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CockroachDB v20.1 is no longer supported. For more details, see the Release Support Policy.

RESTORE is an enterprise-only feature. For non-enterprise restores, see Perform core backup and restore.

The RESTORE statement restores your cluster's schemas and data from an enterprise 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.

You can restore:

Required privileges

Only members of the admin role can run RESTORE. By default, the root user belongs to the admin role.


RESTORE TABLE table_pattern , DATABASE database_name , FROM full_backup_location incremental_backup_location , AS OF SYSTEM TIME timestamp WITH kv_option_list


Parameter Description
table_pattern The table or view you want to restore.
database_name The name of the database you want to restore (i.e., restore all tables and views in the database). You can restore an entire database only if you had backed up the entire database.
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.
AS OF SYSTEM TIME timestamp Restore data as it existed as of timestamp. You can restore point-in-time data only if you had taken full or incremental backup with revision history.
kv_option_list Control your backup's behavior with these options.

The RESTORE statement is a blocking statement and cannot be used within a transaction.


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

into_db Database name Use to change the target database for table restores. (Does not apply to database or cluster restores.)

Example: WITH into_db = 'newdb'
skip_missing_foreign_keys N/A Use to remove the foreign key constraints before restoring.

Example: WITH skip_missing_foreign_keys
skip_missing_sequences N/A Use to ignore sequence dependencies (i.e., the DEFAULT expression that uses the sequence).

Example: WITH skip_missing_sequences
skip_missing_views N/A Use to skip restoring views that cannot be restored because their dependencies are not being restored at the same time.

Example: WITH skip_missing_views
encryption_passphrase Passphrase used to create the encrypted backup New in v20.1: The passphrase used to decrypt the file(s) that were encrypted by the BACKUP statement.

Backup file URLs

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

Location Scheme Host Parameters
Amazon s3 Bucket name AUTH 1 (optional; can be implicit or specified), AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, AWS_SESSION_TOKEN
Azure azure N/A (see Example file URLs AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY, AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME
Google Cloud 2 gs Bucket name AUTH (optional; can be default, implicit, or specified), CREDENTIALS
HTTP 3 http Remote host N/A
NFS/Local 4 nodelocal nodeID or self 5 (see Example file URLs) N/A
S3-compatible services 6 s3 Bucket name AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, AWS_SESSION_TOKEN, AWS_REGION 7 (optional), AWS_ENDPOINT

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.


If your environment requires an HTTP or HTTPS proxy server for outgoing connections, you can set the standard HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY environment variables when starting CockroachDB.

New in v20.1: If you cannot run a full proxy, you can disable external HTTP(S) access (as well as custom HTTP(S) endpoints) when performing bulk operations (e.g., BACKUP, RESTORE, etc.) by using the --external-io-disable-http flag. You can also disable the use of implicit credentials when accessing external cloud storage services for various bulk operations by using the --external-io-disable-implicit-credentials flag.

  • 1 If the AUTH parameter is not provided, AWS connections default to specified and the access keys must be provided in the URI parameters. If the AUTH parameter is implicit, the access keys can be omitted and the credentials will be loaded from the environment.

  • 2 If the AUTH parameter is not specified, the cluster setting will be used if it is non-empty, otherwise the implicit behavior is used. If the AUTH parameter is implicit, all GCS connections use Google's default authentication strategy. If the AUTH parameter is default, the cluster setting must be set to the contents of a service account file which will be used during authentication. If the AUTH parameter is specified, GCS connections are authenticated on a per-statement basis, which allows the JSON key object to be sent in the CREDENTIALS parameter. The JSON key object should be base64-encoded (using the standard encoding in RFC 4648).

  • 3 You can create your own HTTP server with Caddy or nginx. A custom root CA can be appended to the system's default CAs by setting the cloudstorage.http.custom_ca cluster setting, which will be used when verifying certificates from HTTPS URLs.

  • 4 The file system backup location on the NFS drive is relative to the path specified by the --external-io-dir flag set while starting the node. If the flag is set to disabled, then imports from local directories and NFS drives are disabled.

  • 5 New in v20.1: Using a nodeID is required and the data files will be in the extern directory of the specified node. In most cases (including single-node clusters), using nodelocal://1/<path> is sufficient. Use self if you do not want to specify a nodeID, and the individual data files will be in the extern directories of arbitrary nodes; however, to work correctly, each node must have the --external-io-dir flag point to the same NFS mount or other network-backed, shared storage.

  • 6 A custom root CA can be appended to the system's default CAs by setting the cloudstorage.http.custom_ca cluster setting, which will be used when verifying certificates from an S3-compatible service.

  • 7 The AWS_REGION parameter is optional since it is not a required parameter for most S3-compatible services. Specify the parameter only if your S3-compatible service requires it.

Example file URLs

Location Example
Amazon S3 s3://acme-co/employees?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=123&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=456
Azure azure://employees?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=123&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co
Google Cloud gs://acme-co
HTTP http://localhost:8080/employees
NFS/Local nodelocal://1/path/employees, nodelocal://self/nfsmount/backups/employees 5

Functional details

You can restore:

Full cluster

New in v20.1: A full cluster restore can only be run on a target cluster with no user-created databases or tables. Restoring a full cluster includes:


When you do a full cluster restore, it will restore the enterprise license of the cluster you are restoring from. If you want to use a different license in the new cluster, make sure to update the license after the restore is complete.


Restoring a database will create a new database and restore all of its tables and views.

The created database will have the name of the database in the backup. The database cannot already exist in the target cluster.

If dropping or renaming an existing database is not an option, you can use table restore to restore all tables into the existing database:

RESTORE backup_database_name.* FROM 'your_backup_location'
WITH into_db = 'your_target_db'

The into_db option only applies to table restores.


You can also restore individual 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.

By default, tables and views are restored into a target database matching the name of the database from which they were backed up. If the target database does not exist, you must create it. You can choose to change the target database with the into_db option.

The target database must not have tables or views with the same name as the tables or views you're restoring. If any of the restore target's names are being used, you can:


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

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).
Table with a sequence The sequence.
Views The tables used in the view's SELECT statement.
Interleaved tables The parent table in the interleaved hierarchy.

Users and privileges

To restore your users and privilege grants, you can do a cluster backup and restore the cluster to a fresh cluster with no user data.

If you are not doing a full cluster restore, the table-level privileges need to be granted to the users after the restore is complete. To do this, backup the system.users table, restore users and their passwords, and then grant the table-level privileges.

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
If the full backup and incremental backups were sent to the same destination, include only the path to the full backup (e.g., RESTORE FROM 'full_backup_location';).

If the incremental backups were sent to a different destination from the full backup, include the path to the full backup as the first argument and the subsequent incremental backups from oldest to newest as the following arguments (e.g., RESTORE FROM 'full_backup_location', 'incremental_location_1', 'incremental_location_2';).


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.


When a RESTORE fails or is canceled, partially restored data is properly cleaned up. This can have a minor, temporary impact on cluster performance.

Viewing and controlling restore jobs

After CockroachDB successfully initiates a restore, it registers the restore as a job, which you can view with SHOW JOBS.

After the restore has been initiated, you can control it with PAUSE JOB, RESUME JOB, and CANCEL JOB.


If initiated correctly, the statement returns when the restore is finished or if it encounters an error. In some cases, the restore can continue after an error has been returned (the error message will tell you that the restore has resumed in background).


Restore a cluster

New in v20.1: To restore a full cluster:

> RESTORE FROM 'gs://acme-co-backup/test-cluster';

Restore a database

> RESTORE DATABASE bank FROM 'gs://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-27-weekly';

RESTORE DATABASE can only be used if the entire database was backed up.

Restore a table

To restore a single table:

> RESTORE bank.customers FROM 'gs://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-27-weekly';

To restore multiple tables:

> RESTORE bank.customers, bank.accounts FROM 'gs://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-27-weekly';

Restore from incremental backups

New in v20.1: Restoring from incremental backups requires previous full and incremental backups. To restore from a destination containing the full backup, as well as the incremental backups (stored as subdirectories):

> RESTORE FROM 'gs://acme-co-backup/test-cluster';

To explicitly point to where your incremental backups are, provide the previous full and incremental backup locations in a comma-separated list. In this example, -weekly is the full backup and the two -nightly are incremental backups.

> RESTORE bank.customers \
FROM 'gs://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-27-weekly', 'gs://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-28-nightly', 'gs://acme-co-backup/database-bank-2017-03-29-nightly';

If you are restoring from HTTP storage, provide the previous full and incremental backup locations in a comma-separated list. You cannot use the simplified syntax.

Advanced examples

For examples of advanced BACKUP and RESTORE use cases, see Back up and Restore Data - Advanced Options. Advanced examples include:

See also

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