17th May, 2020 | WHM |

How to transfer a cPanel account in to your cPanel server using WHM

If you ever need to move cPanel accounts between servers, for example from an old host to your server - WHM has a very effective transfer tool built in, which will quickly allow you to transfer cPanel accounts across.

Accessing the WHM Transfer tool.

Firstly, log into your server / WHM account. If you are unsure on how to do this, please view the following help article - 'How to log into WHM'

Once logged in, from your WHM home screen type in 'Transfer' within the search box, located in the top left of your WHM area, then click on 'Transfer Tool'

Alternatively you can click on the 'Transfer Tool' option on your home screen if this is showing.

Connecting to the other cPanel server:

On the Transfer Tool page, you will then be entering the details of the other cPanel server, so that WHM can connect and copy the cPanel account across.

In the 'Remote Server Address:' box, enter the IP address, or server name of the cPanel server that you would like to connect to

In the 'Remote SSH Port:' box, enter the port number of the server you are connecting to. By default this is set to the standard port 22, so if the cPanel server you are connecting to uses a non-standard port simply change port 22 to the port number required.

Next is the 'Authentication' section.

'Login': For this guide we'll be logging in to the other cPanel server using the Root user. If instead you need to connect with a specific cPanel / WHM User, click on the 'User' option. This will then provide an additional box for you to enter the username.

'Authentication Method': As we will be connecting using the root password we will leave this as 'Password', however if you have an SSH key access to the server set up, select 'SSH Public Key' instead.

'Root Password': Enter the Root password for the other server here. If you have selected the login as 'User', then this will instead ask for the User Password.

Once done scroll down to the 'Security' section.

Here you can choose to enable 'Restricted Restore'. As mentioned in the example image below, this will cause WHM to perform additional security checks on the backup file being transferred.  If it finds that the backup has a security issue it will not restore that part of the backup.

By default this option is off, as it is still listed as experimental.

Once you are ready to proceed, click on the 'Scan Remote Server' button

Selecting and transferring cPanel accounts:

WHM will then connect out to the other cPanel server, and display a list of accounts that can be transferred to your cPanel server.

If you are connecting as Root then you will see all accounts on the other server. If you are connecting with just a cPanel user / WHM user then you will only see the accounts applicable to them.

Next, Locate the account that you would like to transfer, and tick the box to the left of the domain name. This will mark it as selected for transfer.

You can also adjust the options to the right of the domain, should you wish to copy, or not copy certain items such as databases.

For our guide we've also enabled 'Express Transfer' to the right of the domain name. As per cPanel documentation, this will perform the following additional actions during a transfer:

  1. Updates the account’s A record to point to the destination server.
  2. Changes the domain’s nameserver entry to point to the destination server.
  3. Updates the email routing configuration’s MX records, so that mail arrives at the destination server.
  4. Adds a redirect for the Account Moved page (cgi-sys/movingpage.cgi)
  5. Suspends the transferred accounts on the remote server.

If you're moving a cPanel account between servers where the domain will stay on your nameservers, this is a great tool to ensure that the DNS is automatically updated, and the cPanel is suspended on the old server to ensure that there's no accidental editing of the account on the old server whilst the DNS propagates.

Once you're happy with your selections, click on the 'Copy' button to initiate the transfer between servers.

WHM will then take you to the Transfer process page, which will automatically update (as long as you keep the page open).

The box on the left hand side for 'Transfer' shows the progress for backing up the cPanel account on the old server

The box on the right hand side for 'Restore' shows the progress for restoring the cPanel account backup on to your server.

Once this hits 100% for both Transfer and Restore, WHM will show that this is completed, along with a summary at the bottom of the page.

If there were any warnings, or errors during the transfer this will also be listed here. You can then click on the warning / error which will then display a full output should you need to diagnose the issue further.

That's it! if you now go to your 'List Accounts' page on WHM, you will see the cPanel account that has just been transferred.

If you did not select 'Express Transfer' in the previous steps, you will also now need to go ahead and update the domain DNS to re-point this to your server, and then suspend, or terminate the cPanel account on the old server if no longer required once the DNS propagates.