Set the Expiration Date on a Backup (SQL Server)

Applies to: SQL Server

This topic describes how to set the expiration date on a backup in SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL.

In This Topic

Before You Begin



BACKUP DATABASE and BACKUP LOG permissions default to members of the sysadmin fixed server role and the db_owner and db_backupoperator fixed database roles.

Ownership and permission problems on the backup device's physical file can interfere with a backup operation. SQL Server must be able to read and write to the device; the account under which the SQL Server service runs must have write permissions. However, sp_addumpdevice, which adds an entry for a backup device in the system tables, does not check file access permissions. Such problems on the backup device's physical file may not appear until the physical resource is accessed when the backup or restore is attempted.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To set the expiration date on a backup

  1. After connecting to the appropriate instance of the Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine, in Object Explorer, click the server name to expand the server tree.

  2. Expand Databases, and, depending on the database, either select a user database or expand System Databases and select a system database.

  3. Right-click the database, point to Tasks, and then click Back Up. The Back Up Database dialog box appears.

  4. On the General page, for Backup set will expire, specify an expiration date to indicate when the backup set can be overwritten by another backup:

    • To have the backup set expire after a specific number of days, click After (the default option), and enter the number of days after set creation that the set will expire. This value can be from 0 to 99999 days; a value of 0 days means that the backup set will never expire.

      The default value is set in the Default backup media retention (in days) option of the Server Properties dialog box (Database Settings page). To access this, right-click the server name in Object Explorer and select properties; then select the Database Settings page.

    • To have the backup set expire on a specific date, click On, and enter the date on which the set will expire.

Using Transact-SQL

To set the expiration date on a backup

  1. Connect to the Database Engine.

  2. From the Standard bar, click New Query.

  3. In the BACKUP statement, specify either the EXPIREDATE or RETAINDAYS option to determine when the SQL Server Database Engine can overwrite the backup. If neither option is specified, the expiration date is determined by the media retention server configuration setting. This example uses the EXPIREDATE option to specify an expiration date of June 30, 2015 (6/30/2015).

USE AdventureWorks2022;  
BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks2022  
 TO DISK = 'Z:\SQLServerBackups\AdventureWorks2022.Bak'  
   WITH EXPIREDATE = '6/30/2015' ;  

See Also

Create a Full Database Backup (SQL Server)
Back Up Files and Filegroups (SQL Server)
Back Up a Transaction Log (SQL Server)
Create a Differential Database Backup (SQL Server)