How to open .bak files on different devices?

Technology has its own language and there are various formats in which information is found. Various different kinds of files have different extensions and not all of them can be opened easily. The .bak extension is used by files which are a backup copy of the original file.

These files get created when the system has to create a copy of an existing file by overwriting it. The .bak file is a backup copy of the original file before being overwritten.

.bak files are important as they can help you to restore important information even after the original file has been deleted or overwritten. .bak files help to recover lost information when the original file gets corrupted during overwriting, due to power outage or disc space being exhausted.

There are many different ways to recover or restore .bak files and this article will take a look at some of them. Thus, if you want to know about how to open bak files, this article

How are bak files useful and where may you come across them?

.bak files are stored as backup files and can be restored as and when you like. They are found in the following scenarios.

  • When an existing file has been overwritten.
  • When an existing file has been deleted.
  • When changes are made to an existing file.
  • When you are working with database backups of SQL Server databases.

How to open a bak file on different devices?

There are many different programs which might be used to create a .bak file. Therefore, there is no one-stop solution to opening all .bak files. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind while trying to open a .bak file.

How to open .bak files on different devices
  • You will need to go through a certain number of steps if you do not know the history of the file and what information it contains.
  • If you do know these details about the file, you will need to know the program that was used to create the file and try to restore the file using that program.
  • In order to open a .bak file, you will need to restore it first. You may try to open it by using text editing software such as Notepad but more often than not, it will leave you with a mess and a large number of problems.

The restoration of the backup file or .bak will create the table structures and insert the data.

We will now take a close look at the process of opening a .bak file, by restoring it.

  • Right click on the database that needs to be restored. From the drop-down menu, click on “Tasks”, then “Restore” and then “Database”.
Drop down menu to open .bak files on different devices
  • Now, you have to click on the “From Device” option and search for the option to browse for the backup file on your device.
  • You will now come across a window which will display your backup file. You will now have to click on the “Add” option to restore it.
  • The next screen will show you the file that you want to restore and you will have to click on it to select it.
  • Next, you will be shown screens where you have to select the backups that you want to restore. This screen might appear multiple times and you will have to select “Ok”.
  • To restore all the backups, you will have to select “Full Backup” and “Transaction Log”.
  • Once you have completed this step, you will have to press “Ok” to start the restoration of the backup.
  • The time that the file will take to be restored depends on the size of the file.
  • After the process is complete, you will be shown a message saying that the restoration of the file is complete. You have to press “OK” to complete.
  • This means that your database is online and you will be able to access it whenever you want to.
Online database to access .bak files

An alternate process of Restoration

You can also use Microsoft Excel to open a .bak file. Before the process is started, you will need to know the location of the .bak file in the SQL computer directory. Let us take a look at them.

  • Program Files – Microsoft SQL Server – MSSQL 1.0 – MSSQL – Backup
  • Local Drive C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Backup

Now, let us get to the main process of opening the backup file.

  • You will have to search find the SQL.bak file on the local drive of your computer.
  • Now, you will have to select this file and copy and save it to another device that is secure.
Saving .bak files to other device for security
  • In this step, you will have to open “File Explorer”, then go to “View”, followed by “Options” and then undo “Hide Extensions For Known File Types” and then click “OK” to complete.
  • Go to the device where you copied the backup file and right-click on the file.
  • From the drop-down menu, select “Rename” and then change the extension from “.bak” to “.xls” or “.xlsx”.
  • Now, you can click on this file to open it in Microsoft Excel.

What happens when you don’t have a .bak file?

In case you want to repair a corrupt SQL.bak file, and you have deleted the records in the SQL database, you can follow the following steps to repair it.

  • Search and select the database that you need to repair or recover. You need to launch the EaseUs SQL Recovery operation and then select the file under consideration by clicking on “Browse” or “Search”. You can now start the recovery process by clicking on the “Repair” otpion.
  • The next step is to repair the corrupt database. You will be shown all the components in a tree like display. You can browse and select the component that you want to recover. Then, you will need to click on the “Export” option.
Export option in database .bak unavailable
  • In the last and final step, you can choose one out of two ways to export the database oobjects. You can either choose to export them as scripts or export them to the database. If you wise to export to database, you will be displayed a screen where you will need to choose a few options to decide the destination of the database. And then, you can click “OK” to complete the process.


Thus, it is not very difficult to answer the question: “How to open bak files on different devices?”.

However, there are certain steps that need to be followed and there are many ways in which you can open these files. .bak files come in handy as they help to recover and restore information who original versions have been deleted or overwritten.