Docs Menu

Legacy Backups (Deprecated)

On this page

  • Enable Backup
  • Snapshot Storage Location
  • Snapshot Schedule
Legacy Backup Deprecated

Effective 23 March 2020, all new clusters can only use Cloud Backups.

When you upgrade from 4.0 to 4.2, your backup system upgrades to cloud backup if it is currently set to legacy backup. After this upgrade:

Atlas legacy backup takes incremental backups of data in your cluster. Use Atlas legacy backups to restore from stored snapshots or from a selected point in time within the last 24 hours. You can also query a legacy backup snapshot.

For sharded clusters running FCV 4.0 or earlier, the backup service temporarily stops the balancer via the mongos to insert a marker token into all shards and config servers in the cluster. Atlas takes a snapshot when the marker tokens appear in the backup data. Sharded clusters running FCV 4.2 or later don't need to stop the balancer.


You must have the Project Owner role for an Atlas project to manage backup for the clusters in that project.

Collection Limit for Atlas Legacy Backup.

Your Atlas cluster can backup or restore clusters with fewer than 100,000 files across all databases. Files include collections and indexes.

If you have one or more deployments that meet or exceed the 100,000 file limit, contact MongoDB Support:

  1. Click Support in the left-hand navigation bar of the Atlas UI.
  2. Complete the requested fields to open a support ticket.

Back Up Your Database Deployment do not have a collection limit.

You can enable legacy backups when you:

See also:

To learn how to download a Cloud Backup, see the Restore a Cluster from a Cloud Backup page.

From the cluster configuration modal, toggle Do you want to enable backup? to Yes.


This section applies only to sharded clusters running MongoDB with FCV of 4.0 or earlier. If your sharded clusters run FCV 4.2 or later, skip this section.

Sharded clusters running MongoDB with FCV of 4.0 or earlier require enabling cluster checkpoints to support Continuous Cloud Backup restoration from a legacy backup snapshot. Without cluster checkpoints, Atlas can only restore from a snapshot and not from a Continuous Cloud Backup between snapshots. After enabling legacy backups on the cluster, do the following to enable cluster checkpoints:

  1. If it is not already displayed, select the organization that contains your desired project from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.
  2. If it is not already displayed, select your desired project from the Project menu in the navigation bar.
  3. Click Legacy Backup in the sidebar.
  1. Click next to your cluster's name.
  2. Click Edit Snapshot Schedule.
  3. Click the Create cluster checkpoint every: checkbox.
  4. Select an interval from the dropdown menu.
  5. Click Submit to save your changes.

The sharded cluster balancer must pause whenever a cluster checkpoint is created.

Each project has one backup data center location dictated by the first backup-enabled cluster created in that project.

For single-region Atlas clusters created after June 21st, 2017, Atlas stores backup data for an Atlas cluster in a data center specific to the cluster's geographic region.

For multi-region Atlas clusters, Atlas stores backup data for the cluster in a data center specific to the geographical location of the cluster's Preferred Region.


All additional backup-enabled clusters created in the project use the backup data center selected during deployment of the project's first backup-enabled cluster regardless of the geographical location of the cluster region or regions.

To change the data center location of a cluster, you must disable backups for all clusters in the project. You can then enable backups for a cluster whose geographic region corresponds to the data center location of your choice.

Cluster Location
Backup Service Location
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
All other cluster locations

Atlas retains these snapshots based on the retention policy.

Atlas has the following snapshot schedule, which determines the frequency and the retention of the snapshots:


If you disable backup for a cluster or terminate a cluster, Atlas immediately deletes the backup snapshots for the cluster.

Snapshot Schedule
Default Retention Policy
Maximum Retention Setting
Base snapshot every <x> hours
2 days
5 days
(30 days if snapshot taken every 24 hours)
Daily snapshot
7 days
360 days
Weekly snapshot
4 weeks
52 weeks
Monthly snapshot
13 months
84 months

By default, Atlas takes base snapshots every 6 hours.

To change a deployment's snapshot schedule, including the retention policy, go to Backup. For the cluster whose snapshot schedule you wish to modify, click the ellipsis and select Edit Snapshot Schedule menu option.

See also:

To modify the schedule using the API, see Cloud Backup Schedule.

←  Download Query LogsRestore a Cluster from a Legacy Backup Snapshot →
Give Feedback
© 2022 MongoDB, Inc.


  • Careers
  • Investor Relations
  • Legal Notices
  • Privacy Notices
  • Security Information
  • Trust Center
© 2022 MongoDB, Inc.