We have SQL Server 2016 Web Edition on production currently. Since this edition supports replication as Subscriber only, I set up a new server with SQL Server 2019 Standard edition. I want to configure SQL Server 2019 as Publisher and SQL Server 2016 as subscriber. To initialize data for Publisher database on SQL server 2019, I created a backup on SQL Server 2016 and restored it on SQL Server 2019. Since our database is very large, I tried to initialize replication from a backup. So I did reverse backup-restore again by creating a backup of Publisher on SQL Server 2019 and restoring it on Subscriber on SQL Server 2016. But this did not work because [SQL Server 2019 backups cannot be restored by any earlier version of SQL Server] (https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/databases/copy-databases-with-backup-and-restore?view=sql-server-ver15). Could you please tell me what is the best method for initializing the replication in this case? Thank you very much for reading my question!

  • How large is "very large"? Initializing via Snapshot is usually the best way when going down a version. Do you have specific criteria that leveraging the (default) Snapshot method won't work? Including the pertinent details for why you think that won't work will be very helpful to answers
    – AMtwo
    Feb 6, 2021 at 5:48
  • Hi @AMtwo, The DB size is about 70GB. I think Snapshot will take time in this case and I don't want to make our services unavailable for too long so I'm going to initialize using backup.
    – T.Giang
    Feb 6, 2021 at 6:51

1 Answer 1


After doing some research I go with Initialize a Subscription Manually

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