How To Do Point In Time Restore of Azure SQL Databases From Backups

Restore Azure SQL Database

If you have your Databases hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, you can breathe easy. Microsoft automatically takes backups of all your databases. It is a part of Microsoft’s business continuity and DR strategy at no extra charge. However, if you are hosting SQL Server on an Azure VM, then you are solely responsible for taking backups. Microsoft will only maintain the availability of the Virtual Machines (VM) and not the services that you run on it. You can quickly restore Azure SQL database using the restore button. See the screenshot below:

How to Restore Azure SQL Database

Just like SQL Server backups that you take on-premises, the Azure SQL Database backups are also considered in a combination of Full, Differential & Transactional Log backups. Here are some of the highlighted features:

SQL Database backup features

  • Restore a deleted database to a point in time before it was removed.
  • Optionally, restore a database as a clone.
  • You can also restore a database in a different region.
  • Using the Azure Recovery Services vault, you can restore databases meant to be longterm backups.

You can use the Azure portal to select the date and time to make a point in time restoration. See the screenshot below:

You will get 200% more than your allocated database size as a backup. For example, in Standard S0 will get you 500 GB of backup storage. Anything exceeding that this will require you to set up a retention plan.

Since the backups are taken every 3-5 minutes, you should see restoration points after 30 minutes or so. Azure SQL Database gives you a retention period of 7 Days for the basic tier and 35 days for Standard & Premium tiers.

If you want to change the default retention period, use the “Long-term backup retention policy” to configure additional days of backup availability.


We think that the option to Restore Azure SQL Database to a point in time automatically is an excellent solution. It is especially true for smaller companies who do not have a dedicated DBA to manage the databases.

We hope you like our post on Restore Azure SQL Database. Questions or suggestions are welcome in the comment section below.

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