The files with the .dat extension are normally associated with &qout;data&qout;. These files are data files with no specific format or structure. A .dat file may include anything, from text and graphics to the general binary language data. Thus, when you see a file with a .dat extension on your system, it simply means that the file contains something related to the computer data. The only problem with these files is that the data contained by them cannot be determined by any way until they are opened.
A bit more about the DAT
The files with the .dat extension are very generic in nature. This is the reason why they can be used by many different types of programs. Although, many .dat files can be opened directly, but some of them contain some amount of data which is specifically in reference to a certain program. Such files can only be accessed if that particular program is opened. Because multiple programs use the .dat extension files, it becomes difficult to determine the contents of these files. However, if a .dat file is saved in a text format, then its contents can be seen by opening the file in a text editor program like notepad or WordPad. Many of you might have seen DAT in a movie CD of yesteryear – it was quite common before.
So, how does DAT fare today?
The files with the .dat extension format are the most common ones in the directory of a computer system. They are generally used to save those attachment files which are sent from an Outlook email client. There can be many types of applications related to the .dat file extension. Some of them are Allegro (Generic Packfile Data), AVG (6 Integrity Database), Bluewave File, Chuzzle, Clarion (DOS Database), Commodore 64 (Audio program) and Daqarta (Extended Audio Data program). Moreover, other files like the VCD Video files also use the .dat file extension. As an example, the game Minecraft uses such types of files for a number of actions.
It is always recommended to open the files with DAT in text editors like WordPad. Generally, these files are text-only files containing details about the data in them. Thus, a text editor can be the most suitable to access such files as it can exactly display the file's contents.
Open DAT File on Windows OS
- Look for an DAT file you need to open in Windows Explorer and double-click on it
- If the file doesn’t open automatically and you see a “Windows can’t open a file” message then you should search for a program which can open DAT file
- If you have a program which can open DAT file installed on your computer then launch that program and select “File” and then “Open” or similar options from its menu to open the DAT file
- If you don’t have the program installed then you need to try searching for “DAT wiki”, “how to open DAT file” in the search engine.
- Once you find the application, install it on your computer
- After the program is installed double-click on the DAT file to open it
File extensions are used by Windows operating system to specify what kind of information is stored in the file. Every file in Windows OS needs to have file extension and file extensions are used by Windows to determine which application it should use to open the file. Every application installed on Windows OS places information about which extensions it could open into the Windows registry and Windows uses this information to determine which application it should launch when user double-clicks on the file. If application which can open DAT file is not installed, then Windows will show ‘Windows can’t open DAT file’ message and buttons to either select an application on the computer which can open the file or to search the web for the application which can open DAT file.