In this post, MiniTool tells you what is bak file and how to open it on Windows PCs. Besides, you can get some extra information about bak files from the post.

What Is Bak File

The bak file refers to files with the .bak file extension. It is a backup file that contains the details or information related to a software system, the contents of a database, or another file. The most common .bak files are database backups of SQL Server databases, but it doesn’t mean that other programs don’t create files with this extension.

There’s no standardized format for creating .bak files. Besides, this extension is used for backup files of any type. Hence, each program that creates .bak files can determine on how to format them. Likewise, there’s no standard program for extracting/importing information from a .bak file.

The good news is that you don’t need to download a special program to view the contents of a .bak file. However, there’s a high chance that you have to open each .bak file differently.

How to Open Bak Files

How to open a bak file on computers? This section provides you with detailed steps. According to your situation, open bak files with the corresponding instructions.

Step 1: Find the bak file in Windows Explorer and double-click on it to launch the corresponding application.

Step 2: If a bak file is not opened in an application, you will receive the “Windows can’t open a file” error message. Then you should look for the application that can open the target file.

  • If you know the application which can open bak files, run it and check if there’s a File > Open main menu option in the application.
  • If you don’t know the application that can open bak files, search BAK viewer, application to open BAK files, or other keywords like that on web browsers. Then download and install the recommended application on your computer to open bak files.

Generally speaking, you are able to open bak files only by the application that creates them. Sometimes, bak files can be copied over the original file by changing the file extension from bak to the appropriate one. However, operations like that should only be performed by skilled professionals as changing file extensions can result in data errors and corruption.

Further reading:

If you are going to open a SQL Server .bak file, you need to restore it. There’s no other way of opening and reading the contents of a SQL Server .bak file other than restoring it. Actually, you are required to restore the .bak file to see the information in a backup of any database.

Depending on the type of the backup file, the restoration process will create the table structures and insert the data.

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Can You Delete Bak Files

Yes, you can. Actually, it is recommended to remove old files from your computer periodically to keep your workspace tidy and free up disk space. Nevertheless, you should ensure that the files you want to delete won’t be needed in the future.


To avoid improper deletion, you can create a temporary folder and put the .bak files in question in it. After you verify that the files aren’t useful, delete them manually.

The Space Analyzer feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard enables you to find what’s taking up your hard drive space easily. After you find space-consuming and useless files on your computer, right-click on them and click Delete (to Recycle Bin) or Delete (Permanently) based on your demands.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

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