I have a migration project where I need to do some ETL on a snapshot of a database. IT has created a secure .bak file of the requested db and I need to restore it on a non-prod environment before using the ETL script. I'm looking for the cheapest way to do it. At the moment I have a VM with 2TB but seems that this isn't sufficient to restore. I only need a few tables from the backup though. Is there a way to restore only the tables I need? I've seen some old threads that stated this isn't possible but hopefully by now, this has been added as a feature.

Kind Regards, Andrei

  • 3
    Backups are all or nothing. You can't partially restore a database. If you want to migrate some objects and data from a database, a backup is the wrong solution.
    – Thom A
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 13:40
  • There is a request for such not existing functionality: feedback.azure.com/d365community/idea/… Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


For SQL Server, the atomic unit of Backup and Restore is a Database, you cannot backup nor restore anything smaller than that(*).

Therefore, to restore a table you must restore the entire database (to say a duplicate database) then copy the table that you want out of that database.

(* -- well yes, I suppose you could backup a log or an individual file or just changes, etc. But you cannot really restore these usefully in isolation)

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