How i can change my database backup type from full backup to incremental backup? Is that possible? Why there is no option for incremental backup type.

  • 1
    Are you referring to log backups in SQL Server? – Biju jose Mar 9 '20 at 5:01
  • There isn't incremental backup in SQL Server. Only FULL or DIFFERENTIAL – Squirrel Mar 9 '20 at 5:48

It seems you are coming to SQL Server from Oracle background and hence looking for similar terminology. Incremental backup in Oracle is similar to that of differential backup in SQL Server.

Below is definition of Incremental backup from Oracle:

An incremental backup copies only those blocks in a data file that change between backups. A level 0 incremental backup, which copies all blocks in the data file, is used as a starting point for an incremental backup strategy.

A level 1 incremental backup copies only images of blocks that have changed since the previous level 0 or level 1 incremental backup. Level 1 backups can be cumulative, in which case all blocks changed since the most recent level 0 backup are included, or differential, in which case only blocks changed since the most recent level 0 or level 1 incremental backup are included.

And below is definition of Differential backup from Microsoft:

A differential backup is based on the most recent, previous full data backup. A differential backup captures only the data that has changed since that full backup. The full backup upon which a differential backup is based is known as the base of the differential. Full backups, except for copy-only backups, can serve as the base for a series of differential backups, including database backups, partial backups, and file backups. The base backup for a file differential backup can be contained within a full backup, a file backup, or a partial backup.

Hope above clears your concern.


There is no incremental backup in SQL server, however there is a transaction backup which is similar to incremental backup. SQL Server only supports three types of backup



3)Transaction Log


Backup database database_name to disk='Physical location' with stats=10


Backup database database_name to disk='Physical location' with stats=10 with differential

Syntax:Transaction log

Backup Log database_name to disk='physical location' with stats=10

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