What Is .DAT File & How To Open It

What Is .DAT File & How To Open It
Tips & Tricks Windows

A file with .dat extension is a generic data file which stores information of installed apps. They can also be found among configuration files. These files are usually used by several apps as references to specific operations in their separate program. The data on the file is often binary and can’t be deciphered. These files are stored in app’s data folders, these are generally seen if a video file is stored in this manner, or you have a corrupted attachment in an email. Have you ever thought about how could you access these files with blank icons?

All About.DAT Files On Windows

List of Contents

  • How to Open DAT Files in Windows 10?
  • How to Convert .DAT Files to Other Formats?

.Dat files can be anything from email files, media files or other file types, which are not defined by Windows or software for one reason or another.

If you are facing issues with any kind of files and don’t know how to deal with it, then get Systweak’s Advanced File Optimizer. It will help you detect the files which doesn’t have correct association and suggests you the appropriate apps to download.

In this post, we will discuss what.DAT file contains & how to open.DAT files in Windows 10

How to Open DAT Files in Windows 10?

When we open.DAT file, it uses Notepad or Notepad++ to get opened and displays internal file information. The main sign of what a .DAT file can do and which software it is attached to is usually found in its name or name of its directory.

When you open a.DAT file in Notepad, it usually looks like this.

How to Open DAT Files in Windows 10

This will not reveal anything and therefore you can’t do anything with the data. Also, it is recommended to not change anything as it might be connected to the software somehow and therefore, could risk messing it. If if you get this kind of file, then you should better close it.

Sometimes, you might come across a blocked.DAT file and you can’t access that file in a text editor. The reason behind it could be, it being a system file and protected by Windows OS.

If you ever become suspicious of a .DAT file, what is that file’s purpose, then you need to run a scan on that file using an effective antivirus app. As they are generic, they often hide and can’t be opened easily, making it a perfect place for malware to hide. One of the best antivirus software for Windows is Advanced System Recovery. It can easily scan and detect malware, spyware, viruses and other infectious files on your computer.

However, some of the.DAT files are readable and have clear info. In them. So, there are times when you can get useful information on these kinds of files.

Again, it is recommended not to make any changes on the file, until you are familiar with the changes you are making.

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How to Convert .DAT Files to Other Formats?

If you know the source of your .DAT file, then you can try to open these files in formats such as audio or video. There can be two methods of changing the file format:

1. Change The Extension

Press Windows and E to get File Explorer. Now from the top of the window, Navigate to View-> Options.

Change The Extension

You will get Folder Options window, click the View tab.

Change The Extension-1

On this tab, locate Hide extensions for known file types. Remove the checkmark beside it. Now click OK to confirm the action. Locate the file and right click it.

Change The Extension-2

From the context menu look for Properties. Click Change.

Change The Extension-3

And change the .dat format to any of the get ‘mpg. Before changing the extension, you need to make a copy of the .dat file and make changes to the duplicate .dat file.

Now replace: Dat with doc extension of your file and open in Microsoft Word.

2. Open. DAT file

Instead of changing the extension, you can open the file with Notepad, Word or another compatible program. Locate the file and right click on it. From the context menu, choose Open with and new select the app which you want to use to open the app.

Open. DAT file

If you can’t the app which you want to use right away, then click More apps to get the option.

Open. DAT file-1

Also, you can make the desired app a default option to open the file by putting a checkmark beside Always use this app to open .dat files.

Open. DAT file-2

If you choose the right app to open the file, you will get the context in the file. However you have opened the file in the wrong app, then you will see unrecognizable text.

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Now you know what a .dat file is and how to deal with it. Majorly, .dat files belong to a variety of software critical files which should not be tampered with. It usually contains complicated binary data which cannot be modified. therefore, it is recommended to not tamper with the original copy of the file. If you suspect it to be some other file which could be put to some use, then make a copy of the file and then change the extension for the copy and make changes to it accordingly.

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