Restore a Database Backup Using SSMS

Applies to: SQL Server (all supported versions)

This article explains how to restore a full database backup using SQL Server Management Studio.

Limitations and restrictions

Before you can restore a database under the full or bulk-logged recovery model, you may need to back up the active transaction log (known as tail of the log. For more information, see Back Up a Transaction Log (SQL Server).

When restoring a database from another instance, consider the information from Manage Metadata When Making a Database Available on Another Server Instance (SQL Server).

To restore an encrypted database, you need access to the certificate or asymmetric key used to encrypt that database. Without the certificate or asymmetric key, you can't restore that database. Save the certificate used to encrypt the database encryption key for as long as you need to save the backup. For more information, see SQL Server Certificates and Asymmetric Keys.

If you restore an older version database to a newer version of SQL Server, that database will automatically upgrade to the new version. This prevents the database from being used with an older version of the Database Engine. However, this relates to metadata upgrade and doesn't affect the database compatibility level. If the compatibility level of a user database is 100 or higher before upgrade, it remains the same after upgrade. If the compatibility level is 90 before upgrade, in the upgraded database, the compatibility level is set to 100, which is the lowest supported compatibility level in SQL Server 2016 (13.x) and greater. For more information, see ALTER DATABASE Compatibility Level (Transact-SQL).

Typically, the database becomes available immediately. However, if a SQL Server 2005 (9.x) database has full-text indexes, the upgrade process either imports, resets, or rebuilds the indexes, depending on the setting of the Full-Text Upgrade Option server property. If you set upgrade option to Import or Rebuild, the full-text indexes will be unavailable during the upgrade. Depending on the amount of data being indexed, importing can take several hours; rebuilding will take up to 10 times longer.

When you set upgrade option to Import, if a full-text catalog isn't available, the associated full-text indexes are rebuilt. For information about viewing or changing the setting of the Full-Text Upgrade Option property, see Manage and Monitor Full-Text Search for a Server Instance.

For information on SQL Server restore from Azure Blob Storage, see SQL Server Backup and Restore with Microsoft Azure Blob Storage.

Examples

A. Restore a full database backup

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.

  2. Right-click Databases and select Restore Database...

  3. On the General page, use the Source section to specify the source and location of the backup sets to restore. Select one of the following options:

    • Database

      Select the database to restore from the drop-down list. The list contains only databases that have been backed up according to the msdb backup history.

      Note

      If the backup is taken from a different server, the destination server will not have the backup history information for the specified database. In this case, select Device to manually specify the file or device to restore.

    • Device

      Select the browse (...) button to open the Select backup devices dialog box.

      • Select backup devices dialog box

        Backup media type
        Select a media type from the Backup media type drop-down list. Note: The Tape option appears only if a tape drive is mounted on the computer, and the Backup Device option appears, only if at least one backup device exists.

        Add
        Depending on the type of media you select from the Backup media type drop-down list, clicking Add opens one of the following dialog boxes. (If the list in the Backup media list box is full, the Add button is unavailable.)

        Media type Dialog box Description
        File Locate Backup File In this dialog box, you can select a local file from the tree or specify a remote file using its fully qualified universal naming convention (UNC) name. For more information, see Backup Devices (SQL Server).
        Device Select Backup Device In this dialog box, you can select from a list of the logical backup devices defined on the server instance.
        Tape Select Backup Tape In this dialog box, you can select from a list of the tape drives that are physically connected to the computer running the instance of SQL Server.
        URL Select a Backup File Location In this dialog box, you can select an existing SQL Server credential/Azure storage container, add a new Azure storage container with a shared access signature, or generate a shared access signature and SQL Server credential for an existing storage container. See also, Connect to a Microsoft Azure Subscription

        Remove
        Removes one or more selected files, tapes, or logical backup devices.

        Contents
        Displays the media contents of a selected file, tape, or logical backup device. This button may not function if the media type is URL.

        Backup media
        Lists the selected media.

        After you add the devices you want to the Backup media list box, select OK to return to the General page.

      In the Source: Device: Database list box, select the name of the database that should be restored.

      Note

      This list is only available when Device is selected. Only databases that have backups on the selected device will be available.

  4. In the Destination section, the Database box is automatically populated with the name of the database to be restored. To change the name of the database, enter the new name in the Database box.

  5. In the Restore to box, leave the default as To the last backup taken or select Timeline to access the Backup Timeline dialog box to manually select a point in time to stop the recovery action. For more information on selecting a specific point in time, see Backup Timeline.

  6. In the Backup sets to restore grid, select the backups to restore. This grid displays the backups available for the specified location. By default, a recovery plan is suggested. To override the suggested recovery plan, you can change the selections in the grid. Backups that depend on the restoration of an earlier backup are automatically deselected when the earlier backup is deselected. For information about the columns in the Backup sets to restore grid, see Restore Database (General Page).

  7. Optionally, select Files in the Select a page pane to access the Files dialog box. From here, you can restore the database to a new location by specifying a new restore destination for each file in the Restore the database files as grid. For more information about this grid, see Restore Database (Files Page).

  8. To view or select the advanced options, on the Options page, in the Restore options panel, you can select any of the following options, if appropriate for your situation:

    1. WITH options (not required):
    • Overwrite the existing database (WITH REPLACE)

    • Preserve the replication settings (WITH KEEP_REPLICATION)

    • Restrict access to the restored database (WITH RESTRICTED_USER)

    1. Select an option for the Recovery state box. This box determines the state of the database after the restore operation.
    • RESTORE WITH RECOVERY is the default behavior that leaves the database ready for use by rolling back the uncommitted transactions. No additional transaction logs can't be restored. Select this option if you're restoring all of the necessary backups now.

    • RESTORE WITH NORECOVERY which leaves the database non-operational, and doesn't roll back the uncommitted transactions. Additional transaction logs can be restored. The database can't be used until it's recovered.

    • RESTORE WITH STANDBY which leaves the database in read-only mode. It undoes uncommitted transactions, but saves the undo actions in a standby file so that recovery effects can be reverted.

    1. Take tail-log backup before restore. Not all restore scenarios require a tail-log backup. For more information, see Scenarios That Require a Tail-Log Backup from Tail-Log Backups (SQL Server).

    2. Restore operations may fail if there are active connections to the database. Check the Close existing connections option to ensure that all active connections between Management Studio and the database are closed. This check box sets the database to single user mode before the restore operations, and sets the database to multi-user mode when complete.

    3. Select Prompt before restoring each backup if you wish to be prompted between each restore operation. This isn't necessary unless the database is large and you wish to monitor the status of the restore operation.

For more information about these restore options, see Restore Database (Options Page).

  1. Select OK.

B. Restore an earlier disk backup over an existing database

The following example restores an earlier disk backup of Sales and overwrites the existing Sales database.

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.

  2. Right-click Databases and select Restore Database...

  3. On the General page, select Device under the Source section.

  4. Select the browse (...) button to open the Select backup devices dialog box. Select Add and navigate to your backup. Select OK after you,ve selected your disk backup file(s).

  5. Select OK to return to the General page.

  6. Select Options in the Select a page pane.

  7. Under the Restore options section, check Overwrite the existing database (WITH REPLACE).

    Note

    Not checking this option may result in the following error message: "System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: The backup set holds a backup of a database other than the existing 'Sales' database. (Microsoft.SqlServer.SmoExtended)"

  8. Under the Tail-log backup section, uncheck Take tail-log backup before restore.

    Note

    Not all restore scenarios require a tail-log backup. You do not need a tail-log backup if the recovery point is contained in an earlier log backup. Also, a tail-log backup is unnecessary if you are moving or replacing (overwriting) a database and do not need to restore it to a point of time after its most recent backup. For more information, see Tail-Log Backups (SQL Server).

    This option isn't available for databases in the SIMPLE recovery model.

  9. Under the Server connections section, check Close existing connections to destination database.

    Note

    Not checking this option may result in the following error message: "System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: Exclusive access could not be obtained because the database is in use. (Microsoft.SqlServer.SmoExtended)"

  10. Select OK.

C. Restore an earlier disk backup with a new database name where the original database still exists

The following example restores an earlier disk backup of Sales and creates a new database called SalesTest. The original database, Sales, still exists on the server.

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.

  2. Right-click Databases and select Restore Database...

  3. On the General page, select Device under the Source section.

  4. Select the browse (...) button to open the Select backup devices dialog box. Select Add and navigate to your backup. Select OK after you've selected your disk backup file(s).

  5. Select OK to return to the General page.

  6. In the Destination section, the Database box is automatically populated with the name of the database to be restored. To change the name of the database, enter the new name in the Database box.

  7. Select Options in the Select a page pane.

  8. Under the Tail-log backup section, uncheck "Take tail-log backup before restore".

    Important

    Not unchecking this option will result in the existing database, Sales, to change to the restoring state.

  9. Select OK.

    Note

    If you receive the following error message:
    "System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: The tail of the log for the database "Sales" has not been backed up. Use BACKUP LOG WITH NORECOVERY to backup the log if it contains work you do not want to lose. Use the WITH REPLACE or WITH STOPAT clause of the RESTORE statement to just overwrite the contents of the log. (Microsoft.SqlServer.SmoExtended)".
    Then you likely did not enter the new database name from Step 6, above. Restore normally prevents accidentally overwriting a database with a different database. If the database specified in a RESTORE statement already exists on the current server and the specified database family GUID differs from the database family GUID recorded in the backup set, the database is not restored. This is an important safeguard.

D. Restore to a point in time

The following example restores a database to its state as of 1:23:17 PM on May 30, 2016 and shows a restore operation that involves multiple log backups. The database doesn't currently exist on the server.

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.
  2. Right-click Databases and select Restore Database...
  3. On the General page, select Device under the Source section.
  4. Select the browse (...) button to open the Select backup devices dialog box. Select Add and navigate to your full backup and all relevant transaction log backups. Select OK after you have selected your disk backup files.
  5. Select OK to return to the General page.
  6. In the Destination section, select Timeline to access the Backup Timeline dialog box to manually select a point in time to stop the recovery action.
  7. Select Specific date and time.
  8. Change the Timeline interval to Hour in the drop-down box (optional).
  9. Move the slider to the desired time.
  10. Select OK to return to the General page.
  11. Select OK.

E. Restore a backup from the Microsoft Azure storage service

Common Steps

The two examples below perform a restore of Sales from a backup located in the Microsoft Azure storage service. The storage Account name is mystorageaccount. The container is called myfirstcontainer. For brevity, the first six steps are listed here once and all examples will start on Step 7.

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.
  2. Right-click Databases and select Restore Database....
  3. On the General page, select Device under the Source section.
  4. Select the browse (...) button to open the Select backup devices dialog box.
  5. Select URL from the Backup media type: drop-down list.
  6. Select Add and the Select a Backup File Location dialog box opens.

E1. Restore a striped backup over an existing database and a shared access signature exists.

A stored access policy has been created with read, write, delete, and list rights. A shared access signature that is associated with the stored access policy was created for the container https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer. The steps are mostly the same if a SQL Server credential already exists. The database Sales currently exists on the server. The backup files are Sales_stripe1of2_20160601.bak and Sales_stripe2of2_20160601.bak.

  1. Select https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer from the Azure storage container: drop-down list if the SQL Server credential already exists, else manually enter the name of the container, https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer.
  2. Enter the shared access signature in the Shared Access Signature: rich-text box.
  3. Select OK and the Locate Backup File in Microsoft Azure dialog box opens.
  4. Expand Containers and navigate to https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer.
  5. Hold ctrl and select files Sales_stripe1of2_20160601.bak and Sales_stripe2of2_20160601.bak.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Select OK to return to the General page.
  8. Select Options in the Select a page pane.
  9. Under the Restore options section, check Overwrite the existing database (WITH REPLACE).
  10. Under the Tail-log backup section, uncheck Take tail-log backup before restore.
  11. Under the Server connections section, check Close existing connections to destination database.
  12. Select OK.

E2. A shared access signature doesn't exist

In this example, the Sales database doesn't currently exist on the server.

  1. Select Add and the Connect to a Microsoft Subscription dialog box will open.
  2. Complete the Connect to a Microsoft Subscription dialog box and then select OK to return the Select a Backup File Location dialog box. See Connect to a Microsoft Azure Subscription for additional information.
  3. Select OK in the Select a Backup File Location dialog box and the Locate Backup File in Microsoft Azure dialog box opens.
  4. Expand Containers and navigate to https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer.
  5. Select the backup file and then select OK.
  6. Select OK to return to the General page.
  7. Select OK.

F. Restore local backup to Microsoft Azure storage (URL)

The Sales database will be restored to the Microsoft Azure storage container https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer from a backup located at E:\MSSQL\BAK. The SQL Server credential for the Azure container has already been created. A SQL Server credential for the destination container must already exist as it can't be created through the Restore task. The Sales database doesn't currently exist on the server.

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.
  2. Right-click Databases and select Restore Database....
  3. On the General page, select Device under the Source section.
  4. Select the browse (...) button to open the Select backup devices dialog box.
  5. Select File from the Backup media type: drop-down list.
  6. Select Add and the Locate Backup File dialog box opens.
  7. Navigate to E:\MSSQL\BAK, select the backup file and then select OK.
  8. Select OK to return to the General page.
  9. Select Files in the Select a page pane.
  10. Check the box Relocate all files to folder.
  11. Enter the container, https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/myfirstcontainer, in the text boxes for Data file folder: and Log file folder:.
  12. Select OK.

See Also

Back Up a Transaction Log (SQL Server)
Create a Full Database Backup (SQL Server)
Restore a Database to a New Location (SQL Server)
Restore a Transaction Log Backup (SQL Server)
RESTORE (Transact-SQL)
Restore Database (Options Page)
Restore Database (General Page)