Bulk copying page permissions using Import/Export


The Import/Export tool can be used to copy page permissions from one site to another after a migration or upgrade. Though the tool is normally used to copy whole sites from a test to a live environment, it can also be used for targeted copies of specific features (in this case, Page Permissions). This can be helpful if a migration goes poorly and one or more features fail to migrate.


As with any import, this should be tested in a staging or test environment before being attempted on production. Imports are permanent and cannot be undone.



  • Access to an Administrator or SuperUser account.
  • Access to a pre-migration version of the site with the correct page permission settings



There are two main steps to this procedure: exporting permissions only from the previous site, and importing that file into the new site. For this to work, these sites must be more or less identical in page structure and user/role setup, with the only exception being Page Permissions.


Exporting site permissions

To export your permission from your source site:

  1.  Follow the instructions in the article Exporting an Individual Site, modifying step 5 so that only permissions are exported:

  2. Once the export is complete, you can find the exported file in [Site Root]\App Data\ExportImport. The folder will named with a date/time stamp in UTC when the export was made.
    You’ll need to copy this folder over to the same location in the target DNN instance where we’ll be performing the import.


Importing site permissions

Once the site permissions have been exported and the file copied, you’ll need to import that file into the new DNN instance:

  1. Follow the instructions in the article Importing a Site, being sure to use the file you exported earlier as the source for the import. Ensure that “Include Permissions” is the only option with “Yes” next to it. Users, pages, Roles and Groups, Page Templates, Extensions, Assets, and Content Library should all be 0:



To test whether the import fixed the problem:

  1. Log into the new site as an Adminstrator.
  2. Browse to Content > Pages and choose a page whose permissions were previously misconfigured. Select the Permissions tab.
  3. Ensure that the listed permission settings are correct.



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