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CockroachDB v21.2 is no longer supported as of May 16, 2023. For more details, refer to the Release Support Policy.

The RESTORE statement restores your cluster's schemas and data from a BACKUP stored on services such as AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, or NFS.

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:

For details on restoring across versions of CockroachDB, see Restoring Backups Across Versions.


The BACKUP ... TO and RESTORE ... FROM syntax is deprecated as of v22.1 and will be removed in a future release.

We recommend using the BACKUP ... INTO {collection} syntax, which creates or adds to a backup collection in your storage location. For restoring backups, we recommend using RESTORE FROM {backup} IN {collection} with {backup} being LATEST or a specific subdirectory.

For guidance on the syntax for backups and restores, see the BACKUP and RESTORE examples.


  • RESTORE cannot restore backups made by newer versions of CockroachDB.
  • RESTORE is a blocking statement. To run a restore job asynchronously, use the DETACHED option. See Options for more usage detail.
  • RESTORE no longer requires an Enterprise license, regardless of the options passed to it or to the backup it is restoring.
  • Zone configurations present on the destination cluster prior to a restore will be overwritten during a cluster restore with the zone configurations from the backed up cluster. If there were no customized zone configurations on the cluster when the backup was taken, then after the restore the destination cluster will use the zone configuration from the RANGE DEFAULT configuration.
  • You cannot restore a backup of a multi-region database into a single-region database.

Required privileges

  • Full cluster restores can only be run by members of the ADMIN role. By default, the root user belongs to the admin role.
  • For all other restores, the user must have write access (CREATE or INSERT) on all objects affected.

Source privileges

The source file URL does not require the admin role in the following scenarios:

  • S3 and GS using SPECIFIED (and not IMPLICIT) credentials. Azure is always SPECIFIED by default.
  • Userfile

The source file URL does require the admin role in the following scenarios:

We recommend using cloud storage for bulk operations.


While Cockroach Labs actively tests Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Azure Storage, we do not test S3-compatible services (e.g., MinIO, Red Hat Ceph).


RESTORE TABLE table_pattern , DATABASE database_name , FROM subdirectory IN destination ( partitioned_backup_location , ) AS OF SYSTEM TIME timestamp WITH restore_options_list OPTIONS ( restore_options_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.
destination The URL where the full backup (and appended incremental backups, if applicable) is stored.

For information about this URL structure, see Backup File URLs.
LATEST Restore the most recent backup in the given location. See the Restore the most recent backup example.
subdirectory Restore from a specific subdirectory in the given collection URI. See the Restore a specific backup example.
partitioned_backup_location The URL where a locality-aware backup is stored. When restoring from an incremental locality-aware backup, you need to include every locality ever used, even if it was only used once.

For information about this URL structure, see Backup File URLs.
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.
restore_options_list Control your backup's behavior with these options.


You can control RESTORE behavior using any of the following in the restore_options_list. To set multiple RESTORE options, use a comma-separated list:

into_db Database name Use to change the target database for table restores. The target database must exist before a restore with into_db. (Does not apply to database or cluster restores.)

Example: WITH into_db = 'newdb'
skip_missing_foreign_keys N/A Use to remove the missing 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_sequence_owners N/A Must be used when restoring either a table that was previously a sequence owner or a sequence that was previously owned by a table.

Example: WITH skip_missing_sequence_owners
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
skip_localities_check N/A New in v21.2: Use to skip checking localities of a cluster before a restore when there are mismatched cluster regions between the backup's cluster and the target cluster.

Example: WITH skip_localities_check
encryption_passphrase Passphrase used to create the encrypted backup The passphrase used to decrypt the file(s) that were encrypted by the BACKUP statement.
DETACHED N/A When RESTORE runs with DETACHED, the job will execute asynchronously. The job ID is returned after the restore job creation completes. Note that with DETACHED specified, further job information and the job completion status will not be returned. For more on the differences between the returned job data, see the example below. To check on the job status, use the SHOW JOBS statement.

To run a restore within a transaction, use the DETACHED option.
debug_pause_on "error" New in v21.2: Use to have a RESTORE job self pause when it encounters an error. The RESTORE job can then be resumed after the error has been fixed or canceled to rollback the job.

Example: WITH debug_pause_on='error'

Backup file URLs

CockroachDB uses the URL provided to construct a secure API call to the service you specify. The URL structure depends on the type of file storage you are using. For more information, see the following:

Functional details

You can restore:

RESTORE will only restore the latest data in an object (table, database, cluster), or the latest data as per an AS OF SYSTEM TIME restore. That is, a restore will not include historical data even if you ran your backup with revision_history. This means that if you issue an AS OF SYSTEM TIME query on a restored object, the query will fail or the response will be incorrect because there is no historical data to query. For example, if you restore a table at 2022-07-13 10:38:00, it is not then possible to read or back up that table at 2022-07-13 10:37:00 or earlier. This is also the case for backups with revision_history that might try to initiate a revision start time earlier than 2022-07-13 10:38:00.

Full cluster

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

Furthermore, temporary tables will restore to defaultdb.


When you restore a full cluster with an Enterprise license, 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.


The database cannot already exist in the target cluster. 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.

RESTORE DATABASE backup_database_name FROM LATEST in 'your_backup_location';

If dropping or renaming an existing database is not an option, you can use table restore to restore all tables into the existing database by using the WITH into_db option.


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.

When restoring an individual table that references a user-defined type (e.g., ENUM), CockroachDB will first check to see if the type already exists. The restore will attempt the following for each user-defined type within a table backup:

  • If there is not an existing type in the cluster with the same name, CockroachDB will create the user-defined type as it exists in the backup.
  • If there is an existing type in the cluster with the same name that is compatible with the type in the backup, CockroachDB will map the type in the backup to the type in the cluster.
  • If there is an existing type in the cluster with the same name but it is not compatible with the type in the backup, the restore will not succeed and you will be asked to resolve the naming conflict. You can do this by either dropping or renaming the existing user-defined type.

In general, two types are compatible if they are the same kind (e.g., an enum is only compatible with other enums). Additionally, enums are only compatible if they have the same ordered set of elements that have also been created in the same way. For example:

  • CREATE TYPE t1 AS ENUM ('yes', 'no') and CREATE TYPE t2 AS ENUM ('yes', 'no') are compatible.
  • CREATE TYPE t1 AS ENUM ('yes', 'no') and CREATE TYPE t2 AS ENUM ('no', 'yes') are not compatible.
  • CREATE TYPE t1 AS ENUM ('yes', 'no') and CREATE TYPE t2 AS ENUM ('yes'); ALTER TYPE t2 ADD VALUE ('no') are not compatible because they were not created in the same way.

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.

Users and privileges

The owner of restored objects will be the user running the restore job. 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. (By default, the user restoring will become the owner of the restored objects.) To grant table-level privileges after a restore, 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 the path to the full backup destination and the subdirectory of the backup. See the Examples section for syntax of cluster, database, and table restores.
Full backup +
incremental backups
Include the path that contains the backup collection and the subdirectory containing the incremental backup. See Restore from incremental backups for an example.

CockroachDB does not support incremental-only restores.


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 to 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.

Restoring to multi-region databases

New in v21.2: Restoring to a multi-region database is supported with some limitations. This section outlines details and settings that should be considered when restoring into multi-region databases:

  • A cluster's regions will be checked before a restore. Mismatched regions between backup and restore clusters will be flagged before the restore begins, which allows for a decision between updating the cluster localities or restoring with the skip_localities_check option to continue with the restore regardless.

  • A database that is restored with the sql.defaults.primary_region cluster setting will have the PRIMARY REGION from this cluster setting assigned to the target database.

  • RESTORE supports restoring non-multi-region tables into a multi-region database and sets the table locality as REGIONAL BY TABLE to the primary region of the target database.

  • Restoring tables from multi-region databases with table localities set to REGIONAL BY ROW, REGIONAL BY TABLE, REGIONAL BY TABLE IN PRIMARY REGION, and GLOBAL to another multi-region database is supported.

  • When restoring a REGIONAL BY TABLE IN PRIMARY REGION table, if the primary region is different in the source database to the target database this will be implicitly changed on restore.

  • Restoring a partition of a REGIONAL BY ROW table is not supported.

  • REGIONAL BY TABLE and REGIONAL BY ROW tables can be restored only if the regions of the backed-up table match those of the target database. All of the following must be true for RESTORE to be successful:

    • The regions of the source database and the regions of the destination database have the same set of regions.
    • The regions were added to each of the databases in the same order.
    • The databases have the same primary region.

    The following example would be considered as having mismatched regions because the database regions were not added in the same order and the primary regions do not match.

    Running on the source database:

    ALTER DATABASE source_database SET PRIMARY REGION "us-east1";
    ALTER DATABASE source_database ADD region "us-west1";  

    Running on the destination database:

    ALTER DATABASE destination_database SET PRIMARY REGION "us-west1";
    ALTER DATABASE destination_database ADD region "us-east1";  

    In addition, the following scenario has mismatched regions between the databases since the regions were not added to the database in the same order.

    Running on the source database:

    ALTER DATABASE source_database SET PRIMARY REGION "us-east1";
    ALTER DATABASE source_database ADD region "us-west1";  

    Running on the destination database:

    ALTER DATABASE destination_database SET PRIMARY REGION "us-west1";
    ALTER DATABASE destination_database ADD region "us-east1";
    ALTER DATABASE destination_database SET PRIMARY REGION "us-east1";    

The ordering of regions and how region matching is determined is a known limitation. See the Known Limitations section for the tracking issues on limitations around RESTORE and multi-region support.

For more on multi-region databases, see the Multi-Region Capabilities Overview.

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).


The following examples make use of:

View the backup subdirectories

BACKUP ... INTO adds a backup to a collection within the backup destination. The path to the backup is created using a date-based naming scheme. To view the backup paths in a given destination, use SHOW BACKUPS:

> SHOW BACKUPS IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';
(3 rows)

When you want to restore a specific backup, add the backup's subdirectory path (e.g., /2021/12/21-142943.73) to the RESTORE statement. For details on viewing the most recent backup, see SHOW BACKUP LATEST.

Incremental backups will be appended to the full backup with BACKUP ... INTO LATEST IN {destination}. Your storage location will contain the incremental as a date-based subdirectory within the full backup.

In the following example /2021/12/21-142943.73 contains the full backup. The incremental backups (144748.08/ and 144639.97/) are appended as subdirectories to the full backup:

|—— 12
   |—— 21-142943.73/
       |—— 20211221/
           |—— 144748.08/
           |—— 144639.97/

To output more detail about the backups contained within a directory, see View a list of the full and incremental backups in a specific full backup subdirectory.

See Incremental backups with explicitly specified destinations to control where your backups go.

Restore the most recent backup

New in v21.2.3: To restore from the most recent backup in the collection's location, use the LATEST syntax:

RESTORE FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

Restore a specific backup

To restore a specific backup, use the backup's subdirectory in the collection's location:

RESTORE FROM '2021/03/23-213101.37' IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

To view the available subdirectories, use SHOW BACKUPS.

Restore a cluster

To restore a full cluster:

RESTORE FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

To view the available subdirectories, use SHOW BACKUPS.

Restore a database

To restore a database:

RESTORE DATABASE bank FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

To view the available subdirectories, use SHOW BACKUPS.


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

Restore a table

To restore a single table:

> RESTORE TABLE bank.customers FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

To restore multiple tables:

> RESTORE TABLE bank.customers, bank.accounts FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

To view the available subdirectories, use SHOW BACKUPS.

Restore from incremental backups

To restore the most recent incremental backup from a location containing the full and incremental backup:

RESTORE DATABASE bank FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}/{path/to/backup-collection}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}';

When you restore from an incremental backup, you're restoring the entire table, database, or cluster. CockroachDB uses both the latest (or a specific) incremental backup and the full backup during this process. You cannot restore an incremental backup without a full backup. Furthermore, it is not possible to restore over a table, database, or cluster with existing data. See Restore types for detail on the types of backups you can restore.


RESTORE will re-validate indexes when incremental backups are created from an older version (v20.2.2 and earlier or v20.1.4 and earlier), but restored by a newer version (v21.1.0+). These earlier releases may have included incomplete data for indexes that were in the process of being created.

Restore a backup asynchronously

Use the DETACHED option to execute the restore job asynchronously:

> RESTORE FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}'

The job ID is returned after the restore job creation completes:

(1 row)

Without the DETACHED option, RESTORE will block the SQL connection until the job completes. Once finished, the job status and more detailed job data is returned:

job_id             |  status   | fraction_completed | rows | index_entries | bytes
652471804772712449 | succeeded |                  1 |   50 |             0 |  4911
(1 row)

Other restore usages

Restore tables 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. Note that the target database must exist prior to the restore.

First, create the new database that you'll restore the table or view into:


Next, restore the table into the newly created database with into_db:

> RESTORE bank.customers FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}'
WITH 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 LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}'
WITH skip_missing_foreign_keys;

Restoring users from system.users backup

The system.users table stores your cluster's usernames and their hashed passwords. 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.

First, create the new database that you'll restore the system.users table into:

> RESTORE system.users FROM LATEST IN 's3://{bucket_name}?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID={key_id}&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY={access_key}'
WITH into_db = 'newdb';

After the restore completes, add the users to the existing system.users table:

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

Known limitations

See also

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