Copying Databases to Other Servers

Copying a database from one computer to another is sometimes useful. You can use a copied database for many purposes, including testing, checking consistency, developing software, running reports, creating a mirror database, or, possibly, to make the database available to remote-branch operations.

A number of alternative methods exist for copying a database between servers:

  • Using the Copy Database Wizard

    You can use the Copy Database Wizard to copy or move databases between servers. For more information, see Using the Copy Database Wizard.

  • Restoring a database backup

    To copy an entire database, you can use the BACKUP and RESTORE Transact-SQL statements. Typically, restoring a full backup of a database is used to copy the database from one computer to another for a variety of reasons. For information on using backup and restore to copy a database, see Copying Databases with Backup and Restore.


    To set up a mirror database for database mirroring, you must restore the database onto the mirror server by using RESTORE DATABASE <database_name> WITH NORECOVERY. For more information, see Preparing a Mirror Database for Mirroring.

  • Copying databases from Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 or earlier

    For information about upgrading databases, see Copying Databases from SQL Server 7.0 or Earlier.

  • Using the Publish Database Wizard

    You can use the Publish Database Wizard to transfer a database from a local computer to a Web hosting provider. For more information, see Using the Publish Database Wizard.


Several methods also exist for copying data between instances of SQL Server without copying a database. For an introduction to these methods, see Copying Data Between Servers.