This version of CockroachDB is no longer supported. For more details, see the Release Support Policy.
The RESTORE feature is only available to our enterprise license only users. For non-enterprise restores, see Restore Data.

The RESTORE statement restores your cluster's schemas and data from an enterprise license-generated backup stored on a services such as AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, NFS, or HTTP storage.

Because CockroachDB is designed with high fault tolerance, restores are designed primarily for disaster recovery, i.e., restarting your cluster if it loses a majority of its nodes. Isolated issues (such as small-scale node outages) do not require any intervention.

Functional Details

Restore Targets

You can restore entire tables (which automatically includes their indexes) or views from a backup. This process uses the data stored in the backup to create entirely new tables or views in the target database.

The notion of "restoring a database" simply restores all of the tables and views that belong to the database, but does not create the database. For more information, see Target Database.

RESTORE only offers table-level granularity; it does not support restoring subsets of a table.

Because this process is designed for disaster recovery, CockroachDB expects that the tables do not currently exist in the target database. This means the target database must have not have tables or views with the same name as the restored table or view. If any of the restore target's names are being used, you can:

Object Dependencies

Dependent objects must be restored at the same time as the objects they depend on.

Object Depends On
Table with foreign key constraints The table it REFERENCES (however, this dependency can be removed during the restore)
Views The tables used in the view's SELECT statement
Interleaved tables The parent table in the interleaved hierarchy

Target Database

By default, tables and views are restored into a database with the name of the database from which they were backed up. However, also consider:

The target database must have not have tables or views with the same name as the tables or views you're restoring.

Users and Privileges

Table and view users/privileges are not restored. Restored tables and views instead inherit the privileges of the database into which they're restored.

However, every backup includes system.users, so you can restore users and their passwords.

Table-level privileges must be granted to users after the restore is complete.

Restore Types

You can either restore from a full backup or from a full backup with incremental backups, based on the backup files you include.

Restore Type Parameters
Full backup Include only the path to the full backup.
Full backup +
incremental backups
Include the path to the full backup as the first argument and the subsequent incremental backups from oldest to newest as the following arguments.


The RESTORE process minimizes its impact to the cluster's performance by distributing work to all nodes. Subsets of the restored data (known as ranges) are evenly distributed among randomly selected nodes, with each range initially restored to only one node. Once the range is restored, the node begins replicating it others.


RESTORE TABLE table_pattern , FROM full_backup_location incremental_backup_location , WITH OPTIONS ( kv_option_list )

Required Privileges

Only the root user can run RESTORE.


Parameter Description
table_pattern The table or view you want to restore.
full_backup_location The URL where the full backup is stored.

For information about this URL structure, see Backup File URLs.
incremental_backup_location The URL where an incremental backup is stored.

Lists of incremental backups must be sorted from oldest to newest. The newest incremental backup's timestamp must be within the table's garbage collection period.

For information about this URL structure, see Backup File URLs.

For more information about garbage collection, see Configure Replication Zones.
kv_option_list Control your backup's behavior with these options.

Backup File URLs

The URL for your backup's locations must use the following format:

Location scheme host parameters
Google Cloud 1 gs Bucket name N/A
HTTP http Remote host N/A
NFS/Local 2 nodelocal File system location N/A


  • 1 GCS connections use Google's default authentication strategy.

  • 2 Because CockroachDB is a distributed system, you cannot meaningfully store backups "locally" on nodes. The entire backup file must be stored in a single location, so attempts to store backups locally must point to an NFS drive to be useful.

  • The location parameters often contain special characters that need to be URI-encoded. Use Javascript's encodeURIComponent function or Go language's url.QueryEscape function to URI-encode the parameters. Other languages provide similar functions to URI-encode special characters.

Restore Option List

You can include the following options as key-value pairs in the kv_option_list to control the restore process's behavior.


  • Description: If you want to restore a table or view into a database other than the one it originally existed in, you can change the target database. This is useful if you want to restore a table that currently exists, but do not want to drop it.
  • Key: into_db
  • Value: The name of the database you want to use
  • Example: WITH OPTIONS ('into_db' = 'newdb')


  • Description: If you want to restore a table with a foreign key but do not want to restore the table it references, you can drop the Foreign Key constraint from the table and then have it restored.
  • Key: skip_missing_foreign_keys
  • Value: No value
  • Example: WITH OPTIONS ('skip_missing_foreign_keys')


Restore a Single Table

> RESTORE bank.customers FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/table-customer-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co';

Restore Multiple Tables

> RESTORE bank.customers, accounts FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/tables-accounts-customers-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co';

Restore All Tables and Views from a Database

> RESTORE bank.* FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co';

Restore from Incremental Backups

> RESTORE bank.customers FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co'
, 'azure://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-28-incremental?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co'
, 'azure://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-29-incremental?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co';

Restore into a Different Database

By default, tables and views are restored to the database they originally belonged to. However, using the into_db option, you can control the target database.

> RESTORE bank.customers FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/table-customer-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co'
WITH OPTIONS ('into_db' = 'newdb');

Remove the Foreign Key Before Restore

By default, tables with Foreign Key constraints must be restored at the same time as the tables they reference. However, using the skip_missing_foreign_keys option you can remove the Foreign Key constraint from the table and then restore it.

> RESTORE bank.accounts FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/table-customer-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co'
WITH OPTIONS ('skip_missing_foreign_keys');

Restoring Users from system.users Backup

Every full backup contains the system.users table, which you can use to restore your cluster's usernames and their hashed passwords. However, to restore them, you must restore the system.users table into a new database because you cannot drop the existing system.users table.

After it's restored into a new database, you can write the restored users table data to the cluster's existing system.users table.

> RESTORE system.users FROM 'azure://acme-co-backup/table-users-2017-03-27-full?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=hash&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co'
WITH OPTIONS ('into_db' = 'newdb');

> INSERT INTO system.users SELECT * FROM newdb.users;

> DROP TABLE newdb.users;

See Also

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