How to Restore an SQL Dump File

Written by jim campbell
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How to Restore an SQL Dump File
Import your SQL backup to avoid data loss. (computer image by blaine stiger from

A Structured Query Language (SQL) dump file is a copy of your SQL Server database. These files are used as a backup in case an emergency occurs, such as a hard drive failure or a database corruption. SQL Server provides a wizard for database administrators. This wizard helps you import the SQL Server dump file to the engine, restoring the database for all of your desktop and Web applications.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click the Windows "Start" button and select "All Programs." Click "SQL Server" and then click "SQL Server Management Studio." The Management Studio software is included with SQL Server as a way to manage your database.

  2. 2

    Right-click the server name on the left side of Management Studio. Select "Tasks" and then click "Restore Database." This opens the wizard. The wizard provides several defaults, which are sufficient for a quick restoration of your file.

  3. 3

    Enter a name for the restored SQL dump file. This can be any new name, but you typically use the same name as the database dump file to avoid confusion.

  4. 4

    Click the "Add" button in the "From Device" section. Double-click the SQL dump file, which has the .BAK file extension. You can restore your file from a CD, DVD, external hard drive, network drive or the local hard drive.

  5. 5

    Click the "Restore" button. The wizard retrieves the dump file and copies the database to your local hard drive and database engine. This can take several minutes to complete.

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