Schedule ServiceNow Backups

Unfortunately, the option to schedule ServiceNow backups is not available using ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box (OOTB) capabilities. 

The same applies for creating ServiceNow backups on-demand. Many organizations find this lack of control does not align with their backup and disaster recovery strategies and requirements. 

Fortunately, organizations can schedule ServiceNow backups themselves using purpose-built backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Learn how to schedule your own ServiceNow backups.


  1. ServiceNow Backup Schedule FAQ
  2. Why a Lack of Control is Inhibiting Your BDR Strategy
  3. Schedule ServiceNow Backups with Snapshot – A ServiceNow-native Application

ServiceNow Backup Schedule FAQ

1. When do ServiceNow’s Scheduled Backups Occur?

ServiceNow does full backups weekly and differential backups daily. ServiceNow states that “the time of backup is not guaranteed” and that “the system finds the best time for backups within a 24-hour period, and customers and ServiceNow cannot modify that time.”

However, the “best time” for a backup is subjective, and since users cannot influence the time of a backup, the scheduled backup’s timing may not align with an organization’s requirements. 

2. Can I customize the ServiceNow backup schedule?

Unfortunately, ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box capabilities do not allow users to define or create custom backup schedules. ServiceNow automatically schedules instance backups during non-peak business hours. Users or ServiceNow cannot adjust or modify the timing of the backup schedule.

However, backup schedules can be customized when using purpose-built backup solutions, including the ServiceNow-native application, DataSync Snapshot.

3. Can I start a ServiceNow backup on-demand? 

Unfortunately, ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box capabilities do not allow users to create backups on-demand. ServiceNow creates complete backups every seven days and differential backups every 24 hours. These backups are automatically created without any user input. 

However, on-demand backups can be created using purpose-built backup solutions. The ServiceNow platform supports DataSync Snapshot – a ServiceNow-native application enabling on-demand backups among other features providing greater control over the backup and restore process in ServiceNow.

4. Can I request an on-demand backup from ServiceNow?

No. Neither the user or ServiceNow can modify the backup schedule, meaning backups cannot be requested. Organizations seeking more granular control over their data backups can use the ServiceNow-native application, DataSync Snapshot.

5. Are there applications that let users schedule their own ServiceNow backups?

Yes! Including the ServiceNow-native backup and disaster recovery application, DataSync Snapshot. As well as creating your own backup schedule, DataSync Snapshot lets users create backups on-demand and select what the backup will include. 

This provides users with more control over how backups are created and restored from, limiting the potential for data loss.

Why You Need Control Over ServiceNow’s Backup Schedule

Since ServiceNow or the end user cannot modify the backup schedule, there is no way to ensure that backups are created in line with your organization’s requirements. 

There are a number of reasons why this is problematic. We highlight some of the most key issues here …

Avoiding Poor Instance Performance

The “best time” (established by the system) is typically outside of operational hours when the system has more bandwidth available. 

However, many organizations choose to run other data and system resource-extensive tasks during these hours, such as creating reports, archiving large data sets, and upgrades. 

When the backup schedule conflicts with such tasks, it can put considerable strain on the system. The strain on the system leads to poor ServiceNow performance, throttled data transfer speeds, and delays around the enterprise due to poor data availability.

Increasing the Frequency of Backups

Some organizations require more frequent backups to meet internal demands and/or regulatory standards. 

Creating backups more frequently limits the potential for “delta data” loss. Delta data refers to any data entered since the last backup was created and hence, is at an increased risk of unrecoverable data loss.

By creating backups more frequently, organizations limit the amount of data delta and in extension, the chances that any loss of data is unrecoverable. 

Protecting Data Through System Changes, Maintenance, and Upgrades

Whenever an organization executes significant changes to a system or how it is interacted with, the potential that data can be lost or corrupted increases. 

In order to safeguard against this increased risk, organizations should create a backup that can help them restore the instance to its state before the changes were applied. 

Without control over when backups are created, organizations and their developers, in particular, may be unwilling to make bold changes, knowing that mistakes may require a taxing effort to amend – such as manually restoring delta data. 

In fact, this dynamic can lead organizations to defer necessary updates, such as platform upgrades.

With full control over the ServiceNow backup schedule, organizations can make changes with confidence that the instance can be easily recovered to a point defined by the user. Developers have greater confidence that any errors will not severely impact operations.

Schedule ServiceNow Backups with Snapshot – A ServiceNow-native Application

While ServiceNow does not provide the capability to schedule backups OOTB, the capability can be added via the ServiceNow-native application, DataSync Snapshot. 

DataSync Snapshot is a backup and disaster recovery application purpose-built for the ServiceNow platform, installed within the Now Platform UI with which ServiceNow users are already familiar. 

It provides ServiceNow users with full control as to how they create ServiceNow backups, including their schedule and frequency, and even lets users create backups on-demand. 

Snapshot also overcomes other limitations of ServiceNow backup and restore OOTB, including:

Schedule ServiceNow backups and enable other advanced BDR capabilities with DataSync Snapshot

Its native installation is a key factor in enabling fast, efficient and performance-impact free backup creation. It also means that ServiceNow users do not need to learn to use any new, third-party software to start creating their own ServiceNow backups. 

DataSync Snapshot was created by ServiceNow’s founding developer, David Loo, who used their understanding of ServiceNow’s architecture and limitations to create applications ServiceNow users can trust.

Snapshot’s ServiceNow-native delivery means it can avoid issues associated with many third-party apps, reliant on Rest API and web services to initiate data transfers. 

Instead, the applications leverage push technology, making them capable of transferring massive amounts of data (over 1 billion records per month) without impacting performance.

This makes the applications and service ideal for organizations with large data volumes and advanced data backup needs. 

Curious to learn more about our DataSync Snapshot as the ultimate BDR solution for ServiceNow data? Talk to us.

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