How to Automatically Backup a Roam Graph

Ramses Oudt
Ramses Oudt
How to Automatically Backup a Roam Graph

When you use Roam for your work and life, you need to have a backup strategy in place. Learn in this guide how to use Roam's automatic backup functionality to secure your data.

Currently, automated backups in Roam are all in the EDN format. This is Roam’s file format to restore a complete graph—versus specific pages, like what’s possible with Markdown and JSON exports.

The backup feature only works in the Roam desktop app, Chrome, and Chrome-based browsers like Vivaldi. Due to security settings, it currently doesn’t work in the Chrome-based Brave Browser.

Follow the steps below to set up automated hourly or daily backups.

Step 1—Open the backup option.
From the top menu (...), select the option Export All:

Step 2—Set backup frequency.
Click the dropdown menu that says Disabled:

Next, set the backup frequency to either Every day or Every hour. If you’re a heavy Roam user, I recommend you set it to Everyhour to minimize potential data loss:

Step 3—Select backup location.
When selecting the backup frequency, a file window opens. Select the folder where you want to keep your backups:

To further minimize the potential for data loss, I recommend you save the backups to a folder that’s in turn backed-up to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Step 4—Give Chrome view and write permissions.
Once you’ve selected your backups folder, Chrome will first ask for read permissions of the folder. Click View files:

Next, another prompt will appear to ask for write permissions. Click Save changes:

Step 5—Check if backup was created.
Now that everything is set up, Roam will immediately create a backup.

Wait until you see the green success message at the top of the screen. Then, check if the backup was created. If this is not the case, repeat these steps and make sure you grant the permissions in step 4.

As long as you keep your browser or the Roam desktop app open, Roam will export your graph. If you close your browser or the app, backing up will pause until you reopen Chrome/the app.

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