BAK File Extension

Have a problem opening a .BAK file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what BAK files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .BAK file type?

The .bak extension conventionally stands for 'Backup' and is appended to the filename of a backup file. This is a functional extension, not format-oriented, as it indicates a file's purpose instead of format. A backup file is a complete verbatim copy of a file made in case the original file gets corrupted or otherwise lost.

BAK files are created, either manually or automatically, exactly for backup purposes, especially in relation to system-wide configuration files, start-up scripts, user account data, password hashes and other critical system files. The .bak extension would replace the original extension or be simply appended to it.

A .bak file can be a file of any type or format. Sometimes, it is possible to tell the original file's type and/or format by the original extension.

Creating backup .bak files before making any changes to the original files is a good practice and should be followed whenever possible. BAK files, however, tend to pile and can take up much storage space. Old, redundant and unneeded .bak files can be safely deleted.

Software to open or convert BAK files

You can open BAK files with the following programs: 

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