Open DAT File

It is a common problem to open DAT file because this kind of file is different from any other random file extension. Whether you got your file from your email or you have it on your computer if you want to find out what kind of data it contains, then you have to understand what the .DAT file is about.

Therefore, this article will provide insight into what the .DAT file, how to open it on your windows and Mac device, and how to convert the file to a different format. At the end of it, you’ll see FAQ about DAT file answered clearly so you don’t have to look further than here.


What is .DAT File Extension

Files with the .dat extension show that it is a generic file that contains data in different forms. What makes .dat files so common is that different software and applications use this format to store random data that is used to running or operating it. Unlike other file extensions that are fixed to a particular data format, .dat files are rather random.

The random property of .dat files makes it a tough one to handle if you do not know the origin. Although when software store data in .dat format, they do not intend this data to be accessed randomly by users rather it is supposed to be used by the software.

How to Open DAT File

That means that the software opens DAT file by themselves, in the background. However, the software is not the only one that uses .dat files; some emails come in that format and you need to find a way to open it and read it. There are different reasons why you want to open the .dat file on your device, read on to find out what you need to do.

Open DAT File

When DAT files are created by software, there is usually no need for anyone to open them because the information contained will hardly be useful to users. Nonetheless, if you want to open .DAT files, these methods will serve you whether you have a Windows PC or a Mac.

Get Prepare by Finding File Origin

Opening DAT files are easier when you know their origins. Softwares that create these files can always open them, so it saves you the problem of trying to find the origin of the file. If you are not sure, you can find out the origin of your file with these options.

From the Containing Folder

DAT files are usually available in the program files of the software package. Therefore, if you find a .DAT file in a folder named and containing Adobe files, it means that the file was created by this program. It also means that you will be carrying out the next two methods with that software.

Inquire from the File Creator

In an event where you received your DAT file from another party, you will have to ask them about the file origin. Even if the file was downloaded, you might be able to contact the file creator to inquire about the related program. in most cases, people are willing to offer this kind of information.

Open with a Generic File

If none of the above options works, you might be able to get some information from the file using a general software, e.g. Notepad++iTunes, VLC, etc. These files might not be appropriate to read all the data contained in the file, but they are generic enough to be able to read some of the data.

This way you might get some information about the file origin. For example, opening your .DAT file with notepad might show a lot of jargon that you won’t be able to make sense of but in the midst of all that, you might find some useful information about the software it was created for.

To open the file with a generic program, first click on the icon of the program to open it, then drag the file and drop it on the opened program window.

If none of these three options works, you should consider a trial and error approach. It means you try to open the file using the different programs installed on your device. With luck, one of these will yield something, then you can proceed to the methods listed below.

How to Open DAT File on Windows PC

Step 1: Open the software/program affiliated with the file – Double-click on the program icon to open it. If you cannot find this, a simple search in your start tab will reveal all available programs you can open.

Step 2: Every program has a similar interface with a tab titled ‘File’, and from here you can open any file you want as long as you know their location in your computer library.

Click on the ‘file’ tab to reveal a drop-down options menu showing the different line of commands to follow. Now click on the ‘Open’ command and proceed to search from your file from your computer library.

Step 3: Now you will need to display all files before you’ll be able to select your .DAT file. To do this, click on the tab beside the ‘filename’ dialogue box and select ‘All Files’. This will display all available files in the folder you opened and you can now find your file.

Step 4: Confirm all prompts: Since DAT files are not designed to be opened by users, any attempt to do so might bring about error messages or prompts asking for confirmation to proceed. Confirm these prompts so that your file can be opened.

However, make sure you read and properly understand all prompts before you grant any confirmation to be sure that your actions will not damage the file.

Step 5: Change the extension – Go through the renaming route to change the file extension. Right-click on the file action through your library and detect the ‘Rename’ command. Highlight on the ‘.dat’ extension of the file name and edit it to the file extension of the program it was made for.

Without this step, you will always have to confirm prompts and go through this process any time you want to open the file. However, by changing the extension, you can avoid these and make the file easy to open with a single click.

How to Open DAT File on Mac

MacBook users will have it a little differently from windows users in their attempt to open DAT file.

Step 1: Open the program .DAT file was intended for – Doube-click on the software’s icon to open it. Just like for windows, this uses the assumption that you have already discovered what the software is, and that you have it installed on your device.

Step 2: Drag the ‘DAT file’s icon and drop it on the opened software window. Available software and that work with Mac do not necessarily have the same interface as windows. Usually, they have different placement of tabs and different command names. Therefore, you might not see the ‘file’ tab that was used in the case of windows.

Therefore, a simple click and drag the file icon from where it is located and take it to the open interactive window. Drop the file on the software window to open it with that software.

Step 3: Confirm all necessary prompts – Dropping the file as you have done will try to open it with the software, so expect to see some prompts. These prompts usually request some permission or inform you of some changes that might occur in you trying to open the file. You need to confirm these prompts before you can do anything else.

Step 4: Change the .dat extension – Now that you have opened your file, and probably edited its contents, it is time for you to save. It is useful to save the file with a different extension name other than .dat, so that it will be easy to open it the next time you try.

Select the file’s icon and click on the ‘file’ tab. Then select ‘Get Info’ from the drop-down menu and go down to the ‘Name and Extension’ tab. At this point, you should be able to see the ‘dat extension where you can edit.

However, if you can’t, it means it is hidden. Uncheck the ‘Hide Extension’ tab and proceed to enter the new extension you desire. Be careful that this new extension is the same as the one for the software. Afterward, click on ‘Return’ and confirm the ‘Use Extension’ when prompted.

How to Open Winmail DAT Files

These files occur because your mailing services had encountered an error that turned attachments into this hard to open .dat format. You can open such files using online services which also shows you the contents of the file.

Go to and upload your file by clicking on the ‘Choose File‘ tab. After, click on ‘Start‘ to begin analyzing the contents of the file. From this result, you’ll know the type of data as well as what can be used to open it.

How to Convert DAT file

.Dat files are not difficult files to deal with, therefore they use the easiest conversion technique. All you need in most cases is to change the extension to the extension of the destination file format. By doing this, you have converted your files.

Changing the extension names depends on your device (Windows or Mac). It is the same as the procedure explained above in methods 1 and 2.


Can I convert .dat files to PDF?

Yes, you can, using the same process for converting .dat files described above.

How do I find out the contents of a .dat file?

You can do this by opening the file using the program used to create it or by using generic programs.

Is it safe to Open .DAT Files?

Make sure that you have a strong, functioning antivirus before you attempt to open any kind of file on your device. Also, try to verify the sources of files before you open them on your device.


To open a .dat file, you will need to know some details about the file. You need to know what kind of data the file contains and what program was used to create the file. The ways to find out all these are included in this article for both windows and MacBook users.

However, make sure you take care of handling .dat files as they may contain sensitive data that is critical to the seamless running of your programs.

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