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What is BAK File, and How to Open it?

What is the BAK file?

The most common bak files are the database backups of SQL Server Database, but some other programs such as SqlBak may create the files with this file extension.

bak file

As this file extension is used for the backup files of any type and to create the bak files, no standardized format is available there; each program that creates BAK files can decide how to format them. It also means that unlike other types of files, such as Zip file or RAR file, which have a standard after which these files get created and how they get unarchived, no standard program for extracting or importing the information from the BAK file.

How to Open BAK File

As we know, multiple applications can create BAK files, and if you don’t have any information regarding the File’s history, you have to go through some more steps to extract the details from the File. And in another case, if you know something about the File history, such as the program file gets extracted from, so you can go to the program and watch if the restore option is available there or not.

To see the details in a backup of the File or the database, you must restore it first. Unfortunately, no other method is available to see the details as the data gets formatted. You can try to open the File with the Text Editors such as Notepad or any other similar software.

open bak file

Steps to Restore BAK File

  1. Firstly, on the database that you wish to restore, make a right-click on it and then go to the Tasks button>Restore>Database as they get displayed below.
  2. After this, check out the radio tab from the device and then click on the button to search the location of the BAK file.
  3. You will then get to the screen just like the one given below, where you have to click on the Add button to choose the BAK file.
  4. Another screen that appears is exactly similar to the one given below, where you have to go to the folder which includes your BAK file and then select the File for restoring.
  5. Once the File gets selected, click on the OK button and then OK again until you come back to the screen to select the backups you wish to restore.
  6. You will then have tot and tick both the full backup type and the transaction log to restore the process to succeed.
  7. Once you select the backup File, you should then press OK, and then you will get geta message similar to this.
  8. That’s all you need to perform. Now your database gets online, and you can then access the data inside it.

3 Methods to Open SQL.BAK File in Microsoft Excel

Method 1: Convert SQL.BAK to Excel Manually

  1. Firstly, locate and search the SQL.BAK file on the local drive of your system.
  2. Then copy and save the bak file to another safe and secure device.
  3. Then, open File Explorer, select the view button, choose the option, uncheck “Hide Extensions for the Known File Types,” and then click on the OK button.
  4. The next step is to open the device with the copied SQL database backup file and then right-click on the File.
  5. After that, select the “Rename” tab and then go to change the “.bak” file extension into another extension such as “.xls” or “.xlsx.”
  6. Lastly, double click on the renamed File and then open the File in Microsoft Excel.
  7. And now you can check the SQL.BAK data in an Excel spreadsheet, and you can also edit the database as required.
bak files

Method 2: Restore BAK file to SQL Server and then Export the database to Microsoft Excel.

This method has two different process

1.Restore via SQL Server Management Studio

  • Firstly, open SSMS refers to SQL Server Management Studio, then right-click on the database to restore the BAK data and then select the “Tasks” and go to Restore tab and then click on Database button.
  • Click on the three dots icon situated next to the “From Device” section, search to choose the BAK file saved on the local drive.
  • Click on the “Add” button to specify the exact location where you have stored the BAK file and then select it and click on the OK button to confirm.
  • Finally, tick the “Full Database Backup” and then “Transaction Log Backup” and later click on the OK button to confirm the action.
  • After the completion of the restore process, click on the OK button to finish it all.

2.Export the Restored BAK file to SQL Database to Excel

  • Firstly, open the SSMS and log in with the administrator account.
  • Go to the Object Explorer, and right-click on any database you need to open in Excel and then select the Tasks and then choose Export Data.
  • After that, Enter the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard and then click on the Next button to continue.
  • Later choose the data source from where you need to copy the data as displayed below and then tap the “Next” tab to continue.
  • Choose the destination to copy the database data to Microsoft Excel and then click on the Next tab to continue.
  • Then specify the table copy or the Query and then select the “Copy the data from more than one table or views” and then click on the “Next” button to continue.
  • Select the source tables and the views, select the exact tables and views you wish to open in Microsoft Excel, and then click on the “Next” button to continue.
  • Then select the “Run Immediately”  option on the Save command and then Run Package and then click on the “Next” to continue.
  • Click on the “Finish” tab on the complete wizard.
  • Then click on the Report drop-down button and then select the option “Save Report to File…” to continue.
  • Lastly, select Excel as the target file, and then you can also open the exported SQL database in Microsoft Excel.

Method 3: Use Third-Party Convert Tool: SQL.BAK to Excel

On some of the open-source websites, some developers also generate a third-party SQL. BAK to Microsoft Excel converter tool. The process of converting SQL.BAK to Excel is an easy and practical method.