If your Tails becomes broken, for example, it no longer starts, you can follow these instructions to try to rescue your Persistent Storage.

It is advisable to keep a current backup of your Persistent Storage. To learn how to create a backup of your Persistent Storage, see our instructions on how to back up your Persistent Storage to another Tails USB stick.

  1. Install Tails on a new USB stick on which you want to rescue your Persistent Storage. Make sure that this new USB stick is at least as large as the USB stick that has your broken Tails on it.

  2. Start on your new Tails and create a Persistent Storage. For detailed instructions, see how to create and configure a Persistent Storage.

    When the Persistent Storage settings shows the list of possible features, click Save and exit.

    The process described below overrides the configuration of the Persistent Storage. So, it does not matter which features you turn on when creating the Persistent Storage.

  3. Restart on your new Tails, set up an administration password, and unlock the Persistent Storage.

    Make sure that all applications are closed before continuing with these instructions. Otherwise, the Persistent Storage might not be properly rescued from your broken Tails.

  4. Choose Applications ▸ Accessories ▸ Files to open the Files browser.

  5. Plug in the USB stick that has your broken Tails on it.

    A new encrypted volume appears in the sidebar of the Files browser. Click on it and enter the passphrase of your broken Tails to unlock the volume.

    The Persistent Storage of your broken Tails shows up as TailsData.

    If an encrypted volume does not appear, then you might not be able to rescue the Persistent Storage of your broken Tails.

  6. Choose Applications ▸ System Tools ▸ Root Terminal to open a terminal with administration rights.

  7. Execute the following command to rescue the Persistent Storage of your broken Tails to your new Tails:

rsync -PaSHAXv --del /media/amnesia/TailsData/ /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked

When the command finishes, it displays a summary of the data that was copied. For example:

sent 32.32M bytes  received 1.69K bytes  21.55M bytes/sec
total size is 32.30M  speedup is 1.00

You can now eject the TailsData volume in the Files browser and unplug the USB stick that has your broken Tails on it.