Bak File

What Does Bak File Mean?

A bak file or .bak file is a file with extension .bak that signifies it is a backup file or, often, a duplicate of another file that is stored in a secure storage location for backup and recovery. This common format is used by many different types of software systems, including word processing and office software, design software applications and more.


Techopedia Explains Bak File

A .bak file may be used in many different contexts. In some cases, they are part of an autosave feature on software that ports these temporary files to a secure location if the system encounters unexpected difficulties. These files can also be created manually, where users go in and make changes to the file extension. Alternately, a system can regularly archive large sets of .bak files for general backup purposes.

Although .bak file use can be an effective system of backup, there are some concerns with the storage strategy. The creation of .bak files can lead to “hard drive bloat,” where a lot of duplicate files take up too much storage space. Another problem with .bak files is that, unlike with many of the original files, users cannot immediately determine which file type a file is. There is a reason why the three-character extensions on files are unique for every single format of file. Sometimes backup strategies make these files too generic, and make it extremely difficult to determine, for instance, if a file is a document, a video, an executable or some other type of format.


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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…