We want to restore 2012 *.bak to 2008 sql server, we don't want to prefer import/export logical backup.

Looking forward to know downgrade procedure.

  • I'm afraid that cannot be done.
    – Jesús López
    Sep 29, 2015 at 8:38
  • SQL SERVER doesn't support downgrade
    – wiretext
    Sep 29, 2015 at 8:38
  • I guess it ain't possible to restore from 2012 to lower version yet you can still migrate your database through generating script of database and executing it on lower version. Refer this link if you want to do so Migrate database to lower version.
    – Suprabhat
    Sep 29, 2015 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


You CANNOT do this - there is no downgrade procedure - you just cannot attach/detach or backup/restore a database from a newer version (2012) of SQL Server down to an older version (2008) - the internal file structures are just too different to support backwards compatibility.

You can either get around this problem by

  • using the same version of SQL Server on all your machines - then you can easily backup/restore databases between instances

  • otherwise you can create the database scripts for both structure (tables, view, stored procedures etc.) and for contents (the actual data contained in the tables) either in SQL Server Management Studio (Tasks > Generate Scripts) or using a third-party tool

  • or you can use a third-party tool like Red-Gate's SQL Compare and SQL Data Compare to do "diffing" between your source and target, generate update scripts from those differences, and then execute those scripts on the target platform; this works across different SQL Server versions.

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