Monday, 16 January 2012

Exclusive access could not be obtained because the database is in use ~ Resolved



Sometimes this is a common error message that we encounter, when we try to restore a SQL database, which is being used by other users.

This can occur due to various reasons. But the most common incident is, users not closing the Management Studio’s query window after they have finished the query task.

There are few ways of resolving this and restore the database.

1.    Find all the active connections, kill them all and restore the database
2.    Get database to offline (And this will close all the opened connections to this database), bring it back to online and restore the database

Method 1

Use the following script to find and kill all the opened connections to the database before restoring database.

declare @sql as varchar(20), @spid as int

select @spid = min(spid) from master..sysprocesses where dbid = db_id('<database_name>')
and spid != @@spid

while (@spid is not null)
print 'Killing process ' + cast(@spid as varchar) + ' ...'
set @sql = 'kill ' + cast(@spid as varchar)
exec (@sql)

@spid = min(spid)
dbid = db_id('<database_name>')
and spid != @@spid

print 'Process completed...'

Method 2

Use the following code to take database offline and bring back to online so that all the active connections will be closed. And afterwards restore the database.

alter database database_name
set offline with rollback immediate
alter database database_name
set online


  1. I guess one more option could be to set the Database to Single User mode and then bring it back into Multi User mode.

  2. I have been receiving this error on one of my databases every time I try to restore it. The database is in Multi-user mode only but I still receive the error when restoring the database. Can you let me know what might be the problem for this.

    Sai Reddy

  3. method 1 worked wonders, thanks alot!