If your Tails is broken and you are trying to rescue your Persistent Storage, see our instructions on rescuing the Persistent Storage of a broken Tails.

Create a new Tails to store your backup

We recommend you to create another Tails to store your backup. This way, if your Tails is lost or damaged, you can replace it immediately with your backup Tails.

Your backup Tails must be version 4.14 or newer.

  1. Install Tails on a new USB stick on which you want to create your backup Tails. For detailed instructions, see how to install Tails from another Tails. Make sure that this new USB stick is at least as large as your current Tails USB stick.

  2. We recommend making your backup Tails USB stick look different than your current Tails USB stick to avoid using your backup Tails by mistake.

  3. Shutdown and unplug your current Tails USB stick.

  4. Restart on your backup Tails and create a Persistent Storage on it.

    We recommend using the same passphrase as your current Tails so that the passphrase is easier to remember.

  5. Close the Persistent Storage settings after creation, when the list of possible features is displayed.

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

  6. Shutdown and unplug your backup Tails USB stick.

Create or update your backup

  1. Start on your current Tails and unlock the Persistent Storage.

  2. Plug in your backup Tails USB stick.

  3. Choose Applications ▸ System Tools ▸ Back Up Persistent Storage.

    Each time you update your backup, only the files that have changed are copied.

  4. If your backup Tails has an outdated version of Tails, we recommend you upgrade it by cloning your current Tails using Tails Installer. For detailed instructions, see how to manually upgrade from another Tails.

Updating your backup Tails from a terminal

If you prefer updating your backup Tails from a terminal:

  1. When starting Tails, unlock your Persistent Storage and set up an administration password.

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

  3. Plug in your backup Tails USB stick.

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

  4. Execute the following command in a Root Terminal:

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

    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