N8n on my computer


I am brand new both in code and n8n.

To test n8n, I have set it up on my Windows computer (with npm, nodejs 18).
I see that there are still some feature which requires to “upgrade”: is this normal?

Many thanks in advance

Welcome to the community @AyS_0908 !

Yes, that is correct. Some features are paid and so not available in the free version.

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Thank you @jan !
Very happy to start with n8n, feel like a kid with a new (powerful)toy.
And happy to have it as localhost to test and try things.
And sorry for the very basic question of an early beginner…

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Glad to hear that! I hope you have a great time. If not please let us know and share your experience and tell us what you had problems with. That helps us a lot with improving n8n.

Nothing to be sorry about! Every question that comes up is normally a sign that we are not doing a good job of communicating something. So please keep on asking questions.

Have fun!


Thank you @jan .

I don’t know where to post this question, but: is it possible that after a few days working normally, my whole N8N setup has completely disapeared:

  • nothing anymore on my computer,
  • no N8N account anymore in the cloud.
    All vanished… all work lost?


Hi @AyS_0908

You local account is not a cloud account, so as long as you didnt create a cloud account as well and moved stuff there it would never have been there.
n8n stores it stuff in a sqlite databse by default, so you probably have to find that to restore your work.

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Thank you @BramKn , I indeed found an n8n folder and “database.sqlite” (cf. image 1).

But I have no clue of what I have to do now to relaunch n8n, since when I use the “command prompt”, it says that n8n is not a .exe…

nb : sorry for this basic question, I am not a developer, just trying to learn…

Sorry I wasnt clear, there will be 2 locations with a sqlite database (if the old one is still there)
You would then need to move the old one to the new location to recover the data.
I do not know where it would be as I do not run it locally and never have really.

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Thank you, I will try to find this mysterious second location…
I also have to understand why there is not anymore an n8n.exe on my computer…

n8n isnt an exe I think.

You are probably better of using the cloud though. :slight_smile:
Makes things a lot simpler.


Can +1 @BramKn suggestion. And it’s not because that option results in us getting revenue but in fact reduces the likelihood of painful future experiences :point_down:

  • Dunning Kruger effect: the less you know about something, the more you assume you might know more about it and overindex on your own knowledge (i.e. effort + expertise required to run a self-hosted anything in production environment). So someone with very little knowledge on typical self-hosting is more likely to think it’s “easy enough”.
  • We’ve seen some users self-host without much terminal/ sysad/ devops knowledge. They start using n8n and then accidentally delete their database; and didn’t set up backups. It’s a really painful scenario and there is nothing we can really do about that (other than building some native back up feature; but that feature would always be worse than the existing dedicated tools for those jobs and would distract from us building a powerful automation tool).

I advise new users when deciding to think of this: “If you didn’t think to proactively setup backups of your docker database; and if you don’t know how to do that, or you’re nervous when trying… it’s a good sign that you shouldn’t self host”. That is of course in the case where you rely on your workflows, i.e. you’d be sad or screwed if they all got deleted.

Hope that helps!


Thanks @maxT , this is what I will do ultimately when I’ll be ready to go in production (utlimately, I need the n8n AI agent, but I have to be sure that it’s the proper solution).
But at this stage, I want to learn how to use n8n, do some tests, show results etc.
This is the reason why I setup it on my computer ; now, I agree with you, it seems more complicated than what I thought (in particular if I also have to learn “docker”). I’ll have to reconsider my approach!


Thank you for that additional context - very helpful!

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