Importing and exporting databases

To import, export, or restore entire Neo4j databases from a backup, you must copy and replace the full Neo4j datastore — which is the graph.db directory containing the store files.

Supported Import formats

GrapheneDB expects a single compressed file containing the graph.db directory and the store files located inside. Supported formats are: zip, tar, cpio, gz, bz2 and xz.

Importing from your local Neo4j database into GrapheneDB

GrapheneDB supports uploading Neo4j store files to replace the store files in your GrapheneDB database. In order to import your local database into GrapheneDB, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Important! Make sure your local Neo4j instance is stopped.
Step 2: Put the entire contents of graph.db in a compressed file. If you are using Neo4j 4.x versions, put the entire content of the data directory in a compressed file.

$ tar -cjf graph.tar.bz2 data
$ tar -cjf graph.tar.bz2 neo4j/data/graph.db

Step 3: From the Admin tab, use the Restore button to initiate the import process.
Step 4: Upload the compressed file from your local machine or provide a URL to a publicly accessible URL (i.e. a public link to a file hosted in an AWS S3 bucket).

GrapheneDB restore

You will find our restore database feature inside the Admin tab of your database management area:

On Restore database button click, a dialog will be displayed and you will be able to upload a file from your computer or provide a URL to a publicly accessible file on the internet.


To restore datasets bigger than 5GB, please use Load file from URL. You will need to upload your file to a publicly accessible location and provide the URL. Please use a security mechanism to avoid compromising sensible datasets as pre-signed URLs.

The Neo4j instance will be stopped, the store files replaced, and then Neo4j will be started up again. If Neo4j fails to start properly, the database will be rolled back to its previous state before the restore attempt.


If you want to try out Neo4j and you are looking for example data there are some datasets on the website. You don't need to download the files, you can copy the download link URL and paste it in the restore dialog.


When a restore process fails, it’s usually due to one of the following reasons:

  • The store files were copied while Neo4j is still running: Make sure Neo4j is stopped.
  • The store files correspond to a newer version of Neo4j than the one on GrapheneDB: Make sure you restore to the same version or higher.
  • The compressed file is not a supported format: Make sure you use one of our supported formats, which include zip, tar, cpio, gz, bz2 and xz.
  • There are store files missing within the compressed file: Make sure the archive contains the full graph.db directory and all files inside (use the recursive option when creating the archive).

Loading an exported datastore into a local Neo4j instance

The exported GrapheneDB database can be loaded into a local Neo4j instance as follows:

Step 1. Download your GrapheneDB Neo4j instance backup from the Backups tab, by using the Download link.
Step 2. Copy the contents of the compressed zip file into path/to/neo4j/data/graph.db in a local instance of Neo4j. If you are using Neo4j 4.x versions, replace the path/to/neo4/data directory content with the contents of graph.db directory of the compressed zip file.
Step 3. Restart the Neo4j server.

If you are using the desktop Neo4j application, the steps will vary as follows:

Step 1. Download your GrapheneDB Neo4j instance backup from the Backups tab, by using the Download link.
Step 2. Select the location of the compressed zip file by clicking on the Choose button.
Step 3. Click on Start to start up your server again.

Updated 9 months ago

Importing and exporting databases

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