How do I back up open files?

A. Running a backup program while you have files open might corrupt some of those files. To prevent NT Backup from backing up open files, perform the following steps.

  1. Start a registry editor.
  2. Go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Ntbackup\Backup Engine registry entry.
  3. Select Backup files in use. If the value is set to 1, double-click the value and set it to 0. Click OK.
  4. Close the registry editor.

If the Backup files in use value was set to 1, you also need to set the parameter for the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Ntbackup\User Interface\Skip open files registry entry. The values for this parameter are as follows.

  1. 0—Don’t skip the file; wait until it can be backed up
  2. 1—Skip files that are open or unreadable
  3. 2—Wait for open files to close for (which is another registry value in seconds)
  4. For more information about backing up open files, see the Microsoft article Proper Backup of Open Files Using Ntbackup.

    To back up open files without corrupting them, you can try St. Bernard Software’s Open File Manager. You can download a 15-day trial version from the company’s Web site, at

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