"The backup is incompatible with current server. Please upgrade your database engine or choose a different SQL server." 

This message prompt when doing restore.

Reason: You’re using different SQL version with the one that you get the backup file from.

Eg: You’re using SQL Server 2008 R2, they using SQL Server 2012 


  1. Please check your current SQL Server Version.

      Get in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server / C:\Program Files(x86) \Microsoft SQL Server

      The first digits refer to the version of SQL Server such as:

  • 8.0 for SQL Server 2000
  • 9.0 for SQL Server 2005
  • 10.0 for SQL Server 2008
  • 10.5 for SQL Server 2008 R2
  • 11.0 for SQL Server 2012
  • 12.0 for SQL Server 2014
  • 13.0 for SQL Server 2016


Example as below:

  1. Install SQL Server version that needed to restore database

Download link as below:


Download and install.

Please refer How to Install SQL Server 2012 express