When I right-click on a DACPAC file in windows explorer, I don't have an option to "Unpack" the file, like this document indicates:


I have both Visual Studio 2019 and SSMS v18.4 installed. Am I missing something? Right now the file is associated with Notepad.

3 Answers 3


Please select "Open With..." and then choose from the list "Microsoft SQL Server DAC Package File Unpack Wizard". It should be also default association for this file type.

If you don't have this option, you can also rename this file to .zip and use any unzip tool.

  • In "Choose another app", that app isn't an option. Do I need to install something to get it, or is it in some other folder i can search?
    – Greg
    Feb 24, 2020 at 18:22
  • Mine is located at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\140\DAC\bin" and I guess it was installed with SSMS 17. Try to install SSMS 17. Feb 24, 2020 at 18:39

I have 7-zip installed in my Windows and it recognizes the bacpac and dacpac files directly from explorer.


I know two ways to import DACPAC file.

Via SQL Server Management studio:

  1. Right-click on Databases in object explorer enter image description here
  2. Select: Deploy Data-Tier Application
  3. Follow the prompts    

Via sqlpackage.exe utility:

Execute next command for the start import:

sqlpackage.exe /SourceFile:"w:\temp\SampleDb.dacpac" /Action:Publish /TargetServerName:"." /TargetDatabaseName:"SampleDb"

You can find more information about sqlpackage.exe parameters here.


The .dacpac file is a zip archive, and you can open it using an archiver application. This can be useful if you want to see what is in the file before importing into the database. For example: change the file extension to .zip and open in Windows Explorer.

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