Restoring a SQL Server bak file that’s password protected

Here at Yohz Software, we offer a service to remove passwords from a SQL Server backup files (or BAK files) that are password protected.  Please note that this is not the same as decrypting an encrypted backup.

Prior to SQL Server 2012, you could protect a backup with a password using the PASSWORD option e.g.

BACKUP DATABASE mydb TO DISK = ‘g:\backups\mydb.bak’ WITH PASSWORD = ‘mypassword’

You would then need to supply the password when you restored the backup.  An interesting point is that while the backup itself is password protected, the data in the backup file was still identical to that found in a backup file that was not password protected.  Thus, using a text editor, you could still inspect the contents of a password protected backup file.

The PASSWORD option was removed in SQL Server 2012 onwards, and in current versions of SQL Server, you can encrypt the backup file.  Now, the data in the backup file is truly protected, and you need the correct certificate to be able to restore the backup.  This is a much better and secure option compared to the old PASSWORD option.

Now, if you want to restore an old backup file that’s password protected, but you no longer have the password, we can help you with that.  Contact us at for a quote.

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