BAK files are backup files created by software to backup data and store it in the BAK file. This guide explains how to open them!
This Article Covers:
What are BAK Files?
There are many different kinds of BAK files, created by different software for different purposes. e.g. a user saving a document they are working on or bookmarks in a browser.
When some changes are made to a file and the system wants to save these changes, it makes a copy of the existing file as a BAK file.
Uses of BAK Files
BAK files are created so that minimal data loss can happen. Different programs created BAK files. BAK files are created by Microsoft Office, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, and even some games.
Most BAK files, that are created and stored automatically, are database backups of SQL server databases.
Users can open and edit the contents of a BAK file by restoring BAK files that are created by application software. No such program available to open and extract information inside a BAK file.
If you make some changes in a file and want to save them but at the same time you do not want to lose the original file, you can rename the modified file and add .bak at the end to save both of the files. This way you can be spared the trouble of moving the file to another folder or deleting it.
How to Open BAK Files
As mentioned before, BAK files can be created by different software and there is no such program that can open all BAK files. For example, a BAK file created by Microsoft Word cannot be opened with a media player. A media player can only open BAK files that are media BAK files.
Opening Known BAK Files
If you know what program has created the BAK file you are trying to open and what file type it creates, then your job is easy. For example, consider a BAK file created by Microsoft Word named Document.
To open the Word BAK file, Rename the file named Document and replace the .bak at the end with .docx. That’s it.
Now you can open the previously BAK file with Word. You can do this for all the known BAK files.
Opening Unknown BAK Files
If you want to open an unknown BAK file present on your computer, whose origin you do not know, you can use this method.
Open the BAK file with a text editor software like notepad. Notepad++ is also recommended. If you see something like ID3, that means that it is a backup file of an MP3 file.
You can search the internet for the metadata container i.e. ID3 which is widely used in MP3 files.
Now all you need to do is rename and replace the .bak with .mp3 if it was a backup of an MP3 file.
Opening BAK Files Created by SQL
You can follow this method to open SQL files that are backups of SQL server databases. These BAK files cannot be opened with any other software.
- Open SQL Server Management Studio. Right click on the database you want to restore the BAK file and navigate to Tasks > Restore > Database.
- Under the Specify the source and location of backup data to restore heading, select From device.
- Then, click the three dots which will bring up the Specify Backup window.
- Click on Add, locate the BAK file in the window, select it and click OK.
- Click OK in the Specify Backup window to return to the initial window.
- Make sure that the backup file you selected is checked and then click OK.
- Wait until a window pops up telling you that the restore completed successfully. You can now access the backed-up databases at any time.