Backing Up and Restoring Cisco Switch Settings

Much like with Cisco routers, it’s generally a good idea to back up the configuration of your switches as well. The syntax to copy the configuration of a Catalyst 1900 series to a TFTP server is different than on a router, although it does following a similar “copy from to” format. The example below shows the configuration of a Catalyst 1912 being backed up to a TFTP server at address

Cisco1912#copy nvram tftp://
Configuration upload is successfully completed

In this example, the contents of NVRAM (the configuration file) are copied to a TFTP server at, with a filename of config-1912. The command to copy this same configuration file from the TFTP server back to the switch is shown below.

Cisco1912#copy tftp:// nvram
TFTP successfully downloaded configuration file

Unlike with a Cisco router, a Cisco 1900 series switch does not allow you to upload its IOS image to a TFTP server. However, it does allow you to download a new IOS image from a TFTP server. The command to do so is listed below.

Cisco1912#copy tftp:// opcode

In this example, the image to be downloaded from the TFTP server is named cat1900EN_9_00.bin. The opcode command is used to instruct the switch to download the file into Flash memory.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.