What is an Archive File and How to Open it?

What is an archive file? Don’t know in-depth? Often we hear about storage problems in our PC and then get to hear from our colleagues or friends to use an Archive. Then this article is just for you, read on to know all about an Archive.

Just like we preserve a place or collection containing records, documents, or other materials of historical interest as an Archive. Similarly, in the computer world, we get to Archive information in the form of Archive Files. These files can make free space and are of utmost importance. Also, performance is less critical in archive storage. Let us get to know better what corresponds as an Archive File.

What is an Archive File?

An archive file is a file that is composed of one or more computer data files along with metadata. These files become useful in the collection of multiple data files together into a single file for easier portability and storage, or simply to compress files to use less storage space.

An archive is a collection of data moving to a storehouse for backup, to keep separate for compliance reasons, or for moving off primary storage media. It contains a simple list of files or files organized under a directory or catalog structure (particularly, depending on how a program supports archiving).

One can store an Archive in many ways. Let us introspect the ways of storing an archive file.

Archive Storage Mechanisms:

 Typically, an archive file should be able to contain loads of data for a long period of time and at a low cost. The following viable storage options are available for Archive files.

Object: Object storage is an efficient archival storage choice because it can store large amounts of metadata, which is essential to easily access data. It is also a low-cost alternative and can store large amounts of data.

Disk: Hard disk drives can be used as archive storage; although, the power and cooling of hard disk storage make this option costly.

Tape: Tape is also a viable alternative for data storage in archival format because of its low cost. But, the time it takes to access data stored on tape is slower than that of other storage options. Due to this reason, it is most often used as a long-term archival location, where data is unlikely to be accessed.

Cloud: The cloud is a beneficial archival option because it can easily scale and removes the cost of hardware, power, and cooling. Although, for large data centers with continuously growing archives, the ongoing cost of cloud storage may start to add up. Some major cloud providers offer cloud archiving platforms, but they offer slower performance for a lower cost.

So, you can choose any feasible option that supports your requirements. But, do you know how an archive file gets created? Let us take a look at the creation process of an Archive.

 How does an Archive file get created?

 When you hear about the Archive file has been created, it doesn’t mean that the contents of the file were changed, or that the file was converted into some kind of different format called archive.

  • It simply describes that the archive attribute is turned on when a file is created or modified, which usually happens automatically by the program that creates or changes the file. Replacing a file from one folder to another will turn the archive attribute on because the file has essentially been created in the new folder.
  • If you open or view a file without the archive attribute on, then it will not turn it on or “make” it an archive file.
  • If an archive attribute is set, its value is marked as a zero (0), to indicate that it has already been backed up. When it is (1), means the file has been modified since the last backup, and therefore still needs to be backed up.

You can manually modify the archive attribute. That tells a backup program that the file should, or shouldn’t, be backed up.

Once the backup file is created, get to know the method to open an Archive file.

How to open Archive File?

 To open an Archive file, follow the trail of steps:

  1. Load the program and select Open Plan.
  2. Explore to your program’s Data folder, which is located in the Documents directory by default, and then open the Archives folder as:

C:\Users\ [YOUR USERNAME] \Documents\…\Archives

  1. Search the Archive folder with the name of the file that you’re hoping to recover and open it.
  2. Locate the most recently saved file in this folder.
  3. Note any error or warning messages that appear, and check it for missing data or other problems.
  4. If the file seems affected by corruption, close it without saving and open the file that was saved, before that one.
  5. Repeat steps 4 – 6 until you find a version of the file that works fine without any problems associated with it, then select File> Save As from the menu.
  6. Save Plan File dialog appears, give a new unique name to the file, choose the same location as the original file, and click Save.
  7. The newly saved file is ready for future use.

Since you have seen how to open an archive file, let me show you the method to use it now.

How to use an Archive File?

 To use an already saved archive file for any modifications, simply follow:

  1. Rename the original file.
  2. Now, open the file in the program, select File> Save As from the menu;
  3. Name this file, which indicates it is missing data.

If the file is not opening and is corrupted, then delete this file.

  1. Load the Archive copy that you saved in your project folder and select File> Save As. Give the original name of the file to this newest copy.
  2. The result gives you three copies of this file: the original with a name that indicates it is missing information, the recovered Archive file, and the drawing that you will continue to work in.

If you are not able to access the file after these methods, that means it has been corrupted or damaged. In such a case, only a professional method can be of help to recover the Archive file(s). You can take the help from the most trusted Archive Recovery Software and get back all the corrupted data Archive back to the original form.

But, you have got loads of Archive files? Don’t worry as with this tool, get multiple compressed archive files at once. With it, recovery of corruption errors like “CRC Errors” or “Unexpected end of archive” is possible in an instant. Do try its features today.


 This article shares all the information about what is an archive file. We have seen how to open an archive file in simple steps. But when your file is corrupt, these steps do not yield a result. Then, you can rely upon to get professional assistance with the trusted Archive Recovery Software.