How to Fix Missing WordPress Database Backup Emails

I use the amazing WordPress Database Backup wordpress plugin to create backup of my WordPress database. The latest version, powered by WordPress 2.2, can email you a daily backup of your MySQL database using WordPress cron system. I have configured WordPress Database Backup wordpress plugin to email the database files weekly, but for the last 2 weeks, I received no backup email! I tried to create an on-demand backup (which went well), but still got no email… and it was not a plugin bug at all!

I checked out various forums where it was suggested that a new version of the plugin fiuxed the issue. I was already using the latest version of 2.1.2. I reupdated my plugin, but still no emails were being sent.

Then I figured out what the problem was. It was not a plugin bug at all. Maybe my database file was too large and my email address did not allow huge attachments. I checked that Gmail allows you to send and receive messages a maximum of 20 MB in size (including attachments). Then I tried sending the backup to my Yahoo mail account, but still no luck (The free Yahoo! Mail account has even lower limits of 10MB per message only! Mail Plus users limits upto 20MB)

I remembered my experience while upgrading to WordPress 2.1, I had got a huge database file of 41MB! I checked my previous database files over the weeks, they vary from 2-7 MB. So maybe the database file was so huge that it crossed the email maximum size limits and never reached me.

I checked that there were over 23000 spam comments blocked by Akismet waiting clearance. So indeed the database table size would be huge. Then I used my trick of deleting Akismet spam to reduce database file size.

And did it work? Of course it did. The database was backed up much faster, was error free and I have a 2.7MB .sql.qz file sitting in my inbox right now!


  1. Rory says:

    My problem is that the plugin is not sending me a zipped file any more. I open the email, and there is a page full of (to me) garbled code – but no zipped file attached.

    Is there a solution to this?

  2. midbach says:

    I was also see garbled text rather than an attachment (this was with gmail). A manual backup worked fine.

    I have no idea what the issue was but my weekly backup arrived yesterday and the issues seems to be resolved.

    Good to know I wasn’t the only one seeing this.

  3. pearl says:

    I am not receiving the backup in my email either .. but my database couldn’t be that huge, I only have less than a 100 posts and 60+ akismet spams.. So i wonder what could be going on…

  4. QuickOnlineTips says:

    The latest plugin version fixes several of the garbled text issues you describe. Always check for upgrades of the plugin. Check the plugin settings in the WordPress admin and lastly the email might be sitting in your email spam folder.

  5. Mike says:

    Interestingly enough I only get the garbled text issue with a WP blog hosted on DreamHost. On all my other sites I get the file attachment and I’m using the same version of the plugin.

    Did you have to make any changes to the backend on your DreamHost box to get the attachments sent rather than garbled MIME format?

  6. QuickOnlineTips says:

    Mike – I have made no changes on Dreamhost. I use the latest plugin. Delete all Akismet blocked spam to reduce database size and then try.

  7. Mike says:

    I’m using Spam Karma and have set the backup to not include the spam protection tables. Like I said, it’s the same version of the software as I’m using on a number of other servers and yet it’s only DH that’s proving troublesome.

    Ho hum!

    Thanks for coming back to me :)

  8. PC says:

    I ve used this plugin. I didn’t received any mails containing the zipped folder nor any mail with garbage codes. I am using gmail account and my new blog has only 60 posts. Can you help me out??

  9. QuickOnlineTips says:

    Delete all Akismet blocked spam before backing up the database. Should work.

  10. adi says:

    very handy…

  11. Bob Millan says:

    Yes…this is great info. Thanks to all.

  12. Isolde says:

    CCF is given to you in the curve coding ..

  13. vhincent says:

    have also experiencing the same thing my database file is < 1MB but I’m not receiving any back-up emails? I’m already using v2.1.5

    still searching….

  14. SQL Tutorials says:

    Does anyone know if there is another language or set of commands beside SQL for talking with databases?

    I’m working on a project and am doing some research thanks

  15. romonoeroetoko says:

    Hm that sounds good but I would like to know more details.

  16. amenodimeno says:

    That’s good man, keep it going.

  17. amenodimeno says:

    Good story for me but please more details.

  18. USB Speaker OEM says:

    good one!!!

  19. adamoerikom says:

    Stunning blog and good article. High 5 for u man !

  20. Fat Burning Furnace says:

    this is a very useful info thanks

  21. Phani says:

    I already lost all my emails..its been 2 months…is there any way i can get them back :(

  22. james says:

    I use this plugin to back up my wp sql. but to backup wp file I still do it manually, once a month

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