What is DAT File and How to open it?

What is DAT File?

open dat fileFiles with the .dat file extension is a generic data file that stores specific information that is related to the program which created the file. Apps that generally use them are CCleaner, Porteus, and Minecraft. DAT files are represented with the .dat extension and can be opened and edited using the Microsoft Windows application or the Mac software, these software’s are generally used to create the DAT file.


Basically a DAT file includes necessary information for software to handle. DAT file usually contains either plain text or binary, although in lots of cases you might encounter them as the actual video file for programs like VCDGear or CyberLink PowerDirector. Microsoft Windows-based system users can use the Microsoft notepad text editor to open a DAT file, whereas users of Mac can use any Apple text editor to open a DAT file. Though,  it is usually advised to determine the specific software which was mainly developed to create or open and view the content that is to be stored in a DAT file.


For example, some VCDs that contain DAT files can be opened and viewed using Microsoft windows media player, and on opening this DAT file with Microsoft notepad, binary codes will be displayed instead of the video content which is stored in the DAT file.  There is a number of programs that create, open, and reference DAT files as they are designed only for the usage done by the applications and not manually by any user.


DAT file format

File extension .dat
File category System
Associated programs Notepad Outlook Microsoft word PDF Reader
Useful links More information on DAT
Developer Microsoft


File Categories

  • Presentations
  • Documents
  • Audio
  • Videos
  • Plugins
  • Images
  • Disk Images
  • Compressed Files
  • Encoded Files
  • Metadata Files


Applications Supported

 Applications  that support the DAT files to run on it are:

  • Microsoft Applications
  • Web browsers
  • Software programs
  • Media players
  • Photo viewers and more


How Do I Open a DAT File?


how to open dat file


As it’s difficult to understand whether the DAT file you’re dealing with is including text, pictures, videos, or configuration files for software on your computer, opening a DAT file will vary depending on the information it contains. DAT files can be opened in any standard text editor as they are in plain text format.


Method 1:- Opening a Known DAT file on Windows

  • Firstly determine the DAT file program
  • Open the program and click the selected file
  •  Click and open the file
  • Show all files in the file explorer
  • Now select the DAT file and click open
  • If prompted, confirm that you wish to view the file
  • At last, change the extension of the DAT file if you feel necessary


Method 2:- Opening a known DAT file on Mac

  • Firstly determine the DAT file program
  • Open the program and then drag it to the programs window
  • Drop the file there
  • If prompted, confirm that you wish to view the file
  • At last change the extension of the DAT file if you feel necessary


Method 3:- Finding the correct program

  • Firstly you should consider the file context
  • Take permission from the file creator
  • Now open the DAT file in the Text editor
  • Have a look for the information about the DAT file
  • Then the file should be tried to open in a general program
  • Lastly should be used for trial-and-error


How to convert DAT File?

convert dat file

A number of files can be downloaded using a free file converter, but as we came to know earlier DAT files are not like every other file. Converting a DAT file totally depends upon the type of the file you are working with.

There is actually no need to convert a DAT file in another format. If any specific program uses it to store configuration information, like in the first example. Converting that kind of DAT file to something else will most probably render the file, and possibly even the program, unuseable. A video type DAT files can be opened in the video editing software that generally creates them, and then exported or saved with a different format, like MP4, FLV, WMV or AVI. 


Basically you cannot change a file extension into that file extension which is known to your computer and expect the newly renamed file to be used. However, a DAT file that is received via email that you know is supposed to be, a Word document file, ends in the DAT extension, therefore try to rename it with the correct extension and make that a try.

For example, renaming the DAT file to DOC or DOCX of a Microsoft word file, JPG or PNG for an image, etc.

Before renaming a file extension just make sure that windows are configured to show them properly.


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