I received many emails this week thanking me for the tip on how to back up your address book. Don’t forget that I also have past tips on how to print your address book as well, check out the archives below. However, I also received many questions regarding why when you try to double-click to view a back up file an error occurs.
When you backup a database from within a program (like Quicken, Quickbooks, your address book, genealogy programs, etc), using the File –> Export or Backup function, the program performs two functions. The first step transforms the original data file into a proprietary file format for storage. Secondly, the program compresses the data so it takes up less space. By performing both of these functions, the file becomes unreadable by simply double-clicking on it. At this point, it is known as an archive file.
If you need to restore this data at a future point, you must do it from within the program. Using our address book as an example, you would first open the address book, then click File –> Import to extract the data from the backup file. Some programs like, Quicken and Quickbooks, will have you click on File, then Restore to extract the data into a usable format.
I hope this discussion of backup files clears the air a little for you, but as always, if it doesn’t, give me a call on Saturdays with your questions.