The cloning.exe utility is used to prepare Plesk for cloning to a different virtual machine. As some Plesk parameters have to be unique for each new instance of Plesk (for example, IP pool, IIS passwords, and so on), you should reset these parameters before cloning. This may be done with the cloning.exe utility. The utility resets the following items:

  • The IP pool.
  • Plesk GUIDs.
  • Passwords for all IIS users (Anonymous and Application pool users for the Plesk website and all sites created by Plesk: Horde and all customer sites).
  • The administrator’s password.
  • The license key.

The utility can also be run on the clone Plesk in order to turn off automatic updates.




cloning.exe <command> [
<option_1> [<param>]
[<option_2> [<param>]]


The following command resets all initialization settings and remove the license key on the next start:

plesk bin cloning.exe -u -prepare-public-image true -reset-license true


Command Parameter Description Example
--update or -u  

Updates server cloning settings.

Requires at least one of the following options: -prepare-public-image, -reset-license.

To reset all initialization settings and remove the license key on the next start:

plesk bin cloning.exe -u -prepare-public-image true -reset-license true

--info or -i   Displays current server cloning settings.

To display current cloning settings:

plesk bin cloning.exe -i

--help or -h   Displays help on the use of the utility.

To view help on the use of the utility:

plesk bin cloning.exe -h


Option Parameter Description Example
-prepare-public-image true|false

If true, Plesk will reset all of its unique parameters (IP pool, GUIDs, administrator’s password, and passwords of all IIS users) to the default state on next server boot. Turn this option on before making an image of this Plesk server that you will use for further VPS deployments.

Used with --update.

To reset Plesk unique parameters on next server boot:

plesk bin cloning.exe -u prepare-public-image true

-reset-license true|false

If you turn this option on and clone your Plesk server, the Plesk license key will not be copied to a new Plesk deployment. It will get the default license key instead.

Used with --update.

To reset the Plesk license after cloning:

plesk bin cloning.exe -u reset-license true

-reset-init-conf true|false

If true, the Plesk configuration will be reset when you clone your Plesk server.

Used with --update.

To reset the Plesk configuration after cloning:

plesk bin cloning.exe -u -reset-init-conf true

-skip-update true|false

The cloned Plesk server will not receive updates as part of cloning procedure if you turn on the -skip-update option on the cloned Plesk server right after the cloning operation.

Note that Plesk will receive updates later if automatic updates are allowed in Tools & Settings > Update and Upgrade Settings.

Used with --update.

To skip installing Plesk updates after cloning, run the following command on the clone right after you clone the Plesk server:

plesk bin cloning.exe -u -skip-update true