UniFi - How to Migrate from Cloud Key to Cloud Key or UDM


This article describes how to export your UniFi Network Controller from one Cloud Key to another, or from a Cloud Key to a UniFi Dream Machine (UDM). It is applicable for UniFi Network Controller migrations regardless of type of host: between Cloud Keys of different generations, same generation, UDMs, etc.

NOTES & REQUIREMENTS: Please upgrade both Cloud Key firmwares or UDM to the latest version available, as well as the UniFi Controller Software. It is recommended to create a backup of your current Controller before beginning.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Migrate with Backup and Restore
  3. How to Migrate Using the UniFi Site Export Wizard
  4. Related Articles


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The Controller migration procedure is the same regardless of the device used (UCK or UDM), Cloud Key generation or method of hosting the Controller, as long as the new Controller version (the one you will be migrating to) is the same or newer than the original Controller's. The first method described in this article is to download a backup configuration from the original Controller host (Cloud Key in this example) and upload it onto the new host during its initial setup. This method might be preferable for Controllers with many sites, as it will migrate all sites and devices at once.

The second option is via the UniFi Site Export Wizard, which provides a guided site-per-site migration from one Cloud Key to another. It will allow users to select which sites and which devices they wish to migrate.

How to Migrate with Backup and Restore

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Follow these steps to download a backup of the original Cloud Key's Controller and migrate it to a new Cloud Key. The Backup and Restore method will migrate settings and historical data (if selected), as well as all sites and devices. 

NOTE: You will only be able to restore the backup on a device with a Controller version that is the same or newer than the one original host. You will be able to upgrade your new Cloud Key or UDM even before you adopt it from the Cloud Access Portal page. If you happen to be running a beta version on the original Cloud Key Controller, then upgrade the new Cloud Key's Controller via SSH. On a new Cloud Key or UDM, where you haven't set your own password, use root as username and ubnt as password for SSH access.

1. In the original Cloud Key's UniFi Network Controller go to Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore section (or in new settings: Settings > Controller Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore). Use the drop down to modify the data retention to include historical data, or only save your Settings before downloading, then click Download to generate and save a new UniFi backup file (.unf). 

2. To avoid having duplicate Controllers shut down the old Cloud Key once the backup download is complete. Scroll down in the Controller Settings > Maintenance > Cloud Key Operations and click the Shut Down Cloud Key button.


3. The backup can be uploaded to the new host in two different ways: either by setting up the new device first (use this method when migrating to a UDM); or by starting the Setup Wizard and selecting "Restore from a previous backup" option. Both methods are described below.

Method 3A: Setting Up Host Device First (for UDMs)

Set up the new device as you usually would, following initial setup instructions and installing a new Controller instance. Once installed, in the new controller go to Settings > Controller Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore and click Choose File (or Settings > Backup > Backup / Restore in classic settings view). Select your recently downloaded .unf file. After the system has restored all configurations it might appear duplicated and with the same host IP address, in the Cloud Access Portal with your old controller name (online) and with the controller name you just substituted (offline). You can launch it using the one that is online. Skip down to step 4.

Method 3B: Using the Startup Wizard to Restore

Set up the new device as you usually would, following initial setup instructions. Launch the Setup Wizard by discovering the new Cloud Key and then clicking Adopt in the Cloud Access Portal.

Once the Setup Wizard launches, the first page will offer the option to restore from a previous backup. Click that link and select your recently downloaded .unf file. Note that this will also restore the Controller credentials from your original Cloud Key. 

4. Wait until the backup is restored. Once UniFi finishes working, you will be presented with the login screen for the new Controller. Remember to use the username and password from the old Controller. 

5. Once you have confirmed that all devices and settings have migrated successfully to the new Cloud Key, it is strongly recommended to reset the old Cloud Key to factory defaults to avoid duplicate Controllers which could cause issues. While still connected to the power source:

  1. Press and hold the reset button for 10 seconds.
  2. Release the button (the LED on the device will stop glowing).
  3. Do not disconnect the UCK from its power source during the reboot process.
  4. The Cloud Key will restore factory settings.

6. Close the browser page with the Cloud Access Portal from where you launched the Controller Wizard. To open the Cloud Access Portal again, go to Settings > Remote Access and click the Dashboard link from there.

How to Migrate Using the Site Export Wizard

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Please refer to our UniFi - Migrating Sites with Site Export Wizard article for more information on how to use the site export wizard. 

Related Articles

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UniFi - Controller FAQ

UniFi - How to Create and Restore a Backup

UniFi - Advanced Adoption of a "Managed By Other" UAP

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