# Dumps

A dump is a compressed file containing an export of your Meilisearch instance. It contains all your indexes, documents, and settings, but in a raw unprocessed form. A dump isn't an exact copy of your databaseβ€”it is closer to a blueprint that allows you to create an identical dataset. A dump can be imported when launching Meilisearch, but be advised that it may take some time to index all the documents within.

# Creating a dump

To create a dump of your dataset, you need to use the appropriate HTTP route: POST /dumps. The dump creation process is an asynchronous task that takes time proportional to the size of your dataset.

curl \
  -X POST 'http://localhost:7700/dumps'

The above code triggers a dump creation process. It also returns an object containing information about the dump:

  "uid": "20200929-114144097",
  "status": "in_progress",
  "startedAt": "2020-09-29T11:41:44.392327Z"

You can use the returned uid (unique identifier indicating when the dump was triggered) to track its progress with the get dump status route. The returned status could be:

  • in_progress: Dump creation is in progress
  • failed: An error occurred during dump process, and the task was aborted
  • done: Dump creation is finished and was successful
curl -X GET 'http://localhost:7700/dumps/20201101-110357260/status'

The above code sample returns an object with the following details about the dump:

  "uid": "20200929-114144097",
  "status": "done",
  "startedAt": "2020-09-29T11:41:44.392327Z",
  "finishedAt": "2020-09-29T11:41:50.792147Z"

After dump creation is finished, the dump file is added to the dump directory. By default, this folder is named dumps and can be found in the same directory as your Meilisearch binary. You can customize this using the --dumps-dir configuration option. If the dump directory does not already exist when the dump creation process is called, Meilisearch will create it.

If a dump file is visible in the file system, the dump process was successfully completed. Meilisearch will never create a partial dump file, even if you interrupt an instance while it is generating a dump.


Unlike tasks, dumps have no queue. Meilisearch only processes one dump at a time. If you attempt to create a dump while another dump is still processing, Meilisearch will throw an error.

Meilisearch does not process tasks during dump creation, but you can still add new requests to the task queue. This is also true for snapshots.


If you restart Meilisearch after creating a dump, you will not be able to use the dumps endpoint to find out that dump's status. This has no effect on the dump file itself.

# Importing a dump

When a dump is being imported, the API is not available to the task queue. As a result, no read or write operations can be performed until the importing process is complete.

Dumps in v0.20.0 and below are no longer compatible with the new versions. Before you start importing, check your Meilisearch version and proceed accordingly.


We do not recommend using dumps from a new Meilisearch version to import an older version.

For example, you can import a dump from Meilisearch v0.21 into v0.22 without any problems. Importing a dump generated in v0.22 into a v0.21 instance, however, can lead to unexpected behavior.

# Importing a dump for v0.21 or above

Once you have exported a dump you will be able to use the .dump file to launch Meilisearch with the --import-dump command-line flag.

As the data contained in the dump needs to be indexed, the process will take some time to complete. Only when the dump has been fully imported will the Meilisearch server start, after which you can begin searching through your data.

./meilisearch --import-dump /dumps/20200813-042312213.dump

# Importing a dump for v0.20 or below

If you are using Meilisearch v0.20 or below, migration should be done in two steps. First, import your v0.20 dump into an instance running any version of Meilisearch between v0.21 and v0.25. Second, export another dump from this instance and import it to a final instance running your targeted version.

# Use cases

Dumps are used to restore your database after updating Meilisearch or to copy your database to other Meilisearch instances without having to worry about their respective versions.