# Data backup: Snapshots vs dumps

Meilisearch has two ways to backup its data: snapshots and dumps.

# Snapshots

Snapshots make it possible to schedule the creation of hard copies of your database.

This feature is intended mainly as a safeguard: ensuring that if some failure occurs, you're able to relaunch your database quickly and efficiently from a snapshot.

The documents in a snapshot are already "indexed" and ready to go, greatly increasing import speed. However, as a result, snapshots are not compatible between different versions of Meilisearch.

# Dumps

Dumps, on the other hand, export Meilisearch data in a way that is not bound to a specific Meilisearch version.

As a result, importing a dump requires Meilisearch to re-index all of your documents. This process requires an amount of time and memory corresponding to the size of the database (the number of documents, their size, and the complexity of any index settings).


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.

# Conclusion

To summarize:

  • Snapshots are highly efficient, but not portable between different versions of Meilisearch.
  • Dumps are portable, but not very efficient.
    • Frequently launching Meilisearch from a dump would cause your performance to suffer.

For more information, have a look at the reference documentation for snapshots and dumps.