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Using Kickstart to extract your backup archive

In order to use Kickstart, begin by downloading Kickstart itself from our site. You will download a ZIP archive which you have to extract first. Inside it you will find kickstart.php and several INI files. You need to copy the PHP file into the root of the to be restored site. For example, if you are restoring on a subdirectory named joomla in the root of your XAMPP for Windows installation, you need to copy the file inside the c:\xampp\htdocs\joomla folder. Conversely, if you are restoring to a live host, upload the PHP file using FTP in your site's root.

The INI files in the Kickstart ZIP package are translations. Kickstart will query your browser's default language and look for the respective translation file. For example, if the default browser language is Greek (el-GR) Kickstart will try to load the el-GR.kickstart.ini file in order to present you with a localized interface. If you want to take advantage of Kickstart's localization copy the respective INI file in the same directory as the kickstart.php file.

The final step before being able to extract the archive is, well, copying the archive itself in the same directory as kickstsart.php. If you have a multi-part archive remember to upload all of the archive parts, otherwise the extraction will, of course, fail. Moreover, if you are restoring to a live server please upload the backup archive and all of its parts using the Binary transfer mode. We suggest using FileZilla to do that. As soon as you connect to your site and right before uploading any files click on the Transfer, Transfer Type, Binary menu item. This will ensure that the backup parts will not be corrupted during transfer.


Special note for most shared live hosts

If you are restoring on a shared live server which doesn't use suPHP (the majority of live servers) you may need to use Kickstart’s FTP mode if and only if the Directly mode (default) doesn't work. In this case, creating a temporary directory is necessary. First make sure that your site's root directory has 0755 permissions. If unsure, ask your host. Then, create a directory named kicktemp inside the directory kickstart.php is in and give it 0777 permissions. Remember to remove this directory as soon as you are done restoring your site, for security reasons!

Once you're ready with the preparation, launch Kickstart by visiting its URL which looks like http://localhost/mysite/kickstart.php on local hosts, or on live hosts.

The first page is a reminder of key facts about Kickstart:

Kickstart's first page

After reading it, press ESC to close the information window and display the main interface:

Kickstart's main interface

In the first step, select your backup archive file. Usually, there is only one file and it is pre-selected for you. In the second step, you have to choose an extraction method. The Directly method is the fastest and should work on all local and most live hosts. If you get error messages about unwritable files in later steps, you'll have to use the Use FTP mode here.

If you are using the FTP mode, a new pane with the FTP-specific options opens below with the following options:

Kickstart's FTP Options

FTP host name

Use the domain name to access your site’s FTP server. Do not prefix the domain name with protocol! For example, is correct whereas is WRONG.

FTP Port

Leave the default value (21) unless your host tells you otherwise. Do note that Kickstart only supports plain FTP and FTP over SSL connections, but not SFTP. If your host tells you to use port 22 – which is used only by SFTP – it won’t work.

Use FTP over SSL (FTPS)

Use only if your host tells you it is supported. FTPS is not the same as SFTP, do not confuse those two!

Use FTP Passive Mode

It's a good idea to turn it on, as most servers require it. If your host told you they require active mode, uncheck this option.

FTP user name and password

What they claim to be, the user name and password to connect to your site's FTP server

FTP directory

The absolute FTP path to your site’s root. The easiest way to find it is using FileZilla to connect to your site and navigate to your site's root, which is usually a directory named htdocs, httpdocs, http_docs, public_html or www. Look at the right hand pane, above the folder tree (Remote site text box). This is what you want. Copy it and paste it in Kickstart's FTP directory box.

Temporary directory

If you followed the steps above, you have already created a kicktemp directory with 0777 permissions. If not, do it now. After that, just append /kicktemp to the Temporary Directory box.

Click on Test FTP connection before proceeding to make sure that Kickstart can connect to your site through FTP before proceeding.

You can leave the other settings as they are and click on the big green Start button. Kickstart will start extracting your site's files:

Extraction progress

If you get an “Unwritable file” error message, go back and enable the Use FTP option before re-trying extraction. If all else fails, extract the archive locally and upload the extracted files to your site by FTP.

If you get an error message that the archive is corrupt, you have to check two things. First, make sure that you have uploaded all archive parts. In a multi-part archive situation, there is the main .jpa, .jps or .zip file and several “part files” with the same name as the main file but with extensions like .zip, .z01, .z02, etc (ZIP) or .jpa/.jps, .j01, .j02, etc (JPA/JPS). You have to upload all of those files for the extraction to work.

The other think you must check is how you downloaded and uploaded the backup archives. As mentioned in "The recommended method' section, you should use FTP in Binary transfer mode. This holds true for uploads as well. Try uploading the backup archive again, using FTP in Binary Transfer mode and retry. This usually does the trick.

The blue bar fills up while your site files are being extracted. When the extraction is over, Kickstart offers you a link to open the restoration script which was included in your archive file and is just extracted to your site:

Extraction finished

Click on this button and start reading the next chapter, detailing the use of the restoration script. Do not close Kickstart’s window/tab yet! You will need it to clean up after the restoration is over.


Kickstart extracts the .htaccess and php.ini files in your site's root (if they exist in the backup archive) as htaccess.bak and php.ini.bak respectively to avoid any incompatibilities during site restoration. Do note that these files are restored to their original names during the last step of the restoration procedure. Should you use Kickstart just for extracting your site's files, please keep this information in mind as you will have to rename those files manually.