How to: Restore to a Point in Time (Transact-SQL)

This topic explains how to restore to a point in time.

To restore to a point in time

  1. Execute the RESTORE DATABASE statement using the NORECOVERY option.


    If a partial restore sequence excludes any FILESTREAM filegroup, point-in-time restore is not supported. You can force the restore sequence to continue. However the FILESTREAM filegroups that are omitted from your RESTORE statement can never be restored. To force a point-in-time restore, specify the CONTINUE_AFTER_ERROR option together with the STOPAT, STOPATMARK, or STOPBEFOREMARK option, which you must also specify in your subsequent RESTORE LOG statements. If you specify CONTINUE_AFTER_ERROR, the partial restore sequence succeeds and the FILESTREAM filegroup becomes unrecoverable.

  2. Execute the RESTORE LOG statement to apply each log backup, specifying:

    • The name of the database to which the transaction log is applied.

    • The backup device from where the transaction log backup is restored.

    • The RECOVERY and STOPAT options. If the transaction log backup does not contain the requested time (for example, if the time specified is beyond the end of the time covered by the transaction log), a warning is generated and the database remains unrecovered.


The following example restores a database to its state as of 12:00 AM on April 15, 2020 and shows a restore operation that involves multiple log backups. On the backup device, AdventureWorks2008R2Backups, the full database backup to be restored is the third backup set on the device (FILE = 3), the first log backup is the fourth backup set (FILE = 4), and the second log backup is the fifth backup set (FILE = 5).


The AdventureWorks2008R2 database uses the simple recovery model. To permit log backups, before taking a full database backup, the database was set to use the full recovery model, using ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks2008R2 SET RECOVERY FULL.

RESTORE DATABASE AdventureWorks2008R2
   FROM AdventureWorks2008R2Backups

RESTORE LOG AdventureWorks2008R2
   FROM AdventureWorks2008R2Backups
   WITH FILE=4, NORECOVERY, STOPAT = 'Apr 15, 2020 12:00 AM';

RESTORE LOG AdventureWorks2008R2
   FROM AdventureWorks2008R2Backups
   WITH FILE=5, NORECOVERY, STOPAT = 'Apr 15, 2020 12:00 AM';