. The recommended settings for your Zen Cart backup via phpMyAdmin are as follows:

    Make sure the following have a tick in the checkbox:
    – Structure
    – Add AUTO_INCREMENT value
    – Enclose table and fieldnames with backquotes

    Export settings in phpMyAdmin - Structure 

    Make sure the following have a tick in the checkbox:
    – Data
    – Complete Inserts
    – Extended Inserts
    – Use hexadecimal for binary fields (or BLOB)

    Make sure the Export type is set to Insert.

    Export settings in phpMyAdmin - Data

  5. Make sure Save as file has a tick in the checkbox and the File Name template is set to __DB__.
    Set the Compression to your preferred – “zipped” files are easier to read with Windows, “gzipped” will result in a smaller file.
    Export settings in phpMyAdmin - Save as file 

    Settings not mentioned can be left at the default settings.

  6. Click the Go button to back up your Zen Cart database.

  7. If prompted, click OK to save the backup file.
    Save Zen Cart database backup file

  8. Select an appropriate location to store your Zen Cart backup files.  You may also wish to burn a copy of the backup file to CD or DVD for safekeeping.


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