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How To Open a DAT File?

Imagine the scenario where you just received an email with an attachment over it. We usually get such emails and there’s nothing new in it, right??? No, getting an email with file attachment is common but when the file attachment is with the .dat file extension, we feel totally disoriented.

Those who knows what is a DAT file will start searching for how to open a DAT file but others will try to figure out what the heck is a DAT file?

The DAT file extension might sound new to many, and we don’t usually get DAT files unless it’s a game related file or some mysterious data. Let me give a brief introduction of DAT file then we will look into the different methods on how to open .DAT file. 

A DAT file basically contains raw data. The data in the DAT files can be anything from images to text, multimedia to videos or some binary data. The file extension usually tells the computer about the contents it carries and then computers uses its intelligence to assign suitable file opener to it.

For instance, if a file has text document then the file extension for it would be .DOC or .DOCX which can be opened via the Microsoft office. Similarly, .mp4 files can be opened via multimedia players like VLC, GOM media player etc.

But when a computer doesn’t have any proper information about the data possessed in a file, it gives a .dat file extension to it leaving users completely confused about how to open DAT files. 

How To Open a DAT File

Opening a .dat file is not difficult but it does require a proper methodology to be followed in order to open it. There are more than one methods available to open a DAT file.

We will guide you through all the methods step by step. Just stay tuned!

#Method 1: By changing the file name:

This method is great for you if you know the program name DAT file is created on. Else you need to try other methods given below. If you have figured out the file creator program, read below steps to know how this method works.

  • Locate the DAT file on your computer and right click on it.
  • In the options given, select rename to rename the file as shown in the below picture.
  • Now replace the .dat extension from the program extension the file was created on. For instance, if the file is created on excel, replace .dat file extension with .XLS, XLSM or so.
  • Once done, try opening the file with the appropriate program. The method might work and might not work depending upon the contents of the DAT file.

#Method 2: By MS word’s open and repair feature:

This is yet another great method for opening DAT files. The method is extremely easy to use and doesn’t require any additional software to get it done. All you need is MS office program which most probably we all have already on our computers!

So, below steps will tell you how to open DAT files using MS word.

  • Launch MS word on your computer.
  • Now click on the file menu in the top right corner and select open.
  • Now navigate to the DAT file you want to open and select it by clicking on it.
  • Once done, click on the small drop-down arrow next to the Open button. If you can’t find it, refer to the screenshot in the next step.
  • Now out of all the options provided, select Open and repair. The below screenshot might help you find the option better.

Most probably this method will bring out the readable text out of your DAT file. But if this method fails to read your DAT file, it’s time to head over to the third method. This method is extremely easy to use and works in most of the cases but not all! Let’s see how this method works.

#Method 3: Via Notepad:

Opening a .dat file via notepad is a smart way to find out what kind of data is there in a DAT file. The method works in the following way.

  • Navigate to the location on your computer where the DAT file is located.
  • Right-click on this file and open it with Notepad.
  • Since the DAT file doesn’t contain the text document necessarily, you might see some source code on the file, like the below image. If the DAT file would be carrying text document, we would see proper text document instead of this chaotic code.
  • The highlighted code in the above image shows some hint about the content of the file. We can clearly see that the DAT file is carrying a photoshop document. Now open this file with PhotoShop and your DAT file would be read and opened.

#Method 4: Try and error method:

This method is not the best practice but as we know something is better than nothing. By using this method, we can at least try opening the DAT file. Here’s how this method works.

Like in the method 3, we clearly knew that the file was created in photoshop so we opened it with that software. But if we can’t find out the file data, we can try opening with different software like media player, MS word, notepad, RAR and so on.

If you are lucky, the file would get opened with any of the software you tried, else you need to try out the other methods.

With the end of this tutorial, I’m pretty sure the guide has met its purpose of teaching you how to open a DAT file. 

The DAT files, however, are not as popular as other file extensions but not aliens of course. Anyone of us can encounter such situations where dealing with DAT file is the only option. So I’m glad that you have acquired basic and mandatory knowings about DAT files by now.

With this, I’m wrapping up this tutorial. For any kind of doubt or query, fill out the below comment form! We will reach out to you ASAP.

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