Understanding startup restoration

FileMaker Server creates a restoration log for hosted databases, which can help recover files after a hardware or software failure. In database management system terms, FileMaker Server uses physiological logging for database transactions to ensure that data updates are valid and consistent.

At startup, before databases are opened for client access, FileMaker Server validates database entries. If databases have inconsistencies indicating that they were not properly closed, startup restoration uses the restoration log to restore the files to their last consistent state.

The restoration log contains data for all hosted databases. You cannot enable or disable startup restoration for individual databases.

Important  Startup restoration is not a replacement for database backups. In certain conditions such as disk corruption, FileMaker Server will not be able to use startup restoration and you can only restore databases from backups.

Monitoring startup restoration

Restoration Log Manager is the runtime server component that manages logging of database changes. This component is started after the FileMaker Pro database engine is started. Information about the Restoration Log Manager is written to the Event.log file. See Event log.

Enabling startup restoration

Startup restoration is disabled by default. The process of creating the restoration log can impact performance. You can enable startup restoration using the CLI command:

fmsadmin set serverprefs StartupRestorationEnabled=true

Disabling startup restoration

To disable startup restoration use the CLI command:

fmsadmin set serverprefs StartupRestorationEnabled=false

You can also enable or disable startup restoration using the Claris FileMaker Admin API. See FileMaker Admin API Guide.


  • Content in the restoration log is encrypted if the corresponding database is encrypted.
  • For encrypted databases without saved encryption passwords, startup restoration runs at the time the server administrator specifies the encryption password, before the database is opened for client access.
  • Changes to embedded container data are included in the restoration log; changes to external container data are not included.
  • By default, the restoration log is written to the following folder:
    • Windows: [drive]:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Data\Restoration
    • macOS: /Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Restoration
    • Linux: /opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Data/Restoration

    You can change the folder location using the FileMaker Admin API. See FileMaker Admin API Guide.