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Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

Part Number B28286-01
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Use the FLASHBACK TABLE statement to restore an earlier state of a table in the event of human or application error. The time in the past to which the table can be flashed back is dependent on the amount of undo data in the system. Also, Oracle Database cannot restore a table to an earlier state across any DDL operations that change the structure of the table.


Oracle strongly recommends that you run your database in automatic undo mode by leaving the UNDO_MANAGEMENT initialization parameter set to AUTO, which is the default. In addition, set the UNDO_RETENTION initialization parameter to an interval large enough to include the oldest data you anticipate needing. For more information refer to the documentation on the UNDO_MANAGEMENT and UNDO_RETENTION initialization parameters.

You cannot roll back a FLASHBACK TABLE statement. However, you can issue another FLASHBACK TABLE statement and specify a time just prior to the current time. Therefore, it is advisable to record the current SCN before issuing a FLASHBACK TABLE clause.

See Also:


To flash back a table to an earlier SCN or timestamp, you must have either the FLASHBACK object privilege on the table or the FLASHBACK ANY TABLE system privilege. In addition, you must have the SELECT, INSERT, DELETE, and ALTER object privileges on the table.

Row movement must be enabled for all tables in the Flashback list unless you are flashing back the table TO BEFORE DROP. That operation is called a flashback drop operation, and it uses dropped data in the recyclebin rather than undo data. Refer to row_movement_clause for information on enabling row movement.

To flash back a table to a restore point, you must have the SELECT ANY DICTIONARY or FLASHBACK ANY TABLE system privilege or the SELECT_CATALOG_ROLE role.

To flash back a table to before a DROP TABLE operation, you need only the privileges necessary to drop the table.



Description of flashback_table.gif follows
Description of the illustration flashback_table.gif


During an Oracle Flashback Table operation, Oracle Database acquires exclusive DML locks on all the tables specified in the Flashback list. These locks prevent any operations on the tables while they are reverting to their earlier state.

The Flashback Table operation is executed in a single transaction, regardless of the number of tables specified in the Flashback list. Either all of the tables revert to the earlier state or none of them do. If the Flashback Table operation fails on any table, then the entire statement fails.

At the completion of the Flashback Table operation, the data in table is consistent with table at the earlier time. However, FLASHBACK TABLE TO SCN or TIMESTAMP does not preserve rowids, and FLASHBACK TABLE TO BEFORE DROP does not recover referential constraints.

Oracle Database does not revert statistics associated with table to their earlier form. Indexes on table that exist currently are reverted and reflect the state of the table at the Flashback point. If the index exists now but did not yet exist at the Flashback point, then the database updates the index to reflect the state of the table at the Flashback point. However, indexes that were dropped during the interval between the Flashback point and the current time are not restored.


Specify the schema containing the table. If you omit schema, then the database assumes the table is in your own schema.


Specify the name of one or more tables containing data you want to revert to an earlier version.

Restrictions on Flashing Back Tables This statement is subject to the following restrictions:

TO SCN Clause

Specify the system change number (SCN) corresponding to the point in time to which you want to return the table. The expr must evaluate to a number representing a valid SCN.


Specify a timestamp value corresponding to the point in time to which you want to return the table. The expr must evaluate to a valid timestamp in the past. The table will be flashed back to a time within approximately 3 seconds of the specified timestamp.


Specify a restore point to which you want to flash back the table. The restore point must already have been created.

See Also:

CREATE RESTORE POINT for information on creating restore points


By default, Oracle Database disables all enabled triggers defined on table during the Flashback Table operation and then reenables them after the Flashback Table operation is complete. Specify ENABLE TRIGGERS if you want to override this default behavior and keep the triggers enabled during the Flashback process.

This clause affects only those database triggers defined on table that are already enabled. To enable currently disabled triggers selectively, use the ALTER TABLE ... enable_disable_clause before you issue the FLASHBACK TABLE statement with the ENABLE TRIGGERS clause.


Use this clause to retrieve from the recycle bin a table that has been dropped, along with all possible dependent objects. The table must have resided in a locally managed tablespace other than the SYSTEM tablespace.

See Also:

You can specify either the original user-specified name of the table or the system-generated name Oracle Database assigned to the object when it was dropped.

Oracle Database attempts to preserve the original table name. If a new table of the same name has been created in the same schema since the original table was dropped, then the database returns an error unless you also specify the RENAME TO clause.

RENAME TO Clause Use this clause to specify a new name for the table being retrieved from the recycle bin.

Notes on Flashing Back Dropped Tables The following notes apply to flashing back dropped tables:


Restoring a Table to an Earlier State: Examples The examples below create a new table, employees_test, with row movement enabled, update values within the new table, and issue the FLASHBACK TABLE statement.

Create table employees_test, with row movement enabled, from table employees of the sample hr schema:

CREATE TABLE employees_test 
  AS SELECT * FROM employees;

As a benchmark, list those salaries less than 2500:

SELECT salary
  FROM employees_test
  WHERE salary < 2500;



To allow time for the SCN to propagate to the mapping table used by the FLASHBACK TABLE statement, wait a minimum of 5 minutes prior to issuing the following statement. This wait would not be necessary if a previously existing table were being used in this example.

Enable row movement for the table:

ALTER TABLE employees_test

Issue a 10% salary increase to those employees earning less than 2500:

UPDATE employees_test
  SET salary = salary * 1.1
  WHERE salary < 2500;

5 rows updated.

As a second benchmark, list those salaries that remain less than 2500 following the 10% increase:

SELECT salary
  FROM employees_test
  WHERE salary < 2500;


Restore the table employees_test to its state prior to the current system time. The unrealistic duration of 1 minute is used so that you can test this series of examples quickly. Under normal circumstances a much greater interval would have elapsed.

FLASHBACK TABLE employees_test

List those salaries less than 2500. After the FLASHBACK TABLE statement issued above, this list should match the list in the first benchmark.

SELECT salary
  FROM employees_test
  WHERE salary < 2500;


Retrieving a Dropped Table: Example If you accidentally drop the pm.print_media table and want to retrieve it, then issue the following statement:


If another print_media table has been created in the pm schema, then use the RENAME TO clause to rename the retrieved table:

FLASHBACK TABLE print_media TO BEFORE DROP RENAME TO print_media_old;

If you know that the employees table has been dropped multiple times, and you want to retrieve the oldest version, then query the USER_RECYLEBIN table to determine the system-generated name, and then use that name in the FLASHBACK TABLE statement. (System-generated names in your database will differ from those shown here.)

SELECT object_name, droptime FROM user_recyclebin 
   WHERE original_name = 'PRINT_MEDIA';

OBJECT_NAME                    DROPTIME
------------------------------ -------------------
RB$$45703$TABLE$0              2003-06-03:15:26:39
RB$$45704$TABLE$0              2003-06-12:12:27:27
RB$$45705$TABLE$0              2003-07-08:09:28:01