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Restore a Collection from Queryable Legacy Backup

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  • Prerequisites
  • Procedure


Legacy Backup Deprecated

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

When you upgrade to 5.0, your backup system upgrades to cloud backup if it is currently set to legacy backup. After this upgrade:

Atlas supports restoring a collection by querying a legacy backup snapshot.


Atlas doesn't support querying Cloud Backups.

You can use a queryable backup snapshot to export data for a collection and restore to the target deployment. The following procedure connects to the queryable backup instance via an Atlas-provided tunnel.


You must ensure that the target Atlas cluster doesn't receive client requests during restoration. The following use cases apply:

  • If you plan to restore to the same database, you must stop the client operations during restoration.

  • If you plan to restore to a different database, you don't need to stop the client applications. In this case, you can restore to a new Atlas cluster and reconfigure your application to use that new cluster once the new deployment is running.

  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.


The Overview tab on the Legacy Backup page lists the project's clusters.

  • If backup is enabled for the cluster, the Status is Active.

  • If backup is disabled for the cluster, the Status is Inactive.

For the deployment whose backup you want to query, click the ellipsis in the Options column and select Query.

You can also click View All Snapshots to view its snapshots and click Query under the Actions column for the desired snapshot.

  1. Select the snapshot to query and click Next.

  2. Start the process to query a snapshot. You will be prompted to enter your Atlas password.

  3. Select Backup Tunnel as the connection method to the queryable snapshot.

  4. Select your Platform.

  5. Click Download Backup Tunnel.

  6. Uncompress the downloaded file.

  7. Open a terminal or command prompt and go to the uncompressed <tunnel> directory. Run the executable to start the tunnel.

    The default port for the tunnel is 27017. To change the port, use the --local flag, as in the following example:

    ./<tunnel executable> --local localhost:27020


    If you change the port, you must include the port information when connecting.

To export the data for a collection:

Include the following options to connect to the tunnel:

  • --port set to the port for the tunnel.

  • --db set to the name of the database to export.

  • --collection set to the name of the collection to export.

  • --out set to an empty directory to output the data dump.


    Ensure that the user running mongodump can write to the specified directory.

mongodump --port <port for tunnel> --db <single-database> --collection <collection-name> --out <data-dump-path>

For example, to connect to a tunnel running on port 27020 to dump out data from the restaurants collection from test database to /mydata/restoredata/ directory:

mongodump --port 27020 --db test --collection restaurants --out /mydata/restoredata/

mongodump outputs the restaurants collection data into the /mydata/restoredata/test/restaurants.bson file.

To restore a single collection:

Include the following mongorestore options:


To restore to an Atlas cluster, we recommend you connect with a DNS seed list using the --uri option.

  • --uri set to the connection string for the destination cluster.

  • --db set to the name of the destination database.

  • --collection set to the name of the destination collection.

Optionally, you can include the --drop option to drop the collection in the destination cluster if the collection already exists.

mongorestore --uri "mongodb+srv://" --db <destination-database> --collection <destination-collection> <data-dump-path/dbname/collection.bson> --drop

For example, to restore from the /mydata/restoredata/test/restaurants.bson data file to a new collection rest2 in the test2 database:

mongorestore --uri "mongodb+srv://" --db test2 --collection rest2 /mydata/restoredata/test/restaurants.bson --drop

Once you have finished, you can terminate the queryable instance:

  1. Click Backup in the left navigation pane and click the Restores & Downloads tab.

  2. Hover over the Status column for the target deployment item and click Cancel.

  3. Click Cancel Restore Job.


Restart your application and ensure it uses the new target cluster.

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