I have noticed that copy only backups does not allow for differential backups. What is the reason the copy-only backup option is disabled for differential backups?


It can be specified in TSQL but the documentation states

COPY_ONLY has no effect when specified with the DIFFERENTIAL option.

There's no need for copy only differential backups because you can just take a normal differential backup.

Taking a differential backup doesn't break anything as each such backup is cumulative and contains all changes since the last full backup.

If you were to take a full backup without copy_only that would potentially be problematic as it resets the differential base (clears the bitmaps containing information about which extents have changed).

  • 1
    It is a bit unexpected (to me anyway) that a differential can't be applied to a copy only backup. On the face of it, I would have thought differential with copy only could be useful in some scenarios. – Paul White 9 Jun 11 '16 at 3:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.