.DBF File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .DBF file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

DBF File Recovery

What is a .DBF file?

A DBF file is a standard database file used by dBASE, a database management system application. It organizes data into multiple records with fields stored in an array data type. DBF files are also compatible with other "xBase" database programs, which arose because of the file format's popularity.

What Are Common Causes of ".DBF" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".DBF" files lost or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete the ".DBF" files while performing file management tasks, such as cleaning up unnecessary files or moving files to a different location.
  2. Software or hardware issues: Problems with the software or hardware can lead to ".DBF" file loss or failure. This can include issues like software crashes, system errors, power outages, or hardware malfunctions.
  3. Virus or malware attacks: ".DBF" files can be corrupted or deleted by viruses or malware that infect the computer system. These malicious programs may target specific file types, including ".DBF" files.
  4. File system corruption: Corruption of the file system can result in the loss or failure of ".DBF" files. This can happen due to improper system shutdown, disk errors, or other issues that affect the integrity of the file system.
  5. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidental formatting of the storage device, improper file manipulation, or incorrect software configurations, can lead to ".DBF" file loss or failure.
  6. Disk failure: If the storage device where the ".DBF" files are stored experiences a physical failure, such as a hard drive crash or damage, it can result in the loss of the files.
  7. Software or system upgrades: Upgrading software or the operating system can sometimes cause compatibility issues that lead to ".DBF" file loss or failure. This can happen if the new software or system is not fully compatible with the existing files.
  8. Intentional deletion or modification: In some cases, ".DBF" files may be intentionally deleted or modified by users or unauthorized individuals. This can happen due to malicious intent, data breaches, or unauthorized access to the files.

It is important to regularly backup ".DBF" files to prevent loss or failure. Additionally, using reliable antivirus software, practicing safe computing habits, and implementing proper file management practices can help minimize the risk of ".DBF" file issues.

How to recover lost ".DBF" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".DBF" file may be deleted.

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🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".DBF" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".DBF" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".DBF" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".DBF" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".DBF" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo database File image file file?

Programs that open ".DBF" files

dBase dBase
Microsoft Access 2019 Microsoft Access 2019
Microsoft Excel 2019 Microsoft Excel 2019
Microsoft Visual FoxPro Microsoft Visual FoxPro
Corel Quattro Pro X9 Corel Quattro Pro X9
Apache OpenOffice Apache OpenOffice
HiBase Group DBF Viewer 2000 HiBase Group DBF Viewer 2000
Astersoft DBF Manager Astersoft DBF Manager
DBF Viewer Plus DBF Viewer Plus
Swiftpage Act! Swiftpage Act!
Alpha Software Alpha Anywhere Alpha Software Alpha Anywhere
Planamesa NeoOffice Planamesa NeoOffice
Apache OpenOffice Apache OpenOffice
GTK DBF Editor GTK DBF Editor
Apache OpenOffice Apache OpenOffice
GTK DBF Editor GTK DBF Editor
multisoft FlagShip multisoft FlagShip

Additional Information

  • File type: Database File

  • File extension: .DBF

  • Developer: dBASE

  • Category: Database Files

  • Format: Binary

  • Mime-type: application/octet-stream

  • HEX: 00

  • File types that use the extension .DBF:

    • Database File

    • FoxPro Table


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 13:08 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .DBF files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is a .DBF file format and what is its purpose in computing?

    A .DBF file format, also known as dBASE file format, is a standard database file format used to store structured data. It was developed by Ashton-Tate for their dBASE database management system in the 1980s.

    The purpose of the .DBF file format is to store and organize data in a tabular format, similar to a spreadsheet. It consists of a series of fixed-length fields, each representing a column, and a set of records, each representing a row. These fields can hold various types of data such as numbers, text, dates, and logical values.

    .DBF files are commonly used for storing and exchanging data between different database systems, as they provide a simple and widely supported format. They can be accessed and manipulated by various software applications, including database management systems, spreadsheet programs, and programming languages.

    However, it's worth noting that the .DBF file format has become less popular in recent years, with the rise of more modern and feature-rich database formats such as .CSV, .XLSX, and SQL databases.

  • How can I open a .DBF file and what software or tools are commonly used for this?

    To open a .DBF file, you can use various software or tools. Here are a few commonly used options:

    1. Microsoft Excel: Excel can directly open .DBF files. Simply launch Excel, go to the "File" menu, select "Open," and browse for the .DBF file you want to open.
    2. LibreOffice Base: LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that includes a database management tool called Base. You can open .DBF files in LibreOffice Base by launching the application and selecting "File" > "Open" to browse for the .DBF file.
    3. OpenOffice Base: Similar to LibreOffice Base, OpenOffice is another free office suite that includes Base for database management. You can open .DBF files in OpenOffice Base by launching the application and selecting "File" > "Open" to browse for the .DBF file.
    4. DBF Viewer Plus: DBF Viewer Plus is a free and portable tool specifically designed to open, edit, and view .DBF files. It provides a user-friendly interface and allows you to perform various operations on the data within the .DBF file.
    5. Microsoft Access: If you have Microsoft Access installed, you can open .DBF files by launching Access and selecting "File" > "Open" to browse for the .DBF file. Access will prompt you to import the .DBF file into a new or existing database.
    6. DBF Manager: DBF Manager is a paid software that offers a comprehensive set of tools for working with .DBF files. It allows you to open, edit, and manage the data within .DBF files efficiently.

    These are just a few examples of software and tools commonly used to open .DBF files. Depending on your specific requirements and preferences, you may find other alternatives available as well.

  • Are there any specific considerations or limitations when working with .DBF files, and what are some common issues users may encounter when trying to open or manipulate them?

    Yes, there are some considerations and limitations when working with .DBF (dBase) files. Here are a few:

    1. File Size Limitations: .DBF files have a maximum file size limit of 2GB. If the file exceeds this limit, it may cause issues or corruption.
    2. Compatibility: .DBF files are primarily associated with dBase, a database management system. While many applications can read and manipulate .DBF files, there may be compatibility issues with certain software or newer versions of dBase.
    3. Field Name Length: The field names in a .DBF file are limited to 10 characters. If you have longer column names, they may be truncated.
    4. Data Types: .DBF files support a limited set of data types, including character, numeric, date, and logical. Complex data types like arrays or nested structures are not supported.
    5. Encoding: .DBF files often use the older DOS encoding (e.g., ASCII) rather than modern Unicode encodings. This can cause issues when working with non-ASCII characters or different language character sets.

    Common issues users may encounter when opening or manipulating .DBF files include:

    1. Compatibility Issues: Some software may not fully support the .DBF file format or may have limitations on the number of records or fields that can be handled.
    2. Corruption: .DBF files can become corrupted due to various reasons, such as improper handling, disk errors, or software bugs. Corrupted files may fail to open or cause data loss.
    3. Missing Dependencies: If the .DBF file relies on external dependencies like index files (.NDX) or memo files (.DBT), missing or incorrect dependencies can lead to errors or incomplete data.
    4. Data Integrity: Users may encounter issues with data integrity if the .DBF file contains duplicate records, inconsistent data types, or invalid data entries.
    5. Limited Functionality: Compared to modern database systems, .DBF files have limited functionality and lack features like transactions, referential integrity, or advanced querying capabilities.

    It is important to handle .DBF files with caution, regularly back them up, and use reliable software or libraries specifically designed for working with this file format to minimize potential issues.

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