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A backup file is often created by patches, updates, and cracks that can be restored.

Backup is the acronym for Bak. In most cases, Bak files do not have an associated application. For example, the bak file for ORG.exe would be ORG.exe.bak, located in the same directory as the executable.

Those unfamiliar with databases and .bak files might not know what they are or how to open them. This article will guide you through everything associated with the .bak file.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Bak File?

Files with the .bak extension are known as bak files. 

It’s a backup file that contains information about a software system, a database, or something else. The extension .bak is commonly used for SQL Server backups. However, other software programs can create .bak files as well.

There are no standard formats for creating .bak files. Moreover, this extension supports the storage of any backup file. Therefore, each program can specify the format of .bak files. Also, there is no standard method for extracting or importing information from .bak files.

The good news is that .bak files do not require a special program to view. However, there is a high probability that each file must be opened separately.

Also read: How to Open an EPS File on Windows and Mac

What Are .Bak Files Used For?

The .bak file format is used by Microsoft Word, Excel, and other programs to save backups. 

The files store a backup whenever the original file gets lost, damaged, or corrupted. The most common use for them is restoring old settings for files or programs. 

Whenever a program is going to overwrite an existing file (e.g., when the user saves the document he is working on), it can first make a copy of the existing file. A bak extension is appended to the filename.

In short, BAK files are designed to keep data safe.

You can create BAK files with different programs. Most SQL databases get backed up automatically. The modified file can be renamed and added .bak at the end so that you can save both the modified and original files. If you change the files, it should save them. So you don’t have to worry about moving or deleting it anymore.

.Bak Files Role in Database Backup

The .Bak file is used for backing up and restoring databases. The files are generally generated by database applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. 

They contain copies of the data in the database when the backup is taken. If there is a loss or damage to the database, these files can be used to restore the data.

Steps to Open a .Bak Files

Several programs can create .bak files. Thus, if you need the File’s history, you must extract information from it.

Step 1: If using Windows Explorer, double-click on the bak file to launch the program.

Step 2: When you attempt to open a bak file in an application, you will receive the error message “Windows cannot open a file.” Next, you should look for an application to open the target file.

If you are still determining whether the application you know can open bak files, you can run it and click File> Open in the main menu.

If you search online for BAK viewer, application to open BAK files, or similar terms, you’ll find the application to open BAK files. Then you can open bak files on your computer by downloading and installing the recommended app.

Generally, bak files can only be opened by the software that created them. Sometimes, you can copy bak files over the original files by changing the extension. But it’s best to let a skilled professional handle such operations since file extensions can corrupt or mess up data.

Why Restoring the .Bak File Is Important?

Many reasons make restoring a .bak file essential. Here are some.

  • Restoring a .bak file will allow you to recover data that has been lost or corrupted.
  • It can be used to back up important documents and files.
  • Restoring a .Bak file will enable you to go back to an earlier version of a document or file.
  • It allows you to restore the state of the system before the occurrence of a problem.
  • . Bak files can be useful in troubleshooting system problems.

Steps for Restoring .Bak Files

If you don’t restore SQL Server .bak files, you can’t open and read their contents. Wondering what steps are involved in restoring it? These are as follows:

Step 1: Check the Database

First, you need to locate the database you wish to restore. The right-click menu will enable you to choose Tasks and Restore when you right-click the database.

Step 2: Check the “From Device” Radio Button and Click It

If you have completed this step, you can select the radio button “From device” to locate the .bak file on your computer.

Step 3: Click on the Add Button

Please select the .bak file from the list and click Add.

Step 4: Find the Specific .Bak File’s Folder

You should click on the folder containing the specific .bak file to restore your data.

Step 5: Click OK

The next step is to select the file and then click OK twice to return to the restore window. In this window, you can like which backups to restore.

Step 6: Click “Full Backup” and “Transaction Log.”

You can complete the restoration when you select Full Backup and Transaction Log. Once the restoration is complete, your database should be online, and you can access your data.

Final Words

Although opening and restoring .bak files can be challenging, if you know how and use the right tools, you can do it easily. If anything goes wrong, you should have a backup of your data to restore the .bak file if necessary.

If you have a backup of your data, you can use specialized software to open and restore a .bak file, and you will be assured that your data is secure.

Next, check out how to open and save DMG files on Windows.

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  • Deepjyoti Kundu
    Deepjyoti is a technical writer having 4 years of experience in writing. He curates articles and blogs on niches like Gaming, Digital Marketing, Growing Business, Technology, etc. He has done his master’s in Business Administration. He…

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