ArcGIS Online Back-ups - hosted feature layers and web maps/apps

01-19-2016 08:00 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor III

As far as I can tell, the only way to back-up your hosted feature layers is to go to each one's "item details" page and click "export" and download the FGDB. What if I have 50 hosted feature layers? I have to go to each one individually and perform that work flow.

Can Esri implement a "back-up" button or a "download all" button?

For backing up web maps and apps, I don't think I have any options, at least not built in. How about some tools built in for this too?


Hi Nicole, 

You might be interested in hearing about the Delete Protection option which can be enabled in the Settings section of the item itself. You would be able to turn this on and it won't let you accidentally delete something. 

Hope this helps in the future. 

Link to the Esri Inc blog - How to prevent accidental deletion 


I'm glad to hear that you're using our script!  I talked to the guys who developed it, and it turns out our restore process for maps and apps is pretty manual.  Our top priority was preserving data in the event of an editing mistake or other accident, as you can't undo or discard edits in AGO.  For maps and apps, you can follow the steps my colleague wrote out below.  If any of the layers or maps referenced by your map or app also needed to be restored, you may need to spend some time fixing broken itemId entries in the JSON, as well. 

Since I brought this to their attention, they're looking into whether a script could be written that would automate this process. Unfortunately, it's not a high priority for the organization, so I can't say when we might see results. 

How to restore a webmap or app:

1. Create a new webmap or app in ago

2. Copy the contents of the json file (the file with no extension)

3. On  choose the "I want to view an item's json"  and  click the new web map or app

4. Scroll down in the right-hand pane until you see the Data section, and click the pencil to edit it

 Screenshot of AGO Assistant interface


5 Paste the contents of the file that is downloaded from the script and click the save button

6. View the map or app to make sure it looks as expected


Thank you again Bill. You rock!


Hi all, just a quick update. Snapshots now has the ability to quickly restore an items like a web or story map from a backup. One more step towards a version control environment for ArcGIS Online.

Snapshots restoration workflow

We are turning our sights on backing up and restoring hosted feature layers next.


Hi, I'm not sure if Snapshots can help me.  I have various web maps and apps that are currently using feature storage credits.  Some are for projects that I'm not working on currently, and may not revisit again for a few months.  I would like to have the ability to 'archive' a web map so that I don't use up credits while i'm not working on it, but still be able to 'reload' it to AGOL if/when the need arises.  Maybe there  is also an easier way, not sure.  Would appreciate advice regarding Snapshots, but also if there's another way to accomplish this.



Hi all. Snapshots now includes support for Feature Services.  We've also added some tutorials. Hope this helps someone!


Hi. I'm afraid Snapshots doesn't do exactly what you want, but it still might be useful. Snapshots creates copies of the configurations for maps and apps. What's actually costing you credits is Feature Service storage. We recently added Feature Service support, but due to concerns over becoming a data storage service along with privacy concerns, we opted to store Feature Service snapshots in your AGOL account.

The one caveat here is that we store these feature service backups as geodatabase files, which is half the credit cost of storing feature layers. Understand credits—ArcGIS Online Help | Documentation 

Perhaps that works for you. 


Video demo of Snapshots by CartoLab given at the Esri GeoDev PDX Meetup is posted to YouTube.



We're an Esri partner that has developed an ArcGIS Online Time Machine that does exactly what you're describing. We offer it as a managed service that performs scheduled backups up to Amazon Web Services S3, or as a desktop .exe that allows you to download locally on demand. It grabs every feature service and exports as FGDB (with domains and attachments), maps and apps as JSON, Survey123 forms with all associated files, and other files in their native format. Let me know if you'd like to know more.


I'd like to know more. What is it called? Who is "we"? and can your tool also restore backups easily?