Backup Bit

What Does Backup Bit Mean?

A backup bit is a single unit of binary data that shows a value of either one or zero. Some processes use the backup bit to determine whether a file has been backed up or modified.


A backup bit is also known as an archive bit.

Techopedia Explains Backup Bit

Essentially, the single backup bit stored in the system is a piece of metadata that allows programs to flag whether the file has been backed up. However, on some conventional operating systems, outside features like timestamps track the modification or backup of files. In these cases, a backup bit or archive bit may not be relevant.

Where backup bits or archive bits are used, they are sometimes prone to error. There has to be a chain of command that shows whether a backup bit has been subsequently manipulated by a third-party program – for instance, if one backup utility flags the backup bit, and another utility flags it again, it goes back to the zero position, indicating it has not been backed up, and that can cause confusion.


Related Terms

Latest Backup and Recovery Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…