Removing TDE

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Removing TDE

  • Hi Steve, how about if we have 5 user database enabled with TDE and want to remove TDE permanently only on one/few database?


  • One thing the article does not take into account is all the backups that will be in-accessible if the certificates are removed. I have a couple of posts about this area and about this.

  • Around 10 months ago I deployed TDE on a database I was developping, when I turned it off I was confronted with this problem.

    I had to remove the database and use a backup from for the TDE to restore it, luckily no data was lost since it was still a 'proof-of-concept' database.

    A few months later we deployed it without TDE since we still needed a lot of work and now we're in the process of removing it since its design no longer fits into the concept it was designed for.

  • Thanks for this Steve - I've added a link back to this in my article "TDE Setup and Administration Scripts"


  • Thank you Steve, you have made a complex scenario simple to understand. I have saved this article in briefcase, never know when I may need it 🙂


  • Thanks Steve, we are just starting to look at encryption. Good to know the gotchas.

  • Thanks Steve. Awesome article. I'm adding this one to my briefcase.

  • This is one of those knowledge from hard experience things...nice of you to share.


    If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. -Friedrich August von Hayek


  • Thank you for sharing the article.

    It's something great to know before facing a situation like that which may get people fired if they're not careful.

    Best regards,

    Best regards,

    Andre Guerreiro Neto

    Database Analyst

  • Excellent article. My proof of concept showed that it couldn't be removed, I'm glad you wrote this.

    Sacramento SQL Server users group -
    Follow me on Twitter - @SQLDCH

    Yeah, well...The Dude abides.
  • Well done Steve... Thank you


  • Thanks for all the comments. I have just come back from holiday and seeing all the positive comments has helped chase away the post holiday depression!

  • crazy4sql (11/2/2011)

    Hi Steve, how about if we have 5 user database enabled with TDE and want to remove TDE permanently only on one/few database?

    Hi Ashish

    The steps apply in the same way to a single database, just don't remove the certificate if it is used by the other encrypted databases.


  • Many Thanks Steve.

    So if I have to move the TDE enabled database to other server where TDE is not enabled, is my approach correct;

    1) Remove TDE on Source database

    2) Backup Databse

    3) Restore databse


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