What is a BDB file & how do I open a BDB file (Microsoft Works Database Backup File)?

.BDB (Microsoft Works Database Backup File) - File Extension

Developer: Microsoft

What is a BDB File?

A “.BDB” file is essentially a backup of a database (.WDB file) created with Microsoft Works.

It serves as a fail-safe mechanism to protect your data in case the primary database file encounters corruption or other issues.

These files contain the same data as the original database but are stored separately to ensure data integrity and provide a fallback option for users.

How to open a BDB file

Opening a “.BDB” file is relatively straightforward. You can typically do so using Microsoft Works itself or any compatible software that supports this file format.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Works or the compatible software.
  2. Navigate to the “File” menu.
  3. Select “Open” or “Open File.”
  4. Browse to the location of the “.BDB” file on your computer.
  5. Select the file and click “Open.”

Once opened, you should be able to access the data stored within the BDB file seamlessly.

How to convert a BDB file

Converting a BDB file to another format or vice versa may not be a common task, as these files primarily serve as backups for Microsoft Works databases.

But if the need arises, you can explore conversion options using specialized software tools. Keep in mind the following:

  • To convert to other formats: Utilize database management software capable of importing BDB files and exporting them into desired formats.
  • To convert from other formats: If you need to convert existing databases into BDB format, consider using Microsoft Works or any software that supports exporting to BDB.

Ensure data integrity and compatibility when performing conversions, as some formats may not fully support all features of the original database.

Security Considerations: Are “.BDB” Files Safe?

.BDB files themselves are not inherently unsafe. However, as with any digital file, there’s always a risk of corruption or unauthorized access.

It’s essential to store BDB files securely, preferably on reliable storage devices, and implement proper access controls to prevent unauthorized usage or tampering.

Format Details for BDB Files

.BDB files maintain the same structure and format as the original Microsoft Works database files (.WDB).

They store tabular data, including text, numbers, and other information organized into rows and columns.

The specific details of the file format may vary depending on the version of Microsoft Works used to create the database.

Uses and Applications of BDB Files

.BDB files are primarily used as backups for databases created in Microsoft Works. T

hey provide a safety net in case the original database file becomes corrupted or lost due to unforeseen circumstances.

And also, they allow users to revert to previous versions of the database if necessary, ensuring data reliability and continuity.

Associated Software Programs

Software programs commonly used to open and create BDB files include:

  • Microsoft Works: The primary software for creating and managing databases in the .WDB format, which automatically generates .BDB backups.
  • Microsoft Access: While not native to the BDB format, Access can potentially open and convert BDB files, depending on compatibility and configuration.

Advantages and Disadvantages of BDB Files


  • Data Protection: BDB files serve as reliable backups, safeguarding against data loss.
  • Ease of Use: They’re automatically generated by Microsoft Works, requiring minimal user intervention.
  • Compatibility: Can be opened with various software that supports Microsoft Works formats.


  • Limited Compatibility: BDB files may not be compatible with all database management software.
  • Risk of Data Loss: If the original database file is corrupted, there’s a chance the backup could be affected too.


Comparing the BDB file extension with similar formats like .WDB or .MDB (Microsoft Access database), BDB files stand out primarily as backups specifically generated by Microsoft Works.

While other formats may offer broader compatibility or advanced features, BDB files excel in simplicity and integration within the Works ecosystem.

Troubleshooting BDB Files

Encountering issues with BDB files, such as inability to open or corruption, can be frustrating.

Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  1. Check Compatibility: Ensure you’re using compatible software to open the BDB file.
  2. Restore from Backup: If the BDB file itself is corrupt, attempt to restore from another backup source.
  3. Repair Database: Some software tools offer options to repair corrupted database files, including BDB backups.

History of the BDB File Extension

The BDB file extension originated alongside Microsoft Works, a productivity suite developed by Microsoft.

It was introduced as a means to provide users with a reliable backup solution for their database files, enhancing data security and peace of mind.

The format has undergone minor revisions to accommodate changes in Works and advancements in technology.

Tips and Tricks for BDB Files

  • Regular Backups: Schedule regular backups of your Microsoft Works databases to ensure you always have up-to-date BDB files available.
  • Storage Considerations: Store BDB files on reliable storage devices, preferably with redundancy measures in place to mitigate the risk of data loss.
  • Testing Backups: Periodically test the integrity of your BDB backups by restoring them to verify that they contain the necessary data.

More Information

Here are a few additional aspects to consider regarding the BDB file extension:

Cross-Platform Compatibility: While BDB files are primarily associated with Microsoft Works, they may pose compatibility challenges when attempting to open them on non-Windows platforms. Users operating on macOS or Linux systems might encounter difficulties accessing BDB files directly, requiring either emulation or conversion to a more universally compatible format.

Versioning and Compatibility: As with any software, different versions of Microsoft Works may introduce changes to the BDB file format. It’s essential to consider version compatibility when working with BDB files across different instances of Works or when attempting to open older backups in newer software versions. Compatibility issues could arise if attempting to open a BDB file created in a newer version of Works with an older version of the software.

Documentation and Metadata: BDB files may contain additional metadata or documentation within the database, providing context or instructions for users. This supplementary information can be invaluable, particularly in collaborative or multi-user environments where multiple individuals may interact with the same database. Users should explore ways to preserve and manage this documentation alongside the BDB file itself to ensure comprehensive data management practices.

Automation and Scheduled Backups: Microsoft Works typically automates the generation of BDB backups, ensuring users have access to recent versions of their databases without manual intervention. Leveraging this automation, users can configure Works to perform scheduled backups at regular intervals, further enhancing data protection and minimizing the risk of data loss due to unforeseen events or system failures.

Migration and Long-Term Storage: As technology evolves, users may eventually migrate away from Microsoft Works to alternative software solutions or database formats. When transitioning away from Works, it’s essential to consider the migration process for BDB files, ensuring data integrity and compatibility with new software environments. Additionally, users should establish long-term storage strategies for BDB files, taking into account factors such as file longevity, storage media reliability, and data preservation best practices.


The BDB file extension serves a vital role in preserving the integrity and accessibility of databases created using Microsoft Works. By automatically generating backups, it offers users a simple yet effective way to safeguard their data against loss or corruption.

While primarily associated with Works, BDB files exemplify the importance of proactive data management and backup strategies in maintaining digital resilience.

Whether used for personal or professional purposes, understanding and leveraging the capabilities of BDB files can contribute significantly to ensuring data reliability and continuity in today’s digital landscape.

Software Compatible With The BDB File Type
Microsoft Works Database Backup File

In this section you will find a list of the best programs compatible with the BDB file type. We've selected the best software for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux to open, edit, convert and view the contents of BDB files.