Tip: How to identify when a database was restored, the source of the backup and the date of the backup

After restoring a database your users will typically run some queries to verify the data is as expected. However, there are times when your users may question whether the restore was done using the correct backup file.  In this tip I will show you how you can identify the file(s) that was used for the restore, when the backup actually occured and when the database was restored.

The restore information is readily available inside the msdb database, making the solution as easy as a few lines of T-SQL.

SELECT [rs].[destination_database_name], 
[bs].[database_name] as [source_database_name], 
[bmf].[physical_device_name] as [backup_file_used_for_restore]
FROM msdb..restorehistory rs
INNER JOIN msdb..backupset bs
ON [rs].[backup_set_id] = [bs].[backup_set_id]
INNER JOIN msdb..backupmediafamily bmf 
ON [bs].[media_set_id] = [bmf].[media_set_id] 
ORDER BY [rs].[restore_date] DESC

The script will return the following result set:

Column Name


destination_database_name The name of the database that has been restored.
restore_date The time at which the restore command was started.
backup_start_date The time at which the backup command was started.
backup_finish_date The time at which the backup command completed.
source_database_name The name of the database after it was restored.
backup_file_used_for_restore The file(s) that the restore used in the RESTORE command.