What is the purpose of the .DAT File extension?
Files with the .DAT file extension are basically generic files that can be created by almost any program. These files can contain data in binary or text format. If the data is in text format, you may be able to view it using a text editor like Notepad.
Some of the programs that are known to create, reference or open .DAT files are:
- Microsoft Visual Studio and applications based on it
- DAT Player for Mac
- Corel WordPerfect
- Nero ShowTime
- Nullsoft Winamp
- Ontrack EasyRecovery
- Pitney Bowes MapInfo
- Runtime GetDataBack
- SoftVelocity Clarion
How to Open .DAT Files
The most common way by which you may receive a .DAT file is through an email attachment. It is an issue with some email programs that may automatically change the extension of the file in email attachments to .DAT. So, the file you receive may be an excel file, an image file or a Word document. However, as the file extension is changed to .DAT you may not know which program to use to open the file.
Here are some simple steps that you may use to open a .DAT file.
- The best way to open .DAT file is by using the program that created it. For example, if it is an excel file, you can open it in a Microsoft Excel application. So, if you can contact the sender of the attachment, you may ask him or her the name of the program that was used to create the file and then use this program to open the file. To do this perform the following steps:
- Save the attachment on your computer.
- Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the file.
- Display the Tools menu and then select Folder Options.
- On the View tab, clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box.
- Now right-click on the .DAT file and change the file extension to the file extension of the program to which the file belongs. For example, if it is and Microsoft Excel file, change the file extension to .XLS.
- Double-click the file to open it using Microsoft Excel.
If you don’t know which program the file belongs to, then you can try to right-click the file and use the Open With option to try and open the file with different programs. However, if you find this a tedious task, you may download and use the FileCure software to open the file. Using FileCure, you can also repair the file, if it is corrupt for some reason.