How to Fix Recovery Pending State in SQL Server Database: Complete Tutorial

Written By Tej Pratap Shukla
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On September 4th, 2023
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading

recovery pending state in SQL server

Nowadays, SQL server users are trying to learn how to fix SQL database in recovery mode. It’s quite a critical error as a lot of users are facing this problem & are trying to get the perfect solution. Therefore,  this guide has all the key aspects required for users to solve this issue. Know the factor responsible for this as well as the solutions available. In addition, learn step-by-step instructions on how to bring the database Online from Recovery Pending State in SQL Server 2017 / 2016 / 2014 / 2012 in the simplest way.

Topics to Fix SQL Database Recovery Pending

As we know, MS SQL Server is one of the amazing relational database management systems. Like other databases, it also has some issues such as the Recovery Pending state. The people who are working with Microsoft SQL Server have faced this problem multiple times while working with the database. That is why we came up with this post. In this article, we are going to describe the suitable workaround for how to fix the SQL Server database stuck in a such state.

So, Let’s Begin!

Fix SQL Database Recovery Pending in 5 Steps

  • Launch the automated software in your system.
  • Select Quick or Advance Scan mode for MDF file.
  • Set the Destination SQL Server database to proceed.
  • Select Schema or schema with data option as needed.
  • Click on Export to resolve SQL recovery pending error.

Why Database in Recovery Pending State in SQL Server Happens?

In simple terms, due to some factors, the SQL becomes unable to access the database and undergoes pending states. It simply means that the user cannot use the SQL database further and is unable to lock the files too. It seems like an offline database situation. Primarily, there are three reasons but overall, users can find plenty of them. The three primary causes are SQL Server database stuck in the Recovery state after reboot or restart action.

  • When the space allocated for the desired database gets full.
  • Unexpected shutdown of SQL Server Management Studio.
  • Perform recovery operation from a corrupted backup file.

SQL Server Database Recovery Pending – Important Note

In such a situation, when the MDF file gets corrupted and due to which database shows recovery pending in SQL server,  you can try SysTools SQL Recovery Tool. It is an advanced utility that fixes this state in sql server into the healthy one.

In addition, export the repaired file directly into SQL Server environment without any fail count. So, provide your database MDF file that shows such state in software and it will provide you a healthy file in your database.

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How to Fix Recovery Pending State in SQL Server Database – Full Guide

To fix the Recovery pending state in SQL Server users need to simply download the automated tool. By Adding the MDF file, they can scan them & remove the corruption from the files. Finally, after exporting the healthy data files to the server, users can be a stress free.

In the following section, we will describe three workarounds that use to fix SQL server recovery pending 2016 / 2014 or in other editions too. Two of these solutions are free & manual. Thus do not require the assistance of any other applications. However, the most advanced method is the automated solution that requires software. Here, we are going to use the inbuilt repair command in SSMS first. All you need to do is to execute all the queries sequentially and carefully. Let’s learn both solutions quickly.

What are the States of SQL Server & How to Check it?

Basically, there are three states in SQL Server in total. When equal to or more than 1 core file comes under an inconsistent state, we can say that the database is corrupted or damaged. To understand the level of corruption, the database can be classified into three states such as:

  • Online State – The entire SQL database stays in the Online state if one of the files is damaged while executing a query. This stage is not critical but must be observed by the database engineer constantly.
  • Suspect State – The SQL database is stated as a suspect when it can’t be recovered during the startup of the SQL Server. This is one level up from the online state & requires more attention from the administrators.
  • Recovery Pending State – When the Server decides that recovery is necessary but some error is standing in between like a barrier, it states it as the recovery process is still pending. The recovery here is not even started.

Apart from these three, there are multiple other states as well. Understanding all of these states can provide users with deep insights.

  • Emergency State
  • Restoring State
  • Recovering State
  • Offline State
  • Copying State

These are all of the states present in the SQL Server database that users can understand. Now, let’s move forward & learn how to check them & then fix SQL database recovery pending scenario.

How to Check the State of SQL Server Database?

Now, the question arises how can we check the status of our SQL database? It is very simple as users just need to run the below-mentioned query:

SELECT name, state_desc from sys.databases 

After running the query, users will get to see results as showed in the below image:-


#Approach 1: Remove Recovery Pending State With Set Emergency Mode

Basically, this workaround is a multi-step process and all of them are described below. Make sure you have enough amount of time to run these queries.

Step 1: Set up the Database in Emergency Mode

First of all, you need to make a database in emergency mode. For this, just type the following query in SSMS and execute it.


Step 2: Set SQL Database in Multi-User Mode to continue database recovery pending resolving  task.

Run the below-mentioned SQL query in the console to set the database in multi-user mode.


Step 3: Time to Detach the Database

After successful execution of the above query, you need to run this command.

EXEC sp_detach_db ‘[db_name]’

Step 4: Connect MDF File to solve SQL Server database recovery pending issue.

At last, use this query to fix the Recovery Pending status database.

EXEC sp_attach_single_file_db @db_name = ‘[db_name]’,
@physname = N ‘[mdf_path]

#Approach 2: Use DBCC CHECKDB to Resolve Recovery Pending in SQL Server Issue

In case the above solution cannot fix the issue, then you can try this workaround. In this method, we will use the inbuilt SQL Server DBCC CHECKDB query to fix the recovery pending state in SQL server.





After the execution of the above queries, the database was marked as reading Only status due to emergency mode. With this method, the database brings online from the SQL database recovery pending mode.

Also Read: How to Repair the SQL Database Smartly to Remove SQL Recovery Pending

#Approach 3: Automated Solution for Recovery Pending SQL Server

Step-1. Download Advanced Tool & Click Open to add files.

add mdf files

Step-2. Select Quick or Advanced Scan for corrupted files.

select scan mode

Step-3. Preview Data Files after the completion of scanning.

preview records

Step-4. Now, simply Enter the Destination SQL server details for fixing database recovery pending.

select server version

Step-5. Click Export button to fix Recovery Pending SQL Server.

click export

For this final automated method, users need to download the automated tool mentioned above. Let’s understand the features that this automated tool offers to fix the SQL Server recovery pending error.

Features of the Modern-Day Utility

  • Ability to scan MDF files quickly or in-depth for repairing the damage.
  • Auto-detecting feature of SQL Server version for the MDF data files.
  • Export options to the SQL Server, CSV file, & SQL compatible scripts.
  • Repair & Recovers the triggers, tables, views, indexes, rules, & other items.
  • Preview & recover the deleted data items as well without any hassles at all.
  • Compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, etc, with Windows Server 2012 & 2016.


In this article, we have answered the most awaited query –How to Fix Recovery Pending State in SQL Server Database without any fail. You can try any of the above-mentioned workarounds and resolve the pending state mode in Microsoft SQL Server 2019 / 2017 / 2016 / 2014 / 2012 / 2008 / 2008 R2 / 2005.

The user can try the manual methods to resolve the SQL Server database stuck in a recovery pending state If the problem is still there then the user can take the help of an automated solution to resolve this issue. 

Frequently Asked Questions for SQL Server Database Recovery Pending

Q-1. How to remove the Recovery Pending SQL server state?

Ans – This error occurs because of the missing MDF & LDF files. So, it is good to use SQL Recovery Software that uploads the MDF file and exports a healthy file in your existing SQL Server database.

Q-2. How to bring the database Online from Recovery pending in SQL Server?

Ans – You can try this SQL query – ALTER DATABASE MyDB SET ONLINE.

Q-3. How can I know that my database undergoes this database recovery pending state?

Ans – Under the Object Explorer, the Recovery Pending wrote just corresponding to the database in the brackets.

Q-4. How do I remove a database from recovery pending?

Ans: Follow the simple steps mentioned below to remove the database from SQL recovery pending state.

  • Launch the SSMS & Expand Database Folder here.
  • Preview the database in Pending state to continue.
  • Right Click on the database & delete it to end task.