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We a standalone SharePoint 2013 server with SQL Server Express. I have received a content database backup file of ~50MB. When I try to restore this content database backup file in our SQL Server Express I get error as

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: CREATE DATABASE or ALTER DATABASE failed because the resulting cumulative database size would exceed your licensed limit of 10240 MB per database. (Microsoft.SqlServer.SmoExtended)

I checked and found that the cumulative size of all DB files on SQL Server Express is ~3.5GB.

I am not sure what exactly is the problem here as the backup expands to size of ~200MB only, and there's ample space in SQL for that. Any pointers would be helpful as to where we need to look so that we can resolve this one.

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Maybe the content database has unnecessary allocated space (most probably transaction log file)

you can try setting database recovery model to simple and shrinking the database before taking the backup.

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