I have a SQL Server database backup of SQL Server 2008 R2. I want to restore that backup file that is around 40 GB on to a Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express Edition (64-bit) and it runs till 95% and then gives me this error:

CREATE DATABASE or ALTER DATABASE failed because the resulting cumulative database size would exceed your licensed limit of 10240 MB per database


1 Answer 1


You will not be able to restore a database from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (paid version) to Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express (Free version) due to its database file limit.

For others who need reference

SQL Server Express versions have a hard size limit on the database size.

I have listed them below from 2000-2008_r2

  • MSDE "SQL Server 2000" 2gig free limit
  • SQL Server 2005 4Gig free limit
  • SQL Server 2008 4gig free limit.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 and newer: 10gig free limit.

Please upgrade to SQL Server 2014 (Paid version) to resolve this issue.

  • 1
    Your list has incorrect - the increase from 4 to 10 GB came with SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (not 2008 Express) - fixed
    – marc_s
    Sep 15, 2015 at 10:15

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