# 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. These copies are bound to a specific Meilisearch version.

This feature is intended mainly as a safeguard: if something goes wrong in an instance, you're able to relaunch your database quickly and efficiently.

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

# Dumps

Dumps export Meilisearch data in a way that is not bound to a specific Meilisearch version. This means dumps are ideal for migrating your data when you upgrade Meilisearch.

Importing a dump requires Meilisearch to re-index all your documents. This process requires a significant amount of time and memory proportional to the size of the database.


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 between different Meilisearch versions, but not very efficient

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