It can be annoying to lose vital files from your computer, even more so when you have deleted the .bak file which could help you recover a copy of the data you lost. In this post, we’ll teach you how to recover bak files deleted or lost easily.

  • Part 1: What You Should Know About .BAK File
  • Part 2: How to Recover Deleted/Lost .BAK File?
    • 1. The Best .BAK File Recovery Software — AnyRecover
    • 2. Restore Deleted/Lost .BAK File With Remo File Recover Software
    • 3. Recover Corrupted .BAK Files Using Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL

Part 1: What You Should Know About BAK File

What Is a .BAK File?

It is not unusual to see a file with a «.bak» extension on your computer. This file may seem inaccessible, or you may wonder what kind of file it is. A .BAK file is basically a backup copy of a file commonly known with the «.bak» extension. Different applications often make a copy of a file, with «.bak» appended to the filename for backup purposes. In most cases, .BAK files are created automatically by software of all types that needs backup — for example, a browser needing backup for bookmarks, or an application requiring periodical backup. But still, sometimes .BAK files are created manually for either backup or safekeeping purpose, as .BAK files cannot be edited casually.

Can .BAK File Be Deleted?

Normally, .BAK files can be deleted safely as it won’t affect files saved on your computer — after all, they are just backup files. However, we recommend you don’t delete BAK files as you may need them to recover your data in the future, except you are sure the master copies would not be lost.

How Do I Open a .Bak File?

As we have mentioned before, most of time .BAK files are created and stored automatically by the corresponding software, so actually there is no single app capable of reading all the .BAK files, just like the way some media player can play all types of audios or videos. Therefore, to open a .BAK file, the first thing is to figure out the context. To be more specific, for what program are the .BAK files created? Once you find out the exact program responsible for the .BAK file, then it’s not difficult to open the file with the program. If you are still not sure about that, resort to trial and error. If you found a .BAK file in a music folder, then try to open it with a music player. Or you can try to rename the file with other file extensions such as «.mp3» and «.wav», then check if it can be played.

Part 2: How to Recover Deleted/Lost .BAK File?

1. The Best .BAK File Recovery Software — AnyRecover

AnyRecover is a top data recovery tool that can restore almost all kinds of deleted or lost files, from any storage device. This best .BAK file recovery software is absolutely capable of recovering deleted or lost .BAK files without much difficulty. Everyone can restore the valuable .BAK files in an easy while effective way. Check the key features below to know more about AnyRecover. AnyRecover deleted file recovery tool 2,061,704 Downloads

  • Recover lost data from various devices: PC, internal hard drive, SD/SDHC/CF cards, flash drive, etc.
  • Support more than 1000 file types, including images, office documents, videos, archives, and emails.
  • Guarantee 100% data safety. No overwriting will happen.
  • Restore .BAK files with just 3 simple steps. No technical knowledge is required.
  • Perfectly compatible with various Windows (including the latest Windows 11) and Mac OS.
  • Offer a free trial that enables user to perform a deep scan, preview and recover.

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How to Recover Deleted BAK File With AnyRecover?

Step 1: Launch AnyRecover on your computer and select the location where you have lost the .BAK file.
Click on the «Start» button to start the scan. select location Step 2: AnyRecover will start to scan, and the deleted files will be displayed when finished. scan selected location Step 3: Preview and select the files you need to recover, then click «Recover». preview and recover

2. Restore Deleted/Lost BAK File With Remo File Recover Software

Another piece of .BAK file recovery software you can use to recover deleted /lost bak files is Remo file recovery software. It can restore deleted or lost data from several storage devices like hard drives, pen drives, SD card, and more. This software can restore all your data on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, server 2003, 2008 and 2003. Steps for Use Step 1: Download and install Remo file Recovery Software on your computer. Step 2: Launch the software and select «Recover Files» from the main interface. Step 3: Select either “Recover Deleted Files” or “Recover Lost Files” option. Step 4: Now, you will see all the available drives, select the drive where the BAK file is to be recovered and click “Next”. Step 5: After the scanning, you can preview the restored files and save. Pros It can recover thousands of deleted files. Very user-friendly with step-by-step instructions. Very good in recovering .jpg files. You can pause the recovery process to resume later. Cons It can be difficult to locate a specific file when scanning a large drive. Works well at only small-volume drives. Scanning may take long time.

3. Recover Corrupted BAK Files Using Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL

Before starting the SQL backup file recovery, you should first check: MS SQL is installed and launched. Services of MS SQL are running. Remember to save the recovered BAK files in MSSQL (MDF) CSV, HTML, and XLS format. Below are steps for using this tool: Step 1: Download, install and run Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL on your computer. Click on the «SQL backup recovery» icon. Step 2: From the available software, click on the select file and provide the location and name of the BAK file you want to recover if you don’t know the location and name of the BAK file, click on the search folder and click search file and all BAK extension will be displayed. Step 3: Select the BAK file you need to recover, then click on the «Scan» button. preview and recover Step 4: Select «Backup set», then choose the right backup set, then hit «Next». preview and recover Step 5: Go to the main tab, then click on the «Save» button, check box for MS SQL select the destination path and «OK». preview and recover Step 6: Select the option to save the recovered SQL database from backup. Select «New Database». Step 7: In connect to server option, select serve/instance name and choose destination to save the database file and click «Connect». preview and recover Step 8: The BAK file is saved. Pros It allows you to select damaged files to be recovered. You can save data in several formats. Cons Using process is not so simple. It is not a very safe recovery software as users can access it via multiple user passwords.


There is no need to worry about losing your backup files now. Recovering BAK files lost or deleted can quickly be done without any hassle if you use one of the aforementioned recovery tools. Of all these tools mentioned, AnyRecover proves to be the best as it can recover any lost files from any storage media. Do not hesitate to try it free and get your lost data back immediately. Download NowDownload Now Vinchin Blog How to Backup and Restore Database in SQL Server from .Bak File? (4 Ways) Table of contents

  • How to Backup Database SQL Server into a .Bak File?
  • Before database recovery, you should know:
  • How to Restore SQL Server Database from .Bak File?
  • Simpler Alternative to Backup and Restore SQL Server
  • Conclusion

Untitled-1.jpg Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that stores and retrieves data for a variety of software applications in the enterprise environment. While .Bak is a file name extension or file used to store data backups by software tools. And it is often employed to store SQL database contents. SQL Server database backup and restore involve tools like SSMS, T-SQL, and SQLCMD. Or you can use an easier alternative solution. Here in this blog, you will learn multiple methods for SQL Server backup and restore from .Bak file. Without further ado, let’s get started.

How to Backup Database SQL Server into a .Bak File?

1. Backup SQL Server into a Bak File Using SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio)

1) Launch SSMS and connect it to your server instance. 2) Choose the database instance you want to backup in Object Explorer. 3) Right-click and select Tasks> Backup. 4) Select backup type and destination. 5) Click on add… to add a backup file named database path .bak. 6) Click OK to create the job.

2. Backup SQL Server Database with Transact-SQL Command

1) SQL Server Full Backup BACKUP DATABASE databaseexample TO DISK = ‘filespath’; 2) SQL Server Differential Backup BACKUP DATABASE databaseexample TO DISK = ‘filespath’ WITH DIFFERENTIAL; 3) SQL Server Transaction Log Backup BACKUP LOG databaseexample TO backupdevice_created_before; GO

Before database recovery, you should know:

  1. Disconnect the database active connections to prevent failure.
  2. All methods mentioned allow only recovery from old versions to new versions.
  3. Perform transaction log backup before full backup in case of transaction loss.
  4. If you want to restore a database from another server, manage metadata to make it accessible on another server.

How to Restore SQL Server Database from .Bak File?

1. Restore Database SQL Server from .Bak File with SSMS

1) Open SSMS and connect to the server instance. 2) Right-click Databases> Restore Database… in the Object Explorer pane. 3) Choose Device for Source and click icon on the right to Add the .bak file, click OK. Again, click OK to return to the previous window. Enter the full name to locate the file should you cannot find it. 4) Check all the information entered and click OK to restore the SQL Server.

2. Restore Database SQL Server from .Bak File with T-SQL

1) Start SSMS and connect it to the SQL Server instance. 2) Click New Query and run the restore statement in the Query Editor window. 3) Restore the whole database. RESTORE DATABASE databaseexample FROM DISK = ‘filespath\filesname.bak’ Restore a file. RESTORE DATABASE FILE filebame = FROM DISK = ‘ filespath\filesname.bak ‘ Restore from differential backup. RESTORE DATABASE databaseexample FROM DISK = ‘filespath\filesname.bak’ WITH NORECOVERY GO RESTORE DATABASE databaseexample FROM DISK = ‘filespath\filesname.bak’ WITH RECOVERY GO 4) Hit Execute to run the command lines.

3. Restore Database SQL Server from .Bak File with SQLCMD

SQLCMD is affiliated with SQL Server 2014 and lower versions. 1) Hit Win + R and enter “cmd”. Click OK. 2) Run the following command lines. Restore a SQL Server differential backup. SqlCmd -E -S .\Servername -Q “RESTORE DATABASE databaseexample FROM DISK=’filespath\filesname.bak’ WITH NORECOVERY” SqlCmd -E -S .\Servername -Q “RESTORE DATABASE databaseexample FROM DISK=’ filespath\filesname.bak’ WITH RECOVERY” Restore a SQL Server full backup. SqlCmd -E -S servername -Q “RESTORE DATABASE databaseexample FROM DISK=’filespath\filesname.bak’”

Simpler Alternative to Backup and Restore SQL Server

Methods mentioned above for SQL Server backup and restore are the most common ways and widely used by SQL users, which allow them to back up and restore database contents inside SQL Server. However, not all versions support the features and they could result in errors due to an oversight with the command or file locations. Hence, I’d like to introduce Vinchin Backup & Recovery, a data solution that backs up and restores SQL Server in physical and virtual machines with central management, database compression, SQL Server hot backup, database consistency auto-check, etc. The solution supports Windows systems including Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2019. You can download 60-day full-featured free trial here:

1. How to Backup SQL Server Database?

There are several things to be done before we proceed: we need to install and register the SQL Server backup agent on the login screen, here, I’ll focus on database backup and recovery operations of the software. 066ac9bbadaab6992bb42d23ac4b43e.png 1) Select the backup source from the left column, expand the database instances, and choose the database (s) to be backed up. b95450920025229a307cfa4dcd80859.png 2) Specify a backup destination. You can choose the backup node on which you want the backup data to be processed and stored from the Target Node selection list. The storage associated with the chosen backup node can be chosen from the Target Storage selection list. 88f143158c8634e16e5849d0e14f36a.png 3) Configure the database backup strategies. Set up the backup schedules, backup types (Full Backup, Differential Backup, Log Backup), data storage policy, retention policy, etc. f638e582712914aa961f10339061b9e.png Review and submit the backup job after the setup. You can check the running process by clicking the job name. bafc72af9d6afcaf9c3d4f7d128303b.png 28c5d856a3ac0ccfe4c4ce491bc073d.png

2. How to Restore SQL Server Database?

1) Select the target restore point under the database. 2f35184a51b16228ea69b2ab21a8ab1.png 2) Select the target database instance on which you want to restore. c2679caf2b4292776eaee03df67ea1f.png 3) Configure restore strategy. Override Original Database and Create New Database (recommend to use first for data verification) are the two alternatives for database restoration. Then set up the new database. d87e8e68bbe6c751fbb2c6ace846645.png Confirm all the information entered and submit the job. To manage all the database backup data, navigate to Database Backup> Backup Data. 932ed715e2e529f3ee536883b58ef65.png


There are 2 methods for SQL Server backup and 3 ways to restore the database inside the SQL Server. You can also use a reliable and simple third-party data solution, Vinchin Backup & Recovery, to backup and restore SQL Server easily without dazzling command lines. It also supports backup and recovery of MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQ databases. Many SQL Server Database Administrators (DBAs) struggle repeatedly with errors like abrupt termination, database connection or transient errors, problem with drivers, malicious software attack, etc. Such errors can render a database unusable. While rebooting the SQL server may resolve the problem in some cases, using a backup (.bak) file is the most feasible option to restore SQL database (db).

Restore Database in SQL Server from .BAK File

SQL Server database restoration is performed for Full, Differential, File or Filegroup database backup with the help of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), T-SQL, or by using PowerShell.

Things You Need to Know Before Backup Restoration

Before you proceed with the backup restoration process, you will need to:

  • Close all the active connections before attempting to restore SQL Server database from .BAK file. Doing so will prevent the restore process from failing due to active database connections.
  • Backups that are created on recent SQL Server versions cannot be restored to earlier versions of SQL Server.
  • Backup the active transaction log, before performing the full database backup. This is because, if the active transaction log (also referred to as the tail of the log) becomes unavailable, all transactions in that log will be lost.
  • When you want to restore a db from another server instance, you will need to manage metadata to make the db available on another server. Refer to this link for more information.

Methods to Restore SQL Server Database from .BAK File

Method 1 – Restore SQL Database using SSMS

If you have SSMS installed on your system, follow these steps to restore your SQL database from the backup (.bak) file: Step 1: Open SSMS and connect to an instance of SQL Server. Step 2: Next, go to Object Explorer and click the Server Name to expand the Server tree. Step 3: Navigate to Databases and open the database you want to restore in SQL Server. Step 4: Right-click the Database, and then click Restore Database. Figure 1 — Restore Database Option Step 5: The Restore Database window is displayed. From the General page, under Source section, select any of these options: a. Choose the Database option, and then select the database you want to restore from the drop-down list. Note: When the backup is taken from another server, the destination server won’t contain the backup history information for the selected database. However, you can manually specify the database file or device by selecting the Device option. b. Choose the Device option, and then click the ellipses (…) to find your backup file.

  • From ‘Select backup devices’ window, choose File as backup media, and then click Add.
  • Locate and select the .BAK file you want to restore, and then click OK.
  • Again click OK to return to the Restore Database window.

Figure 2 — Locate SQL Database Backup File

  • From ‘Select backup devices’ window, choose File as backup media, and then click Add.

Figure 3 – Select Add to Navigate to .BAK File

  • Locate and select the .BAK file you want to restore, and then click OK.

Figure 4 – Select the Backup File

  • Again click OK to return to the ‘Restore Database’ window.

Figure 5 – Selected Backup File in Specify Backup Window Step 6: The name of the database to be restored is displayed in the Database box under Destination section. And, information of the selected backup file will be added in the Backup sets to restore section. Figure 6 – Backup File in Restore Database Window All the information needed to restore the database from backup file has been entered. You just need to click on the OK button to restore the database. However, SQL .bak files store information about the location of data files, and in case of any problems with those files, such as conflicting data file names” or “the destination directory does not exist” can result in an error. Such problems usually occur when restoring SQL database from a .BAK file created on another SQL Server installation. Changing the file settings from the Options page can help overcome any such problem. To do so, follow these steps: a. Select Options under Select a Page. Figure 7 — Locate SQL Database Backup File b. On the Options page, do the following:

  • Under the Restore options section, select the ‘Overwrite the existing database (WITH REPLACE)’ option.

Note: Choosing the ‘Overwrite the existing database (WITH REPLACE)’ option will overwrite your existing db. If you want to prevent this, create a new database and move the physical file to a new location. Figure 8 — Restore Options Section

  • Under the Recovery State section, choose ‘Leave the database ready to use by rolling back uncommitted transactions. Additional transaction logs cannot be restored.(RESTORE WITH RECOVERY)’..

Note: If you are doing differential or log restore after full restore you cannot leave your database in recovered state. You will have to leave it in non-recovered state ready for more backups to be applied, i.e. Restore Database with norecovery. Figure 9 — Recovery state Options Step 7: To proceed with the restore process, hit the OK button. Step 8: The window with restore progress is displayed. Figure 10 — Restore Process in Progress Window Step 9: Click OK when the ‘restore of database completed successfully’ message pops up. Figure 11 — Database Restoration Completed Message Your SQL database will be successfully restored.

Method 2 – Restore sql server database from .bak file Using T-SQL

You may also use T-SQL query to restore a database from the .bak file by following these steps: Step 1: Start SSMS, and then connect to an instance of SQL Server. Step 2: Click the New Query option. Step 3: In the Query Editor window, run any of the following RESTORE statement:

  • For restoring the entire database from the .bak file, use the following command:

RESTORE DATABASE FROM DISK = ‘\’ GO Make sure to replace ‘DBName’ with the name of the database that you wish to restore. Also, replace ‘BackupFilePath’ with the path of your db backup file, and ‘BackupFileName’ with the name of your .bak file.

  • For restoring a specific file from the .bak file, use a command that resembles the following:

RESTORE DATABASE FILE = FROM DISK = ‘\’ GO Replace ‘FileName’ with the name of the file you want to restore.

Method 3 – Restore-SQL Database with Replace PowerShell

You can also restore a SQL db by using the Restore-SqlDatabase cmdlet. The cmdlet performs restore operations including full database restores, transaction log, and database file restores on a SQL Server db. IMPORTANT! If you have an updated full database backup file, you can efficiently restore the database by using the above methods. But, you cannot perform selective database recovery from the backup file. For instance, you can recover a single table (if needed) from backup.

What Else You Can Do to Restore SQL Server Database?

If your SQL database is corrupt and you don’t have a complete backup copy to restore the db, using Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL can help. It’s a comprehensive software that comprises tools to help DBAs solve multiple problems. With the backup extractor tool available in the toolkit, you can extract data from a corrupted backup file (.bak). You can use the SQL repair tool to fix severely corrupted SQL data files (.mdf and .ndf) and recover all the database objects. In addition, the password recovery tool of the toolkit can help reset lost/forgotten password of a db file. Read this: How to restore the SQL Server database with Stellar Repair for MS SQL Software?


Maintaining databases in SQL Server and keeping them up and running is the foremost priority of DBAs. Thus, if there is any conflict, it should be resolved quickly by performing SQL server database restoration process using the last known good backup copy. Understanding the T-SQL commands or steps to use SSMS to restore database in SQL Server from .bak file can help you carry out SQL database restoration efficiently. If the backup file is not available or you are unable to restore the db from the file, using the backup extractor tool of Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL software can help. The tool helps extract and recover data from a corrupted .bak file. You can also use other tools available in the toolkit to resolve database corruption and password recovery issues.


Q. Does the Stellar Repair for MS SQL software recover data from a corrupt .bak file? A. No, the software helps repair a corrupt SQL database (MDF or NDF) file and restores data in a new file without making any changes to the original file. You can try using the backup extractor tool available in Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL to extract data from a corrupted backup (.bak) file. Q. Is it possible to restore a differential backup without having a full database backup? A. No, it is not possible to restore SQL database from differential backup if you haven’t previously taken a full database backup. This is because a differential backup relies on the last full data backup, and saves only the data that has changed since the last full backup was performed. Q. Is it possible to open a corrupt .bak file in SQL Server using command line? A. We don’t recommend the use of command line as there are chances of data loss. You can try Stellar Toolkit for MS SQL to open a corrupt .bak file in SQL Server.

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