Backing up Your Database



The ”Backup Database” utility is one of the most important utilities in Shepherd’s Staff. When you make a backup, you essentially make a copy of your database at that moment in time. The backup compresses the database into a file and saves the file in the place you choose.

It is highly recommended that you backup your database routinely. It is also suggested that you keep one of these backups on a removable drive (e.g., USB drive, CD, Cloud) that you can take off-site. In the case of a disaster or computer failure, a copy of your data would be safe. In additions, users who have a support contract can upload a database to CPH. We will house the backup for a short period and you can request it at any time. 

Churches can also archive backups on their drives. This is always a good idea because it gives you a history of backups to go through if you become aware of a problem that has existed prior to your most recent backup.

There are two backup utilities in Shepherd’s Staff. The first is a database backup, which backs up the information regarding membership, attendance, contributions, and finances. This utility does not back up photos or attachments; these are backed up in the second utility, and this process is covered in the article “Backing Up Photos and Attachments.” 


Note: The space needed for the backup will be larger then the actual backup file. This is because several extra files are created and then deleted during the backup process. 


Key Terms

» A location I choose—This option allows you to choose a location on your computer or network in which to save the backup file. During your first time backing up your database, this is the only option you will be able to choose.

» The last location used—This option will automatically save a new backup in the location your most recent backup was saved.

» A previous location—This dropdown will list all the locations you have ever saved a backup file to.


Note: The name of the backup file cannot be completely changed. The name is how the Restore utility knows if a particular backup is the correct one for your database. This is to prevent an override by an incorrect database if you are using multiple databases for multiple churches. However, you can add text to the beginning of the file name to help distinguish which backup is which. 


Here is how to backup your database:

  1. Close out of all modules in Shepherd’s Staff.
  2. On the main menu, select “Utilities”.
  3. Choose “Database backup and restore”.
  4. Choose the location in which to save the backup. During your first time backing up your database, you will only be able to select “A location I choose.” 
  5. Optional: If you plan to make changes to the Finance module on an off-site computer and then apply those changes to this computer later, you may want to check the box next to “Flag Finance as being checked out”. This will turn the Finance module red and will tell other users that any changes they make in Finance will be overwritten when the database is restored.
  6. Click “Start backup”.
  7. Choose the location where you would like to save the backup, and click “Save”.



1 out of 1 found this helpful


  • What is the little briefcase button in the lower right corner?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • That is a utility that is used by the support techs to troubleshoot any issue with the backup feature. Clicking it will do nothing but show additional messages during the backup process that will probably not mean much.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Why doesn't the backup feature recognize my flash drive that I'm trying to use for my back up? Back up works when I save it to the hard drive on my computer.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Linda, I am elevating your question to the support team. Backing up to a flash drive seems to work fine for me. They will troubleshoot the problem with you and figure out what is going on.

    Comment actions Permalink

Article is closed for comments.