Every once in a while you come across a DAT (.dat file extension) file. You tried to open it but with no luck. In this article, we will discuss what is a DAT file and how to open DAT file types.

What is a .DAT File Extension?

Before you open or edit a .dat file, first you need to understand that DAT file extension refers to a generic file that contains information to a specific program used to create it.

A DAT file could be text based, video based, an email attachment, PDF, or any other type. Since it is not obvious what program a DAT file associated with, knowing the origin information will certainly help you open it.

Most of today’s desktop and mobile software apps still reference to DAT files. You should always be careful when editing or deleting a DAT file since it could contain the information for the specific program or application associated with it. Editing a .dat file could corrupt the program associated with and cause the program not to function properly.

How To Open a DAT File

Now lets talk about how to open a DAT file.

First lets assume its a text based DAT file. In this case, simply Right-Click on the DAT file and open it with the Windows Notepad. If you can easily read the document, it is most likely a text based DAT file. You may use any text editor such as VS Code to read a text-based DAT file.

It is important to note that DAT files in your Windows and Program directories contain certain codes and information and you might not want to mess with.

To open a video based DAT file, Right Click and open it through a media player. By default, VLC and Cyberlink Power DVD programs appears to open .DAT files without having to install extra codecs or extensions. As mentioned earlier, origin of the file will aid you determine in fact its a video based DAT file.

If you have received a DAT file as an email attachment, it is most likely originated from an email client such as Microsoft Exchange, Windows Live Mail, or Outlook Express. Common types of these types of DAT files include ‘winmail.dat or ATT0001.dat’ files.

In order to open these types of DAT files in email attachments, first you need to download them to your computer. Then open and extract it through a Windows Mail Opener program such as WinMail Opener. Optionally, you can upload it to WinMailDAT.com and extract and open the DAT file for free.

If the DAT file cannot be read using any of the methods above, it could be any other DAT file type out there. Many strategic PC games such as MineCraft uses DAT files. Windows Backup programs are also known to use DAT files as a way of storing information.

How To Convert .dat File Extension

When you are not sure what information or origin of a DAT file, you can try converting it to a different application to see if the information it contains make sense. You can do this simply by changing the file extension to a one you’d like to open it with.

On a side not, you should always be careful opening or converting DAT file types if you are not sure about the information it contains.

If you need further assistance on figuring out how to open a DAT file, use the comment form below to let us know.

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