Copy databases to other servers

Applies to: SQL Server

Sometimes you might find it useful to copy a database from one computer to another. Reasons include testing, checking consistency, developing software, running reports, creating a mirror database, or possibly to make the database available to remote-branch operations.

There are several ways to copy a database:

  • Use the Copy Database Wizard

    You can use the Copy Database Wizard to copy or move databases between servers or to upgrade a SQL Server database to a later version. For more information, see Use the Copy Database Wizard.

  • Restore 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 various reasons. For information on using backup and restore to copy a database, see Copy 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 Prepare a Mirror Database for Mirroring (SQL Server).