How to Backup and Restore the Cisco Router IOS and Configuration Files

In this article, we briefly introduce how to backup and restore the Cisco router IOS and configuration files to ensure that the system can be restored at any time and try to minimize the loss.

What Is IOS?

Cisco IOS is the world’s leading network infrastructure software, integrating innovation and business-critical services for enterprise networks. Cisco IOS:

  • Allows enterprises to build resilient, cost-effective standards-based infrastructures end to end.
  • Delivers thousands of features network-wide to meet the unique needs of evolving enterprises.
  • Supports the increasing demand for service orchestration, application awareness, and simplicity.

Preparation conditions:

1.Use terminal emulation software to log in to the device through the console port, and complete basic configurations for the device.

2.Set up TFTP sever which is use to restore system files

3. Set up a physical connection of the router and the TFTP sever, and configure the IP address to make sure that two terminals can be ping each other.


You can use the built-in terminal emulation software (such as the HyperTerminal of Windows OS) on the PC. If no built-in terminal emulation software is available, use the third-party terminal emulation software.

Operation process

1. Backup IOS

1.1 Use “dir” to check the status of system files.

cisco test ci 3825-1.jpg

1.2 Copy IOS files to the TFTP sever

Cisco-test-ci-3825#copy flash tftp
Source filename []? .c3825-ipbase-mz.124-3b.bin 
Address or name of remote host []? 
Destination filename [c3825-ipbase-mz.124-3b.bin]?
15541476 bytes copied in 54.656 secs (284351 bytes/sec)
Cisco -test-ci-3825#

At this moment, the backup of the IOS system has been completed, and you can also backup other files with the same method.

2. Backup the system configuration.

cisco test ci 3825-2.jpg

Cisco-test-ci-3825#copy startup-config tftp 
Address or name of remote host []?
Destination filename [tcc-test-ci-3825-confg]?
846 bytes copied in 0.296 secs (2858 bytes/sec)

According to the above command to complete the operation, copy the startup-config to the TFTP sever, and you can also copy the running-config to the TFTP sever with the same method.

After completing the above operations, you can see the corresponding files on the TFTP server.

cisco c3825 files.jpg

Through the above operations, we learned how to back up and restore the Cisco router IOS and configuration files. When the system or configuration file is abnormal, you can use the backup files of the TFTP server to recovery.

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