Skip to main content
Log inGet a demo
Back to SQL Dictionary
Database functions

SQL Backup Database


The SQL BACKUP DATABASE statement is used to create a copy of a database and its data in a separate backup file. This backup file can be used to restore the database in case of data loss, corruption, or for other recovery and maintenance purposes.

When you would use it

You would use the BACKUP DATABASE statement in various scenarios, including:

  1. Data Protection: To safeguard your database's data against accidental data loss, hardware failures, or disasters.

  2. Database Migration: When you need to move a database to a different server or platform, you can first create a backup and then restore it on the new location.

  3. Testing and Development: Before making major changes to a database, you can create a backup as a safety net in case things go wrong.

  4. Routine Maintenance: As part of a regular database maintenance plan, you might create backups for archiving, compliance, or performance optimization purposes.


The syntax for the BACKUP DATABASE statement can vary between database management systems, but a general representation is as follows:

BACKUP DATABASE database_name TO backup_device
  • database_name: The name of the database you want to back up.
  • backup_device: The destination where the backup will be stored, such as a file, tape, or another storage location.

Parameter values

  • database_name: The name of the database you wish to back up. This is a required parameter.
  • backup_device: The destination to store the backup. The format and options for this parameter can vary depending on the database system you're using.

Example query

Here's an example of a SQL query to back up a database named "mydatabase" to a backup file named "mydatabase_backup.bak":

BACKUP DATABASE mydatabase TO DISK = 'C:\Backup\mydatabase_backup.bak';

Example table response

The BACKUP DATABASE statement does not produce a table response. It is a Data Definition Language (DDL) command used to perform an operation on the database. Successful execution of the statement will create a backup file at the specified destination, but it won't return a table or dataset.

Use cases

  1. Data Protection: To create a safety net for your database, ensuring that data can be restored in case of data loss or corruption.

  2. Database Migration: When transferring a database to a new server or platform, a backup ensures a smooth transition.

  3. Testing and Development: Before making significant changes to a database, take a backup to revert to a known state if necessary.

  4. Routine Maintenance: Part of regular database maintenance to archive data, comply with regulations, or optimize database performance.

SQL Languages Availability

The BACKUP DATABASE statement is available in various relational database management systems (RDBMS) with their own variations in syntax and options, including:

  • Microsoft SQL Server (T-SQL)
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Oracle Database (using Data Pump or RMAN)
  • IBM Db2
  • SQLite (with file copy operations)
  • and more.

Since the syntax and options can vary significantly between database systems, it's essential to refer to the documentation of your specific RDBMS for precise usage details.


SQL Drop Database

SQL Create Table

SQL Drop Table

Ready to put your SQL knowledge to work?

Practice writing SQL to call data from the warehouse and sync it into Google Sheets in this 5 minute interactive demo.

Hightouch Audiences user interface.

Activate your data in less than 5 minutes