Restore Search Service Application

SharePoint 2013 Native backup allows us to restore Search service application even with extended search topology. Below are the steps you can follow if you want to restore a complete search service application in case of disaster.

In this scenario I had search running on 4 servers where Server A and B are were running redundant Admin, Crawler, Analytics and Content Processing Components while Server C and D were running index component 0 and 1 and query components.

Backup using SharePoint 2013 Native Backup.

Take Search backup from PowerShell Backup already scheduled or take backup on demand.

  • Make sure you have a shared folder setup
  • Update the location of shared folder inside Backup-SPSearchApplication script
  • Execute Backup-SPSearchApplication script to take backup of Search service Application.

Use PowerShell or UI to Restore Search

For PowerShell

Restore-SPFarm -Directory <BackupFolder> -Item Farm\Shared Services\Shared Services Applications\Search” -RestoreMethod Overwrite –RestoreThreads <1-10> [-Verbose]

To Restore using User Interface

Open SharePoint Central Administration Backup and Restore Restore from Backup

Select a Backup and Click Next

Open SharePoint Central Administration Backup and Restore Restore from Backup

Review the Backup and Expand Shared Services and Select Search

Click Next

Choose New Configuration if you want to change any values. For environment where all options are same use same configuration.

Enter password for Search Service Account.

Review all other settings (If required).

Click Start Restore

Wait for the Status of Backup to be completed

Index files are restored to one replica per index partition. After the restore has completed, the index for each replica is replicated to the other index replicas. During this process the search topology is fully functional for crawling and queries, but is not fault tolerant.

Create Search Service Application Proxy

Open SharePoint Management Shell and run the following cmdlets.


Note the ID of Search Service Application

$SSA = Get-SPServiceApplication -Identity <Search Service Application ID>


New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplicationProxy -Name “Search Service Application” -SearchApplication

Go to Central Administration Manage Service Application Search Service Application and its proxy will be there.


Click on Search Service Application. Note the status


Run the following command in SharePoint Management Shell.

$SSA = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication


Depending on the size of the farm and the index, the process can take several hours and the index replicas appear as degraded in the Search Administration UI and in the output of the Get-SPEnterpriseSearchStatus Windows PowerShell cmdlet.

Review the Search Components and make sure they are all healthy like the image below.

Run a Full Crawl for a content source

Once completed review the Crawl Log for Errors.

Review the Event Viewer for any errors

Open a Search Center Site and Perform a Search.