How to Backup Cisco Router Configuration to TFTP Server

It may be a good idea to back up any settings you have made on the Cisco Router. If your router’s NVRAM fails, the initial configuration file cannot be loaded and you will lose your existing settings.

How to Backup Cisco Router Configuration to TFTP Server

How to Backup Router Configuration on TFTP

There are many ways to backup the router configuration. One of these ways; TFTP Server is to use.

You can quickly copy the configuration and image files of all your network devices by placing a TFTP server in your existing network structure. However, since TFTP is an insecure transport protocol, you need to secure your server.

It is a good idea to back up your Cisco routers startup-config and running-config files frequently.

If a Cisco Router on your network fails, you can quickly add your backup device to the network environment, and quickly transfer the configuration file of the previous device to the new device via TFTP. This will ensure the continuity of your network.

How to Save the Cisco Router’s Startup-Config and Running-Config Configuration Files

First, install the SolarWinds TFTP Server application on a VMware virtual machine, and then follow the steps below in order to configure the required settings.

   Step 1

Create a new virtual machine with VMware, and then configure the VMnet settings as shown in the image below.

Windows 10 VMnet Settings

   Step 2

After creating VMnet3, change the IP address to

VMnet3 IP Settings

   Step 3

After completing the VMware Workstation settings, run GNS3 and create the topology as shown in the image below.

A Cisco Router and Virtual Computer Connected to a Switch

   Step 4

Once you have completed the VMware Workstation settings, run GNS3 and create the topology as shown in the following illustration.

In addition, create a new user and configure the Console connection to connect to your Router from a remote computer.

line vty 0 4

   Step 5

Ping the test from the VMware Windows 10 virtual machine to the Router’s FastEthernet0/0 interface.


   Step 6

Ping the Windows 10 machine from the router CLI console to test the network connection.


   Step 7

After verifying the network connection, install and run the SolarWinds TFTP Server program on the Windows 10 VM. Then start the service from the File menu.

SolarWinds TFTP Server

   Step 8

Now execute the following commands at the CLI command prompt to back up the running-config file on the router.

In the Remote Host section, do not forget to enter the IP address of the TFTP server!

In the following image, you can see that the configuration of the Router has been successfully backed up!

R1#copy running-config tftp:
Address or name of remote host []?
Destination filename ? R1_Config
974 bytes copied in 4.444 secs (219 bytes/sec)

copy running-config tftp:

   Step 9

When you check the server, you can see that the router configuration file is saved as R1_Config.

You can also view the Log outputs on SolarWinds.


   Step 10

You can check the existing configuration by opening the R1_Config file with notepad.

Editing R1_Config

   Step 11

After you have completed the backup process, first make a few changes to the existing settings to restore the router’s config file.

For example, configure the FastEthernet0/1 interface and save the settings with the save command.

Interface FastEthernet 0/1

   Step 12

To restore the Router’s configuration, you must use the copy command again.

In Destination filename, press Enter to verify that the file name you want to restore is running-config.

R1#copy tftp: running-config
Address or name of remote host []?
Source filename []? R1_Config
Destination filename ?
Accessing tftp://
Loading R1_Config from (via FastEthernet0/0): !

974 bytes copied in 0.772 secs (1262 bytes/sec)

R1#copy tftp: running-config

   Step 13

Now, when you check the configuration with the show running-config command to verify the backup and restore operation, you can see that the backup file has been successfully restored.

Show running-config command

Show Commands

R1#show running-config
Building configuration...

Current configuration : 974 bytes
version 12.4
service timestamps debug datetime msec
service timestamps log datetime msec
no service password-encryption
hostname R1
no aaa new-model
memory-size iomem 5
no ip icmp rate-limit unreachable
ip cef
no ip domain lookup
ip auth-proxy max-nodata-conns 3
ip admission max-nodata-conns 3
username cisco privilege 15 password 0 cisco123
ip tcp synwait-time 5
interface FastEthernet0/0
ip address
duplex auto
speed auto
interface FastEthernet0/1
no ip address
duplex auto
speed auto
ip forward-protocol nd
no ip http server
no ip http secure-server
no cdp log mismatch duplex
line con 0
exec-timeout 0 0
privilege level 15
logging synchronous
line aux 0
exec-timeout 0 0
privilege level 15
logging synchronous
line vty 0 4
login local



How to Copy Cisco Router Settings ⇒ Video

You can watch the video below to save the settings of the Cisco Router and subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!

   Final Word

In this article, we have examined how to save config files of a Cisco Router on the network. Thanks for following us!

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