on SQL Server 2005, we do a weekly full backup with nightly incremental backups.

I want to know if it is possible to restore a single table from a backup, either to the source database or a different one.

I can not find any clear answer online.

Thanks in advance.


3 Answers 3


You can't restore a single table directly from your backup to a database.

You could restore your complete backup to new database and then copy your table from there to the desired database.

  • 7
    Another alternative is to use third party tools, such as Red Gate SQL Backup, Quest LiteSpeed, or Idera SQL Safe, which all allow you to perform object level restores using native SQL backups.
    – Mike Fal
    Feb 8, 2013 at 5:14
  • 1
    I went with this, simple and easy, and no disruption to the production db or the other tables which were not affected.
    – GWR
    Feb 20, 2013 at 0:44
  • 2
    Red Gate SQL Backup doesn't recognize compressed backup files anymore. Just a warning for all those who buy this expensive ToolBelt (like we did), thinking that you now have everything in case of need (like we did) and then find yourself with nothing that you can use (like we do currently).
    – taffit
    Mar 28, 2019 at 16:39

You can also try some of the 3rd party tools that allow you to attach database backups and work with them as with live databases. You can try SQL Virtual Restore from Red Gate or ApexSQL Restore from ApexSQL or SQL Virtual Database from Idera.

All of these are commercial tools but you can find fully functional trials to get the job done. Additional benefit of all of these is that they require very little additional space unlike standard backup restore.

Sorry for the lack of links to all tools but I can't post more than one link due to low reputation :)

  • for 100GB database Apex is getting lots of time practically restoring it on destination server. i do not got the point yet
    – Iman
    Aug 17, 2015 at 13:04
  • 4
    Unfortunately, it looks like all 3 of those products have now been discontinued :(
    – KenD
    Feb 7, 2019 at 14:15

There is another method, but a little more complex. If your single table is getting very large, copy it onto a filegroup. Then use File & Filegroups backup to restore the single table.

See also : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms177425.aspx

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