Can find site after computer rebuild

Issue Summary

My computer recently had to be rebuilt. IT took a backup of the hard drive and when I went to open Local WP I discovered it wasn’t installed. I reinstalled the software, upgrading to the latest version when I did so. However when I logged into Local WP I had no sites. I navigated to the Local Sites folder and found the folder with the website name in there, however in the folder was only the App subfolder. The conf and logs folders were missing. I tried zipping the folder to import it, but it kept telling me I had an incorrect zip file. Eventually I got it to work and instead got the error [Local was unable to import the following SQL files, but there was no file name written there. It seems like the SQL database is missing. The version of Local WP I was using before reinstalling was 6.6.0. Was the database stored elsewhere in this version? I had the website built and ready to roll out, so I’m hoping I haven’t lost the lot.
I only had one site and I can create a new plain wordpress site in Local.
I’m using Windows 11 Pro.
In an attempt to troubleshoot, I uninstalled the latest version of Local and reinstalled the version I had installed, but that didn’t work either. (3.3 KB)
Any help is appreciated.

Hi there, @TAS - welcome to the Local community :wave:

Sorry you’re running into issues with Local. Local stores your site information (not the site itself) in a file called sites.json

Depending on your OS, this lives at:

Mac/Linux: ~/Library/Application Support/Local/sites.json

Windows: %APPDATA%\Roaming\Local\sites.json

Can you check the path here and see if that file a) exists and b) what the contents are?


Hi Sam,
Thanks for getting back to me. The file exists, but it only shows the new site I created as a test when I reinstalled Local WP. Is it possible to take the App folder and a blank SQL database to recreate my website?


If the database is missing then you may need to create a new site in the Local app, and then manually import any WP-Content material over into that new site.

1 Like

Hi Nick, Thanks for your reply. I’m not quite sure how to import the WP-Content into a new site if I create it. Could you explain what you mean?
Thank you!


If you can locate the site files on your machine you can simply copy over the folder and merge or replace the one that’s in there.

Hi @Nick-B

I’ve been assisting TAS with this issue; We have done as you’ve suggested however no luck.

  • Created a new site (even performed from a fresh install of Local)
  • Tested new blank site is working
  • Stopped new site
  • Copied “wp-content” over the top of the newly created site wp-content (\app\public\wp-content)
  • Started site and tested, it’s still the new site

Out of all the files, it only asked to replace two existing.

Morning all,

I’m following up on this ticket, can you please advise what troubleshooting can be conducted next?. As mentioned, we have already got a copy of the ‘local’ folder containing the content folders, however upon over writing the contents of a new site with the existing data, it does not bring the old one back.

Is it that it can’t be done given we haven’t got an officaial backup out of Wordpress?.

Please advise so we can plan our next steps.


Is there a local.sql file in the app/sql directory of the original site? The app/sql/local.sql file is a backup (usually taken when you stop a site in Local) that should be able to be imported into a new database if need be.

A WP site is a combination of files and a database. You will need both to recover the original site. It sounds like you have the files (the most important being the wp-content directory), but that database is also needed, and the backup file is the most straightforward way to recover it.

Hi @burt

I’ve located a ‘local.sql’ file within the app\sql folder, it’s 52KB in size.
If this is the right file, how would we go about making them link up?.
When we’ve done a direct copy past overwriting all files, it didn’t work.


Try opening Adminer (within the database tab in Local) for the site that you mention having created above (where you copied over the wp-content directory). Import the local.sql file that you identified, and then check your new site again.

That said, a 52KB file sounds like the size of a newly-created WP database, before any content has been added. I suspect that the file that you’ve found is not from the original site.

Hi @burt

It would seem that it’s only the default sql file that is anywhere to be found, so unfortunately looks like the site is lost, even though we have half of the puzzle.


Just as a note for anyone impacted in this thread or coming across it in the future, we always recommend frequent backing up and saving. There are a few different ways you can go about doing this with Local.

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