How to Backup Cisco Switch Configuration

Oftentimes you need to make sure that you have a backup copy of your Cisco router and a switch. Let us discover you how you can quickly backup your Cisco switch configuration using either a plain Windows telnet utility, or by setting up a TFTP server. So let us dive right in.

Connect to your Cisco switch

For the sake of this exercise let us assume you have telnet access to your switch as well as login credentials. Let us also assume that you can access your router or switch by this IP address: Usually if you are using a router for home, this is the IP address to be used. If you cannot login the router you will not be able to connect to the switch. So here is how you connect. Open a Windows command prompt by typing cmd in the “Type here to search” field on your Windows 10 client and hitting enter. Once in Windows command prompt the in the following to commands:

cd %userprofile%/Downloads
telnet -f router-config-backup.txt

The first line sets your current directory to your user home Downloads folder. The second command launches a telnet session to your switch with an otput redirected to a local file on your PC called router-config-backup.txt

Backup your configuration

Once you are connected login with your login name and launch enable mode by typing enable in hitting Enter. In enable mode you need to run just these two Cisco commands:

terminal length 0
show run

The first command disables pauses between screens. The second command will display your entire router configuration, and in the process it will back it up to router-config-backup.txt

Show Running Configuration Cisco Router or Switch

Once the show run command stopped running, you can close your telnet screen screen and head straight to your Download folder, where (viola!) you will see your Cisco switch configuration backup file.

Cisco Switch Config Saved

Backup Switch Configuration Using TFTP Server

First things first: you need a TFTP server running on a computer so you could backup your switch on it. A great piece of sotware is Solarwinds TFTP server. Once you have installed the TFTP server – note your PC IP address – in our case it is – and run the following command on your switch to back up its configuration:

copy running-config tftp://

Hit Enter couple times to confirm default options, and your backup file is on your computer! To be exact by default your file will be placed in C:\TFTP-Root\[routername]-config

Note if your Windows Firewall is enabled, it may be blocking TFTP traffic. If you TFTP connection times out, try disabling windows firewall and backing up your switch configuration again. It should work then. H