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Transferring a DigitalOcean Snapshot to a Different User or Team

UpdatedMarch 16, 2018 6.7k views DigitalOcean Product Documentation


DigitalOcean snapshots allow you to create on-demand backups of Droplets. For an more thorough overview of snapshots, including current pricing, see An Introduction to DigtalOcean Snapshots.

You can transfer snapshots to another DigitalOcean user or to any DigitalOcean team that your account is a member of. Before you transfer a snapshot, you should know:

  1. Snapshots are transferred, i.e. moved, not copied. Once you transfer a snapshot to another user or team, it will no longer be available in your account. You can create a second snapshot before transferring if you'd like to retain a copy.
  2. IP addresses are associated with Droplets, not snapshots. This means snapshot transfers aren't well-suited for moving applications with IP-based configuration settings. You can accomplish this kind of transfer more smoothly using DigitalOcean teams.

In this article, we'll explain how transferring a snapshot works for both the sender and the recipient.

Transferring a Snapshot

In order to transfer a Droplet to another DigitalOcean user or team, you will first need to take a snapshot of it. You can create one by following the Creating a Snapshot step of How to Migrate DigitalOcean Droplets Using Snapshots.

Note: If you want to keep a copy of the snapshot after transferring it, you will need take two snapshots because the one you transfer will be removed from your account when the recipient accepts it.

To retain a copy of an older snapshot that you've already created, you can create a temporary Droplet based on the snapshot and take a snapshot of that. You can destroy the temporary Droplet as soon as the snapshot is complete.

To transfer a snapshot, visit the Images tab in the main navigation and locate the snapshot you want to transfer. Open the snapshot's More menu and select Change Owner.

Screenshot of the More menu with Change owner highlighted

In the Transfer to another user menu that opens, either select User and enter the user's email address in the text field, or select Team and select a team account from the pull-down menu. Then, click Transfer Snapshot.

Note: The recipient of your snapshot will not receive an email or in-product notification about the transfer. You'll need to notify the user or team. It may be helpful to include a link directly to the next section, Receiving a Snapshot.

If you're transferring to a team, under most circumstances you can accept the transfer yourself. If you transfer from your account to a team on which you have only the "Biller" role, however, you might need to contact a member or owner.

Once you initiate the transfer, the menu title changes to Snapshot Transfer Pending, and the options change to a single Cancel Transfer button.

Screenshot of the More menu with Transfer Pending and the recipient's name displayed

The icon next to the snapshot will continue to move even after the menu is closed. You can return to the Images page and open the snapshot's More and choose Cancel Transfer any time before the recipient accepts it.

Once transfer of a snapshot is complete, you will no longer be billed for it.

Receiving a Snapshot

You will not receive an email or in-product notification if someone requests to transfer a snapshot to your account. The sender should notify you directly.

To respond to a snapshot transfer request, log into the account to which the image was transferred and, if necessary, switch to the specific team. Then, visit the Images tab in the main navigation. A Pending Transfer section will appear.

Note: A snapshot is a duplicate of the Droplet from which it was taken. This means a sender could potentially access Droplets made from a snapshot, so take care when choosing to accept a transfer.

Open the snapshot's More menu to Decline or Accept the transfer.

Screenshot of a Pending Transfer request

When you accept the transfer, it will appear in the Snapshots table. The More menu contains the same options that are available for snapshots you create yourself, including Create Droplet. After accepting a transfer, you may need to reload the page to see it.

Screenshot of the More menu with Create Droplet highlighted

The original owner of the snapshot will not receive notification of your decision. If you accept the transfer, the snapshot will silently disappear from their account. You may want to let them know once you've accepted or rejected.

Depending on the purpose of the snapshot, you may want to keep it indefinitely as a backup or just until you're sure you've set up the Droplets you need. You can learn more about snapshots, including current pricing, in DigitalOcean Snapshots and Backups Explained.


This tutorial describes how to send and receive DigitalOcean snapshots. If you share Droplet images often, you may be interested in learning more about these additional ways to share resources and configuration:


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