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I would like to make some major changes to our live Drupal website. I'd prefer to do it in a safe local development environment on my laptop. What are the steps/process to exporting a live Drupal 7 and importing it into the Acquia Drupal Dev Desktop?

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First, use the Backup and Migrate module to create a copy of the database. Then download all the Drupal site files to your machine as well.

You can set up a local version by using the import option Acquia Drupal Dev Desktop instead of creating a new site and importing the Drupal files you just downloaded.

Then use the Backup and Migrate module again on the local site to synchronise the database.

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  1. Back up your Drupal folder on the live server.
  2. Access PhpMyadmin, and export the database, put it in a folder.
  3. Write down the name of your database and any prefix that may have.
  4. Create a Folder on your pc where you plan to use as a Dev environment.
  5. Copy the backup folder from your live server to this folder.
  6. Launch Acquia Drupal Dev Desktop, click Settings -> Sites -> Import
  7. Click Browse, select your local folder with the Drupal files from your live server.
  8. On Database select "I have a MySQL database dump file for may site".
  9. Click to Browse the dump file exported on step 2.
  10. Write a Server URL for the Dev environment (on Domain).
  11. Click import.
  12. Profit.

I wrote this from memory, so if you have any problem just post back.

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One method of importing an existing Drupal application to Acquia Cloud is to create a Drupal site archive and then use the Acquia Cloud interface to install the site archive. This method works best for applications that aren’t very large (website archives smaller than 100MB).

To import an existing Drupal application to Acquia Cloud using a site archive file, complete the following steps:

Prepare your application before you export it from your current environment.

Create a Drupal site archive file for import by exporting your existing Drupal application.

You can use the tools provided in your existing application environment (including Acquia Dev Desktop), or you can use the Drush archive-dump command. The archive-dump command is available in Drush 4.5 or later. For more information about importing your application using Drush, see Importing an existing application using Drush.

Import your website into the Development environment of your Acquia Cloud application. Acquia Cloud commits your application code to your Acquia Cloud code repository, installs the database, and uploads your files.

from: https://docs.acquia.com/acquia-cloud/create/import/archive/

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